This trip is rated Moderate . Trip members should be capable of hiking 5–8 hours each day (up to 11 miles) with as much as 3,000' elevation gain and loss. Paddle boarding is suitable for beginners, though comfort in/around water is recommended. Paddling is on a river with rapids classified I–II whitewater. Trip members should be capable of paddling 3–5 hours.
Meet your guides and traveling companions this morning in Herndon, Virginia. The guides give a brief orientation for the days ahead before we hop in the provided shuttle for a 2.5-hour drive along historic and scenic Skyline Drive to the Hawksbill Mountain trailhead. We head out on a section of the Appalachian Trail and summit Hawksbill Mountain. At 4,050’, it’s the highest point in Shenandoah National Park and offers a 360-degree view of the Shenandoah Valley, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Virginia Piedmont. The day wraps up at Big Meadows Campground where we enjoy a hearty meal prepared by our guides before climbing into our sleeping bags for the night. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: 5.3 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,494’ / - 1,307’; Van transfer: 3 hours
We wake to the smell of coffee and sounds of the forest this morning. After a hearty breakfast we’re off on an exploration of White Oak Canyon. Known for its prolific concentration of waterfalls, creeks and crystal clear swimming holes the trail offers the chance to cool off during the heat and humidity of summer. In between splashing, selfies, and stopping to absorb the beauty of the area we’ll take a breather for a picturesque picnic lunch. Later, we head to a cider tasting as the orchards of Virginia are well known for their hand-crafted ciders. Tonight, we relax at camp for another night of great food and awesome company. All meals included.
Hiking: up to 10.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,408’ / -2,408’; Optional hiking: 1.1 mile, minimal elevation gain/loss
This morning we hike out to spectacular Dark Hollow Falls cascading 70 feet down the side of the mountain. Our adventure continues with a stand-up paddleboard trip on the Shenandoah River. We stick to calm waters and choose the route based on current river conditions and the recommendation of our expert professional river guide. Our route promises incredible views with the backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains, along with Great Blue Herons and turtles basking in the sun. Later this afternoon we head to the Front Royal Brewing Company to celebrate our adventure over dinner and brews. We are back on the road for our 1- hour transfer to Herndon, Virginia where we bid our final farewells.
We estimate arriving back in Herndon about 8:00pm today. But please note this time may vary depending on group pace, river conditions, weather, traffic, and other factors beyond our control. To be safe, do not book travel out of the Herndon area until after 10:30pm today. All meals included
Hiking: 1.1 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +378’ / -378’; SUP Paddle boarding: 3-5 hours, ~ 7 miles.