Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah and the Skyline Drive are an easy 30-minute drive from the town of Culpeper. On clear days, one can enjoy the view of the mountains right from Culpeper. The Park offers over 500 miles of hiking trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. There's literally a trail for everyone. There are easy, moderate or strenuous day hikes, hikes suitable for children, hikes with great views, and even special history trails. For those who are more adventurous, overnight backpacking trips are also an option. Please check with one of the Visitors Centers in the Park to decide which trail suits your needs. Most trails leave from Skyline Drive. They are clearly signposted, and parking is provided. Visit in the fall and experience a foliage display that is nothing short of spectacular.
Shenandoah National Park welcomes visitors year round. However, most facilities and services are closed for the winter. Check out the official Shenandoah National Park website maintained by the U.S. National Park Service, and also visit www.visitshenandoah.com by Aramark, the authorized concessionaire of Shenandoah National Park. For downloadable hiking maps throughout the Park, click here.
Old Rag Mountain and White Oak Canyon are popular hikes within the Shenandoah National Park and easily reached from Culpeper. The trailheads for these hikes are at the park's boundary, however, parking is limited and is not permitted along the road on private property. Visitors to both hiking areas must have a valid Shenandoah National Park entrance permit. Seven-day permits or yearly passes may be purchased from rangrs, or via self-pay at the parking lots located at the boundary trailheads.
For Old Rag Mountain, follow Route 522 West from Culpeper toward Sperryville. Just before entering the town of Sperryville, turn left on Route 231 and follow for 8 miles. Turn right onto Route 601 and follow signs for the parking area. The parking area is approximately 3 miles from Route 601. Download a Hiking map for Old Rag here.
White Oak Canyon
For White Oak Canyon, follow Route 522 West from Culpeper toward Sperryville. Just before entering the town of Sperryville, turn left on Route 231 and follow for 10.2 miles to the village of Etlan. Turn right on Route 643. Follow for 4.5 miles and turn right onto Route 600. Proceed 4.7 miles to the parking area. Download a Hiking map for White Oak Canyon here.