CNY Hiking HOME PAGE Shenandoah National Park Skyline Drive
  Shenandoah National Park

Dickey Ridge
Trail

 

 

The most northern trail in the park, this one-way path leads past old homesteads and a stream, climbs Dickey Ridge, and terminates at Mile 10.4 on Skyline Drive (Compton Gap).  The length of the Dickey Ridge Trail is 10.3 miles and the trail goes from easy to moderately strenuous, depending on the section you are hiking.

This is one trail that you can hike prior to arriving at the park entrance gate as there is a small parking area on the west side of Skyline Drive just before the toll booth.  If you want to walk the whole length of the trail, you should plan to have a car shuttle.  I would begin at Compton Gap and walk back to the parking area at the entrance gate (with a shuttle).

Most hikers walk on the trail for just a few miles and then retrace their steps.  The length you plan to hike and explore this trail is totally up to you.  The trail does climb nearly 2000 feet in elevation from the park entrance to Compton Gap.

The Dickey Ridge Trail begins near the park entrance in what was once an old pasture, which is now covered with new growth trees and shrubs.  After about 0.5 miles there is a small stream and soon there is a side trail on the left that leads to the park entrance station on Skyline Drive.  The trail crosses a stream on a bridge.

Over the next 0.75 miles you will see stone walls, paths and other remnants of old mountain homes.  The trail will have a rather steep ascent as it parallels Skyline Drive in its climb to Compton Gap.  Along the way you'll pass the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, the Fox Hollow Trail and the Snead Farm Trail at 4.6 miles.

Low Gap is at 7.9 miles followed by Lands Run Gap at 9.2 miles.  Toward the end of the Dickey Ridge Trail there are some nice views as the trail ascends and has some short descends prior to reaching the Appalachian Trail just 0.1 miles from Compton Gap.  Turn right to reach Compton Gap at 10.3 miles.

At 0.2 miles prior to the junction with the Appalachian Trail, after crossing the 2580 foot summit of Carson Mountain, you might notice the 40 to 50 foot Fort Windham Rocks on your left.  Geologists say the rocks are 600-800 million years old.  A short side trail leads into the rocks.

CNY Hiking HOME PAGE Shenandoah National Park Skyline Drive