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45 Bikes & Hikes: Whiteoak Canyon

Shenandoah National Park
Descend Into a Cool Canyon
Whiteoak Canyon

Distance: 4.6 miles round-trip

Mountain streams rush over moss-covered rocks in Whiteoak Canyon. Photograph by Jerry Greer.

This renowned hike—which starts from a parking lot off Skyline Drive (mile 42.6)—descends deep into Whiteoak Canyon and affords views of the park’s second-largest waterfall (86 feet). Bring a bathing suit to splash around in the pools below the falls. Just remember that what goes down must go up: Although the hike is generally easy, the way back is steep, with an elevation change of 1,040 feet. Make it harder: For an even more strenuous 8.2-mile loop, continue past five more waterfalls and connect to the Cedar Run Trail at the canyon bottom. For more, see nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/mapshiking.htm.

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