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Hike 14: Compton Gap & Windham Rocks in Shenandoah National Park


This hike (3.2 miles, 1000' ascent) in the North District of Shenandoah National Park follows a steady ascent to views from Compton Peak, before leading to giant columnar basalt formations formed 800 million years ago. Experienced hikers may choose to rock scramble and boulder on Windham Rock. The Compton Gap parking lot can be found on Skyline Drive, at mile marker 10.4. Fort Windham Rocks and all the greenstone in this area are part of the Catoctin Formation, a series of related lava flows in Virginia, Maryland, and southern Pennsylvania, which includes the Pedlar granodiorite—the oldest rocks in Shenandoah National Park. The yellow highlight is used to illustrate the recommended route. From parking, head northbound on the white-blazed AT. Turn left onto Dickey Ridge Trail. Take a right to/from Fort Windham Rocks. Return to Dickey Ridge Trail and retrace steps back to the AT. Continue southbound, through the parking lot, and cross Skyline Drive. Turn right onto blue-blazed Compton Peak West Trail for view and return to the AT. Cross AT onto blue-blazed Compton Peak East Trail towards an incredible columnar basalt formation and return to the AT. Turn right to head northbound on the AT. Cross Skyline Drive and return to Compton Gap parking. Through volunteer efforts, education and advocacy, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) maintains and protects a section of the Appalachian Trail, in addition to the Tuscarora and other nearby trails and trail lands, in the Mid-Atlantic region for the enjoyment of present and future hikers. Visit to learn more about our mission and find volunteer opportunities. PATC expressly disclaims responsibility for the condition or location of trails, features, or facilities shown on this map, or for occurrences on them, at any time whatsoever. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this map, but users are requested to report map corrections and trail information to This map was originally published as part of a printed guidebook, comprised of 70 numbered hikes, crafted for the 2015 ATC Biennial Conference.

Price: $ 0.99 USD

Vendor: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Inc.

Category: Trails

Activities: Hiking

Published: 2015-July

Language: English

Size: 13.0 MB

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