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Hike 43: Jenkins Gap to Visitor Center in Shenandoah National Park


This hike (8.4 miles, 2300' ascent) follows a significant but gradual ascent through area recovering from wildfire. Enjoy the Appalachian Trail over Compton Peak with views of the Shenandoah Valley, Skyline Drive, and Carson Mountain. Hikers may take a side trail to giant columnar basalt formations that developed 800 million years ago. Enjoy a breathtaking view from Dickey Ridge Visitor Center. Hikers should start at the Jenkins Gap parking lot at mile marker 12.4 and end at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center at mile marker 4.6. Plan ahead to arrange your return to Jenkins Gap. Be prepared to pay the Shenandoah National Park entrance fee. 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. Look for Jenkins Gap trail on the left of the parking lot and proceed 150 yards to the Appalachian Trail (AT). Turn right to head northbound on the AT to the Compton Peak junction. Turn left 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 continue northbound on the AT. Cross Skyline Drive and proceed through Compton Gap parking. Turn left onto Dickey Ridge Trail. Take a right to/from Fort Windham Rocks (a good stopping place for lunch). Return to Dickey Ridge Trail and turn right. Continue north, passing Springhouse Trail then Hickerson Hollow Trail, both on the right. Cross Skyline Drive at Lands Run Gap and again at Low Gap. Continue, passing Snead Farm Loop Trail on the right. Pass a popular hang glide site on the left. Cross a gravel road. Continue on blue-blazed Dickey Ridge, passing Fox Hollow Trail on the right. Cross Skyline Drive to Dickey Ridge Visitor Center. 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: 12.2 MB

See all maps by Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Inc.

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