Trail Run Project Logo

gem icon Rapidan Camp [Suggest Edits]

8 votes
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Description

In 1929, the 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, purchased 162 acres in this area for his summer weekend retreat. The camp, which was built up by the Marines, provided Hoover and his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, a place to rest and recreate during the later, more difficult years after the stock market crash and ensuing economic depression. Hidden among the hemlocks along the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Rapidan Camp sits where two small streams join to form the Rapidan River.

Rapidan Camp was the first development specifically created as a presidential retreat. It grew to consist of 13 buildings that were all connected by a number of paths and stone or wood bridges. The architect was hired by Lou Henry Hoover and given strict instructions to make an effort to blend the structures in with the surrounding natural environment.

The centerpiece for the camp was “The Brown House” or “President’s” cabin. This building is located where the two streams, Mill Prong and Laurel Prong, converge to form the Rapidan River. The buildings were simple with many windows, a bedroom, bathroom, and porch.

Today, you can visit three of the original Rapidan Camp buildings. "The Brown House", "The Prime Minister" cabin, where Ramsey MacDonald stayed, and "The Creel." A number of the trails, bridges, and man-made features can also be explored. Look for the markers that indicate where the other buildings originally stood that no longer exist.

The National Park Service restored the "The Brown House" and "The Prime Minister" cabin to reflect how the buildings originally looked in 1932. The restored interior of "The Brown House" and the museum inside "The Prime Minister" cabin are open during ranger-led tours.

Half-Day Run: Parking can be found at the Milam Gap Parking Area. Head east on the Mill Prong Trail, continuing onto the Mill Prong Horse Trail as it follows alongside Mill Prong. This out-and-back run comes in around four miles with a few stream crossings along the way.

Gem Type: Historic Site

Shared by:
Zander Göpfert

0 Comments

You & This Gem


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Share This Gem

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Nearby Gems

gem Favorite Best hike in Shenandoah!

Old Rag Summit

(58) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite The second of 6 waterfalls in Whiteoak Canyon (the 1st being the very upper falls).

White Oak Canyon Swimming Hole

(29) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite Night shot of Dark Hollow Falls

Dark Hollow Falls

(33) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite Sunrise view from atop Mary's Rock

Mary's Rock Viewpoint

(23) Luray, VA
gem Favorite Panoramic from the top of Hawksbill Mtn.

Hawksbill Mountain Summit

(23) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite It's almost unfair to not have to work for this view from Stony Man Summit in Shenandoah National Park.

Stony Man Summit

(18) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite Sunset view from atop Bearfence.

Bearfence Mountain

(15) Stanley, VA
gem Favorite Upper Rose River Falls.

Rose River Falls

(17) Stanley, VA

Nearby Trails

8.9 mi 14.3 km Old Rag Loop
Difficult
Stanley, VA
Difficult
8.9 mi 14.3 km Stanley, VA
Minor Issues
Update
Muddy - Saddle trail is very wet and muddy. Small trickling stream has formed following the trails path near the summit.
12 days ago
210 
8.2 mi 13.1 km Whiteoak Canyon to Cedar Run Loop
Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Intermediate/Difficult
8.2 mi 13.1 km Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry - Streams are low, bridge is good
77 days ago
99 
3.8 mi 6.1 km Rose River Loop
Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Intermediate
3.8 mi 6.1 km Stanley, VA
Unknown
Update
47 
2.7 mi 4.3 km Hawksbill Mountain Loop
Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Intermediate
2.7 mi 4.3 km Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Dry - November 9. Great conditions. Very crowded at summit
76 days ago
37 
1.1 mi 1.8 km Bearfence Loop Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Intermediate/Difficult
1.1 mi 1.8 km Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry, Some Mud
99 days ago
31 
1.7 mi 2.7 km Dark Hollow Falls
Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Intermediate
1.7 mi 2.7 km Stanley, VA
Unknown
Update
33 
2.9 mi 4.6 km Ridge Trail
Difficult
Stanley, VA
Difficult
2.9 mi 4.6 km Stanley, VA
Minor Issues
Update
Some Mud, Icy - Watch for black ice on rocks, especially at the rock scrambler.
40 days ago
12 
0.9 mi 1.4 km Dark Hollow Falls Trail
Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Intermediate
0.9 mi 1.4 km Stanley, VA
Unknown
Update
13 
5.0 mi 8.0 km Whiteoak Canyon
Intermediate/Difficult
Stanley, VA
Intermediate/Difficult
5.0 mi 8.0 km Stanley, VA
Unknown
Update
19 
0.5 mi 0.8 km Stony Man Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Stanley, VA
Easy/Intermediate
0.5 mi 0.8 km Stanley, VA
All Clear
Update
Dry
77 days ago
19 
Shared by Zander Göpfert on May 19, 2016. All Page Views: 838. Last Month: 11.