ElevationAscent: 1,949' 594 m
Descent: -1,947' -594 m
High: 3,012' 918 m
Low: 1,695' 517 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)
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“This moderately difficult run winds through pools and small cascades with several stream crossings.”— Larry W. Brown
Follow the ridge line down for another half-mile to where the trail turns sharply to the right (north). The trail drops along the ridge, crosses the stream, and then bends to the left and passes through a section of woods. Not long after you cross the stream again, it feeds into a larger stream that flows down through Riprap Hollow.
The trail fords the stream and continues to the intersection with the Riprap Trail, which was built as a fire road next to the stream. The Riprap Trail has been rerouted because of high water damage during floods so that it skirts along the ridge up higher on the west bank.
You can still see traces of the old road/trail along the way. After about a half-mile on the Riprap Trail, look for one of the park's biggest swimming holes. On the far left side of the stream is the site of the Riprap Shelter which was removed in 1977 in accordance with wilderness area policies.
Continue heading north as the trail climbs gradually, turning east, back toward Skyline Drive. Follow a small section of the AT: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PA/MD/VA/WV) south to the Riprap Trailhead parking area. You have the option to end your run here if you have someone to pick you up at this trailhead. Otherwise, take a right onto the AT to make a loop back to your car at the Wildcat Ridge Trailhead.
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Need to Know, Runner Notes, History & Background
Land Manager: NPS - Shenandoah National Park