Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife
Well-marked climb to Shawls Gap, then south over High Peak along the ridge to Sherman's Gap. A quick descent to Panhandle Road followed by a mile and half along the road back to the trailhead.
Footing is pretty solid with many rock gardens and a few scrambles. Typical for the area.
The trail after the gate (Shawl Gap Trail
) at the parking lot follows a jeep road till the bottom of the mountain. Once you get into the woods proper the trail becomes singletrack with rock gardens and some steeper sections. At the top of the gap you'll turn south to climb up to High Peak.
After reaching the top of High Peak, follow the Massanutten Trail #408
along the ridge for a few miles. Enjoy the great views of the Shenandoah Valley to the left and Fort Valley to the right. This stretch is nice with some interesting side cut trail and stone stairs. You'll pass through some mountain top Laurel and Pine forest areas. Follow this to the Sherman Gap Trail
intersection. Take a left to head down the mountain.
Sherman Gap Trail
offers a nice and quick descent back to Panhandle Road. In the winter, which is when I did this, you'll have a great view of a horseshoe bend in the Shenandoah River. Once you hit Panhandle Road, take a left and follow back to the trailhead parking lot.
Shared By: Mike C