Doyles River Loop || Shenandoah National Park

Jones Run Trail Shenandoah National Park
Jones Run Trail

A trip to Shenandoah National Park was well overdue and this was to be a daddy-and-daughter hike. For one reason or another, we have not been able to make the trip. This past October we made it out for a day to catch the fall colors. We might have missed the peak by a couple of days but this trip did not disappoint. 

We planned to make the Doyles River Loop. Which is a 6.5-mile loop with about 1400ft of elevation change. You can make a long circuit hike which will put you at almost 8 miles. The trails in Shenandoah National Park are well maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). This hike is in their guidebook Circuit Hikes in Shenandoah National Park 13th edition 1990. The level of detail that the guidebook provides is all I needed to navigate the trail. 

We parked at the trailhead of the Jones River Trail. During the fall color season, you want to get to your trailhead by 9:30 or you will find yourself dealing with a full parking lot. The above picture is Jones River Trail just before you get to your first water crossing.

Old growth Tulip Popular on Jones Run Trail
Old-growth Tulip Popular

Following the Jones River Trail, I was surprised to find old-growth Tulip Popular. They are massive and tower on the forest floor. We took our lunch just up the trail from where the Jones River and Doyles River Trail meet.

Doyle River Trail Shenandoah National Park
Cedar Mountain in the background of the Doyles River Trail

In the background is Cedar Mountain Elv 3330 ft. This is on the Doyles River Trail about halfway up from Jones River Trail. On both trails, you will find a couple of waterfalls and on Jones River, you will find a couple of pools to enjoy in the summertime. 

It always seems that I learn about the history of a place after I have been there and then know about it before I go. This hike was no different. The picture below is Browns Gap Road. Construction of the road started in 1805 and was known as Brown's Turnpike. During the Civil War, this was an important route and was used by Stonewall Jackson to get his troops across the Blue Ridge on many occasions. 

Browns Gap Road goes all the way across the park. I enjoyed this part of the hike so much that I want to go back to hike this road across the park. It is amazing to me that a road that is 216 years old is in such great shape. 

I called it the Rhubarb Highway on our hike because it ran down the side of the trail forever. 

Browns Gap Road Shenandoah National Park
Browns Gap Road used to talk produce out of the valley to Richmond Virginia

I don't know if it was because I had not hiked the park for so long or if it was a daddy and me day hike. But this hike was one of the most enjoyable that I had been on.

Navigate over to our other related articles about hiking in Shenandoah National Park.


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