Hike to Historical Rapidan Camp in Shenandoah National Park

Milam Gap Parking, Rapidan, Virginia, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    4.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    890 Feet

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Hike back to the 1929 to see a camp created by President Hoover deep within Shenandoah National Park and see many of the structures that are still standing.

For this hike park at the Milam Gap parking lot located at mile 52.8 on Skyline Drive. Once parked you will cross Skyline Drive to reach the trail.  Hikers will follow the blue blazes along the trail and creek. 

After you have crossed the creek twice you will come to a larger waterfall. At this point you will need to follow the yellow blazes to reach Rapidan Camp. The yellow blazed trail is the horse trail.

Once you reach the Rapidan Camp fire road you'll see the camp straight ahead. If you turn left onto the fire road and cross the bridge you will find a bathroom (enclosed outhouse) which is a nice bonus. 

Walking into the camp you'll see what is left of the 1929 retreat built by and for President Hoover. A few structures and houses remain along with an outdoor fire pit. Take time to walk to The Prime Minister building and read through the display that talks about the history of the camp. There are places to sit and rest and enjoy a snack or a lunch. 

Then retrace your route back to the Milam Gap parking lot.

Helpful Link: Shenandoah National Park Guide for Rapidan Camp

Pack List

  • Water
  • Backpack
  • Camera
  • Snacks
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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If you're a history nerd you'll love Camp Rapidan. If you love fly fishing this is also a great place to catch wild, native Brookies!

9 months ago
9 months ago

Jenn Gonzalez

I live the crazy life of a full time working, suburban mom of two. It can get stressful. The times I can get out into nature settle me. That moment, when you're standing among the mountains with only the sounds of nature, are the very best stress reliever.

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