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The Priest via Shoe Creek Trail

Tyro, Virginia

based on 10 reviews



3.01 miles

Elevation Gain

843 ft

Route Type



Added by Jess Fischer

The Priest via Shoe Creek Trail is a great hike with a steady, easy elevation gain over the course of 1.5 miles to the summit. In addition this hike is rarely crowded so you'll get the trail to yourself.

Starting at the Upper Crabtree Falls Parking area, continue up the "road" on Shoe Creek Trail for half a mile until you come to the intersection of the Appalachian Trail. That will be the steepest part of the hike. Look for two rocks on either side of the trail with white blazes on them. Take a left up the trail and you'll see a kiosk. Keep hiking for about a mile until you see a huge rock boulder (it's seriously huge) and a sign directing you to The Priest Shelter. Take a right at this sign (don't keep going straight). 

Keep a keen eye out for the outlook, there is no definitive trail leading you to the outlook, rather you'll see a clearing past the trees with a bunch of rocks, about 0.3 miles from the last intersection. Sometimes people build rock cairns to signal that you've reached the outlook.

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The Priest via Shoe Creek Trail Reviews

We hiked up from Crabtree falls trail and all in all it was 9 miles about

I did the extended version of this hike along the AT which had the full 3100ft of elevation gain so if you wanted a good workout with a payoff at the end, this is it. The hike is about the same steepness all the way up so maybe about a half mile in I became used to it, found a rhythm and made my way up. At about 2000 feet in elev gain, you get an awesome view out to the east. It is a good resting spot to regain your legs for the last push up to the summit! Since it is on the AT, the trail is well maintained and isn't too rocky which was nice.

A long an bumpy road to get to the trail head. Once you park at the trail head you’ll walk all the way up the dirt road. Then you will come to two big rocks one on the left and one on the right each has a little white dash representing the AT. Make a left at the rock on the left and you will see a trail map at this is the trail that will take you to the priest overlook. You’ll come to an intersection make a left and be on the lookout for a rock overlook on the left!

To the review below- The road to the trailhead is a worn-out, back road and you really need coordinates to find it. However if you do decide to follow google maps to upper crabtree falls be warned that you will be hiking thrice as long (as stated below, it'll be 11-12 miles instead of 4). The exact coordinates to the parking area are: 37.824215, -79.082182 Happy trails!

make sure you don't use the directions on the outbound! just type "upper crabtree falls" in your maps. no hate to creator of this but went on a wild goose chase trying to find the place

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike. Plenty of views along the way, which isn't always the case in the Blue Ridge. Good choice for a less-popular hike.

Leave No Trace

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