One of Shenandoah National Park's most popular destinations is Whiteoak Canyon and its six waterfalls, with heights from 35 to 86 feet. There are swimming holes at the bottom of each waterfall, but do not expect much privacy because they are quite popular. The Skyline Drive Trailhead for this hike is at mile 42.6 near Skyland.
The adventurous, physically fit hikers can take the steep 4.6 miles hike to the Upper Falls, Whiteoak's highest waterfall at 86 feet. Return trip is very steep. Consider your physical condition and available time before continuing past the upper falls. Add an additional 2.7 miles round trip (1100’ elevation change) to lower falls and return.
Those who love to push themselves may enjoy the strenuous hike around the Cedar Run/ Whiteoak Circuit, which provides views of a few of the waterfalls. (Mile 45.6) – very strenuous 8.2-mile circuit hike. From Hawksbill Gap, take Cedar Run-Link-Whiteoak-Whiteoak Fire Road-Horse Trail. Be sure to bring water.
Whiteoak Canyon can also be accessed from the Park boundary at the base of the mountains with an easy two mile hike up to the first waterfall.
Visitors hiking Whiteoak Canyon from either the Skyline Drive Trailhead or the Lower Trailhead must have a valid Shenandoah National Park entrance permit.