Hike to Mary's Rock Summit

Rate this Adventure 3.7 miles 1210 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Alyssa Ramirez

Relatively short hike with scenic views at the summit.

If you're driving south on Skyline Drive, park in the lot on the right side of Skyline Drive immediately after you cross Route 211/Thornton Gap entrance. If you're driving north on Skyline Drive, the lot will be on the left side immediately before the Thornton Gap entrance.

The trailhead is at the back of the parking lot - There is a sign with a trail map marking it. You'll start on a very short connector which will take you to the Appalachian Trail. When you reach the AT sign post, go left to continue toward Mary's Rock.

The trail goes through the woods for the first little bit, and then emerges onto the ledge of the mountain. You'll be walking at a steady incline for 90% of the hike - There are only a couple of short areas that are flat, so bring your calf muscles and a good amount of water. The trail is not technically difficult, but you're walking on small rocks a lot of the time so wear sneakers and look out for ankle-turners. The trail is also pretty shady for most of it, which is nice. You should still bring sunscreen though for the summit.

When you reach the summit, you'll have an unobstructed 180 degree view of Shenandoah and you'll even be able to see out to the ridges of the George Washington National Forest. There's a large rock formation on the left that you can climb up on, but bring your grippy shoes and be careful not to slip.

The NPS website says this trail is 3.7mi round-trip - My FitBit called it 4.2 (and just about 10,000 steps), so it's somewhere in between there. It took us 2 hours and 20 minutes total, with about 20 of those minutes spent sitting at the summit. I would estimate that it took us 1hr10min on the way up and 50min on the way down.

Here is the NPS trail map: https://www.nps.gov/shen/uploa...

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Tags

Photography
Running
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

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