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Buzzard Rock North - Front Royal, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
4.0 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
1.5 hours plus a half hour for lunch
650 ft
George Washington National Forest
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Park at the Buzzard Rock parking area on Mountain Rd/VA619. 38.93773, -78.28855

The Buzzard Rock North hike is a short and easy hike that has a great payoff with spectacular vistas from Buzzard Rock. Buzzard Rock is the high point of the cliffs that are visible from Fort Valley. The main rocks area have commanding views to the south through Fort Valley, as well as from the overlook of the Fish Hatchery to the north. The Buzzard Rock cliffs can also be accessed from the south on the Buzzard Rock hike that starts at the Elizabeth Furnace picnic grounds.

From the Buzzard Rock parking area on Mountain Rd/VA619 follow the white blazed Buzzard Rock Trail as it winds through several small hollows on the lower part of the mountain before becoming more steep and reaching the ridge in 1.5 miles.

From the ridge there are views towards the north and Winchester, as well as to the east and the Front Royal area. There is a small campsite and fire ring at this point but the ground is uneven. The next good campsite on the ridge is in another 1.8 miles, 0.1 miles before the Shawl Gap trail intersection.

Continue on the ridge and in 0.1 miles, the trail will make a short switchback with a climb over a small knoll. In another 0.1 miles after crossing the knoll reach the first of several great overlooks from the Buzzard Rock Cliffs. Follow the cliffs for another 0.3 miles where there are spectacular views of Fort Valley. Turn around at this point. The white Blazed Buzzard Rock Trail continues another 1.8 miles to the intersection of the Shawl Gap and Massanutten Trails.

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Hiker Reviews For The Buzzard Rock North Hike (5 Most Recent)
Review the Buzzard Rock North hike here!   Average Rating:   Share Hike: 

By: michelle Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Warning! The "No Parking" side on the side of the road at the trailhead on route 619 Mountain Rd is bent over and facing the wrong way.  Do not park on the side of the road.  You will get towed.  I got towed because I didn't see the "no parking" sign because it was knocked over facing the wrong way, behind another car that had parked in front of it.  If it were not for finding my car gone at the end of the hike, it would have been a perfect day.  Thank you to the two wonderful women who had just finished their hike for giving my son and I a lift into Front Royal to pick up my car.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Great Hike! local favorite short hike with big reward check out out the video link below

By: BarbG Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 11, 2017
Loved this hike! FABULOUS VIEWS. Mostly Easy hike.*** NOTE TO ALL-- we arrived at 3pm on a Saturday and were lucky to find an open space in the small lot. Just after our arrival a Police officer arrived and informed us that all cars that were parked out on the road were to be towed. There were 6 at least. He asked us to tell everyone who we saw. ugh. We did, which was awful news to deliver to each group coming down, but at least people knew where their cars went. Some made it in time, some did not. After we came down, we talked with people who had cars towed... seems the one No Parking sign had been in the ditch as they parked.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 25, 2016
Hiked out to Buzzard Rock on Christmas day. Was my second hike here, and was again rewarded with beautiful views, unique rock formations, and gnarly wind-swept vegetation. Give this hike five stars for its high payoff with minimal investment of effort and time!

By: Stephanie Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 11, 2016
We (group of 3) started the trail at approx. 10:15am on Sunday and there were 3 cars in the (small) parking lot. My husband and I are semi-regular hikers (weekenders mainly), and our friend had not been hiking/active for probably 2 years or more. We all found this hike to be fairly easy (probably a #2 rating). I would recommend proper footwear with ankle support, as the trail does get rockier (but not too bad) as you near the top. I didn't feel like there was really any challenging incline until you are closer to the top - then you do a small bit of scrambling and your there. Of course this all varies on your overall fitness level - just take it slow and steady and you'll get there. We had trekking poles with us as well, which helped both on the way up and down. The trail is fairly wide and well maintained, so there are plenty of places to stop and take a breather if you need. The views are great. We had a lovely breeze and beautiful blue skies. On our way down we passed a group of about 10 - looked to be a family get-together. All ages, including a dog, were on the trail. Go out and enjoy!

    View all 39 reviews for the Buzzard Rock North hike
Early May - Photos Courtesy Jim Brewster
Late August - Photos Courtesy of J. Thomas Holman
Late May - Photos Courtesy of Heidi W.
Mid January
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