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Stony Man Mountain - SNP, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
3.7 mls N/A N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
3 hours plus a half hour for lunch
860 ft
Shenandoah National Park
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e.g. 12000 Government Center Parkway 22035 or Fairfax VA
Turn right at Skyland Dr. (between mile markers 41 & 42) Immediatly turn right into large parking area for the 'Stony Man Trail'. 38.59259, -78.37558

This is a short and pleasant hike, and has some of the best vistas in the Shenandoah National Park. Little Stony Man, just below the main peak, has a popular rock wall with local climbers. Make sure to pick a haze free day, because you don't want to miss all the views along the the ridge!

Start the hike on the left of the parking area at the trail junction. Turn right on the on the yellow blazed Stony Man Trail for 0.5 miles to the intersection of the Horse Trail.

Turn left uphill on the Horse Trail for 0.5 miles and come to the first of the Shenandoah Valley overlooks. Continue up the trail for another 50 yards to the junction of the the blue blazed trail, and horse rail. Turn left, and in 80 yards arrive at the main Stony Man Mountain overlook.

Return back, passing the trail you turned off in 80 yards, where the blue blazed trail splits. Stay left, and in 0.4 miles the trails rejoin. Continue downhill for another 0.1 miles to the the four way intersection of the white blazed Appalachian Trail.

Turn left on the white blazed trail for 0.7 miles to the Little Stony Man overlook. As you continue downward make several switchbacks before reaching the left turn for the blue blazed Passamaquoddy Trail. The Passamaquoddy Trail turnoff is easy to miss. Look for a concrete post marker and a double white blazed tree marking the junction.

The Passamaquoddy Trail will pass a lower vista at the base of the Little Stony Man Mountain cliff face. Continue around the mountain for 1.0 miles to the junction of Furnace Spring Road. Turn left uphill for 20 yards, then make a sharp turn to the left again onto the yellow blazed trail. Follow the yellow blazed trail as it winds uphill, arriving back at the Stony Man Mountain parking area in 0.5 miles.

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Hiker Reviews For The Stony Man Mountain Hike (5 Most Recent)
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By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 01, 2015
I started this trail at Little Stony Man parking area with my dog. I tried to follow the trail along the shorter path, to the left, to reach the summit, instead of hiking the circuit as described, as we had already hiked Hawksbill that day and just wanted a quick summit hike to finish out the day. Well, we accidentally took the wrong trail, and ended up hiking the Passamaquoddy trail. Which was fine, but a lot more time than we bargained for. At least two other groups of hikers I encountered along the way had made the same mistake, and decided to give up and turn back. One of them gave me her map after I had decided to trek on for the duration of the loop. We finally reached another parking area (the main parking lot, I assume), which was very far from where we were parked. At this point, I started seeing signs that said dogs were not allowed on the trail. The signs at Little Stony Man all indicated that dogs were allowed on the trail. I tried taking the orange blazed horse trail to the summit to obey this rule, but was not able to actually summit with my dog. At this point, we were two plus hours in to an unanticipated hike, tired, and the daylight was fading. Thankfully, a good natured family offered to give us a ride back to the other lot where my car was. Had this not been the case, we would have been in a bad spot. This would have been a great hike, but if you start from the Little Stony Man parking area, be very careful about your directions. Especially if you plan to bring along your pet.

By: Dwhitten Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 23, 2015
Three great overlooks. The blue trail is no longer closed as the previous reviewer stated and we did the entire circuit. The Stony Man overlook is always crowded but it is large enough to find a spot to enjoy the view.

By: Suzannmd Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, June 25, 2015
The hike as described above has been altered significantly cutting off the blue blazed section (closed). The vista is beautiful, but without the blue blazed trail it made what could have been a great hike into a "nice" view.

By: Alec U Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, March 02, 2015
I was able to sneak out onto skyline drive one of the rare days it had a section opened, and boy it was worth it! Stony Man Mountain hike was quite short, about 2-3 miles tops getting to the summit. But I had the place all to myself, it was wonderful and beautiful, the views and the sun shining on a cold day was well worth it. Will be back again to skyline drive!!!!

By: Shawn Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, November 04, 2014
First, a note about myself. I am not in shape, but have been working to fix that. I go to the gym 6-7 days a week for about 6 weeks now. Ive shed quite a bit of weight, but I am still a bit north of 300 (6'4" tall). Figured this hike would be a good one for my abilities, and I was right. I actually did the hike in reverse order listed here, and am very glad I did. Taking the trail down to Passamaquody trail in the leaves took some effort, but not too bad for an inexperienced hiker like myself to do. As the first mile or so of the trail goes fairly steadily down hill, I knew that I would be in for a good deal of climbing later. Being new to hiking and of large size, I find navigating downward to be trickier in terms of getting my footing than up, and the Passamaquoddy trail is quite rocky and there is always a drop off to one side. However it was easy going, just slow. About halfway down the trail things started going uphill, and here is where I was glad that I did the hike in this order. The ascent to little stony man cliffs is much steeper than the initial descent and I know that I would have had a struggle in places. I have a fear of heights (not extreme, but its there) and despite the drop off I didn't feel too uneasy going up, but I know I would have going down. The ascent wasnt easy for my size, nor was it particularly tough. I stopped to catch breath a couple of times while enjoying both the rocks and the views. I absolutely loved this part of the hike because it was tough (for me) but still very enjoyable. And the payoff at Little Stony Man cliffs was very nice too. After the initial view at the cliffs, it was a pretty steady (though not terribly steep) uphill climb to the Little Stony Man and Stony Man summits. Again, for my size, this was a little taxing but not too bad. I went out on the Stony Man Summit rocks as far as my fear of heights dared. Great view. As far as people on a Tuesday, there were 3 or 4 groups at the Stony man Summit and I passed a dozen or so people between Stony Man and Little Stony Man. Nobody was on the Passamaquoddy Trail. The park doesnt advertise it like they do the other two places, which is both a shame and a good thing I suppose. I do not think this trail deserves a 1 for difficulty. I would think a 2 is warranted, which is what i was expecting out of it after seeing other descriptions. Very glad I decided to do this hike, it was perfect for me.

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Early December
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