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Hiker Comments for the Raven Rocks Hike - 1 to 141 of 141   
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By: Rene Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, November 21, 2019
Beautiful day! I enjoyed the vistas since most of the leaves were down. I didn't mind the three climbs. They were easier than I was expecting (though it was still a strenuous hike). Anyone staying in the campsites should take hammocks. There weren't a lot of flat places without rocks. We heard birds and saw squirrels. We started on the trail at 8:20, finished at 12:20 (including a 30 minute rest at the last peak). The parking directions in other posts were very helpful. The lot was full when we arrived back at the car, on a Thursday.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 8, 2019
This is one of my favorites. Much like a lot of the AT in Virginia, it's a standard hike through the forest with a nice payoff at the end. A friend who accompanied me said it was a bit of a boring hike and not variable enough, but it suits me just fine! Not a very large overlook, and sometimes crowded on nice weekend days. Unless you come before 8 AM on the weekends, the small parking lot will be full and you will need to park in the lot on the other side of 7, about .2 miles east, where you would turn off to go to Bear's Den Trailhead. On rainy days/ weekdays, you're good to park at the small lot right by the trailhead. The description says this hike has 3 strenuous ascents, but the only one that I find real challenging is the second uphill, between the 2 creekbed crossings. I've done this hike 5-6 times over the last few months, and I still get a bit fatigued there, especially when carrying a full pack. The way back is infinitely easier with pretty gentle downhills and some jaunty little switchbacks.

For the person who said they saw snakes--I've never seen one in all the times I've been on this trail. Some birds, deer, etc...but no snakes. But lots of rocks. The only thing your ankles are really in danger of here is a sprain, so wear your good hiking boots.

I've done this one several times and continue to enjoy it, even in the pouring rain.

By: Alyson Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 23, 2019
Parking - I like specific info on parking, so trailhead parking is at the corner of Rt. 7 and Pine Grove Road. The commuter lot is across Rt. 7 and east a bit (a 2 minute walk), at the corner of Rt. 7 and Blue Ridge Mountain Road. The hike immediately puts you into the forest and the traffic sounds from Rt. 7 quickly fade. However this is a heavily traveled trail and groups of hikers tended to be noisy. The hike is extremely rocky, not small pebbles but large rocks that you have to step upon carefully. Some areas are very steep but usually not for long. The trail is well marked with white blazes and is easy to follow. A lot of people brought their dogs but all of the dogs I saw really seemed to be working hard on this trail. All were panting hard and the ground really looks rough and jagged for paws. I would really think twice about bringing a dog on a hike for this reason. The weather was in the low to mid 80s with low humidity. This was a challenging half day hike that I would do again.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, February 18, 2019
We've had Raven Rock on our radar for awhile but after reading reviews about the abundance of snakes, knew we needed to wait until winter. We headed out today, with all 4 kids in tow. I carried the 8mo on my back and my husband had the 3 year old in a pack on his back for most of the hike. My 6 and 4.5 year olds, however, hiked the entire thing! ((I should clarify that we've been hiking with them since our oldest was 4mo and they're pretty killer hikers, havi ng tackled Big schloss twice, countless shorter hikes, Glen Ochno Falls. Etc)). This hike was far from the most technical one we've ever tackled but it was challenging. Its 6mi of straight ascends and descends. There's almost never flat. Lots of switch backs and almost all rocks (though they aren't loose, which is nice). For the effort, the views are just OK. The shorter, much easier hike of Weverton Gap and Big schloss are much more "worth it". There were several spots where fallen trees littered the trail and you had to navigate around them, but not once was the trail lost. Great signage with blazes. the summit however is not marked and the AT continues on past it so it's easy to keep going (esp since the views arent spectacular). Overall it was a decent hike. It took us 4.5 hours with 2 small kids on foot, 25mph winds and slick rocks from last nights rain.

By: Cooper Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 30, 2018
Overall a fun hike. You're walking on a mix of rocks and soil most of the time. A few areas of clear trails, quite a bit of rock gardens. I wouldn't recommend for kids under 10 unless they're used to that type of activity. My 9yo did pretty well but was a bit done with it a little after half way. If you have kids and can get a parking spot at the kiosk, it's better off. Rt 7 isn't fun to cross with kids and animals during busy traffic.

We all hiked this in tennis shoes ignoring the suggestion of hiking boots. After crossing the stream and spending most of the hike watching footing over the rock gardens, I'd definitely recommend hiking boots with some ankle support.

I'd rate the trail itself 5 stars because it was really cool. My overall review of the whole hike, I'm only going with 3 stars. It was non stop traffic. We had people in front of us, behind and coming at us at all times. It was impossible to stop to take a picture, or even to look out over the little rock overlooks we came across on the way. A bit of rude people, along with a group smoking pot as they were walking in front of us not caring that there was a kid behind them. With the cold weather, I was hoping we'd have a little bit of calamity, but that was not the case. We had about 8 dogs we came across who were off leash. Only 1 group offered to leash their dog when it came charging at us, no one else even attempted to acknowledge their dog or apologize. This was the first time I've been out on a trail and experienced such ignorant people.

By: Mike P Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 14, 2018
This is a great hike, the northern bit of the Roller Coaster. By the way, the view from Raven Rocks is to the EAST and south, not west and south. It's not the Shenandoah Valley, but the Loudoun Valley.

From HU: If you continue north past the Raven Rocks area on the A.T. there is a view to the S.E. The view from Raven Rocks itself is to the S.W. and Shenandoah Valley.

By: Katie Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 4, 2018
Great hike! Beautiful viewpoint at the top, and up-and-down hike through rocky woods to get there. Takes about 1-1.5 hours one-way going at a good pace. Plan on taking a lot longer with children because of the rocky terrain and occasional steep inclines. Perfect hike to bring your dog! Have to be in fairly good shape just to complete the hike, and even then it's a good workout. Highly recommend!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 3, 2018
General Review: This trail is rocky and has several ups and downs making this trail not ideal for little kids. I came across couple groups that had kids around age of 6 and under that had to turn back without making the overlook. It is highly trafficked so if you want solitude, this is not the trail for you. Overlook is great, especially good for sunsets. Both AT&T and Verizon had full service throughout the hike, so you can use mobile apps to track your progress/location if your worried. The trail is very well marked while white blaze.

For overnight backpackers: The main reason for my review is to add more information for backpackers. There is a campsite opposite the overlook off of the AT, space for about 4 tents with a stone fire ring. Tent spots are not flat and will have some rocks/roots that is not easily clearable, so sleeping pad is necessary. Ideal for watching sunset/stargazing. When I went, there was 20mph winds, so I continued on about 1/4 mile and found another site on the left of the trail that was better protected. This site could also host about 4 tents, but was slightly more spread out. Neither site is ideal for mixed groups unless you wanted to socialize. For water, if you are planning on sleeping at the overlook site, use the first spring before reaching the overlook. If your planning on camping at the second site, there is another spring about 1/4 mile passed the site. Both sites are right off of the AT, but the trees on the second site are more sparse, so you will be in the line of sight to hikers on the AT. Plenty of wood to for fires on either site so you will not have to venture far. There are probably smaller, better hidden sites along the trail since I could faintly hear dogs off of the AT between these sites, but these are the most established sites that I came across.

By: VA_hiker_923 Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 14, 2018
The views were ok. Solitude was a 0. Definitely wear hiking boots or shoes with good tread. Very minimal parking at the trailhead/kiosk.

By: Tyler Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 25, 2018
The view from the top is indeed very nice! The trail getting there though I felt was kinda boring, just an uninteresting forest with little undergrowth. No flowers or wildlife.

Trail was busy on a beautiful August Saturday. Took us (decently fit guys) 90 minutes to get to the Raven Rocks while hiking at a moderate pace.

By: Jim C Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 4, 2018
This is my 2nd or 3rd time hiking Raven Rocks. This go-round, it was pretty foggy and the streams (2) were flowing due to all of the rain recently. The amount of rainfall made for more enjoyable hiking (i.e., water crossings) in my opinion. The most dangerous part is cross Rt 7 if you park in the large parking lot on the south side of Rt 7. Given the rain and fog/humidity I spent more time looking down than normal. Didn't see a lot of people on the way toward WV but I passed several groups on my way back. Lots of rocks and tree roots to step on/over. I didn't take my poles this time but probably will next time.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 13, 2018
My kids and I hike bear's den regularly and wanted something new. We arrived at 1:30 and were able to park in the lot. Well marked trail, saw about 10 hikers total. It is extremely rocky/roots, we looked down a good portion of the hike. By 1.5 miles, the 10yo asked to turn around. I was a bit upset not to reach the rocks, however it was a strenuous hike. 14 and 12 to would have made it. it took us 2 hours to hike 3 miles with a few rest/water breaks. can't wait to go back!!

By: Theresa Mohr Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 3, 2018
Hike was awesome all the way up! Broke my ankle with one mile left of the hike. Many hikers stopped to give me pain meds. Friends tried carrying me out. Had to get EMTs to get me which didn’t think I was serious about my injury and made me walk part of the trail. Went to urgent care the following day to discover I’d completely broken my ankle. Don’t do this hike if you are inexperienced (I was an avid hiker, going regularly)

Wear ankle supporting shoes- dr said that’s the only reason I didn’t need surgery.

By: E.G. Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 10, 2017
My husband and I went on this hike during Veterans' Day weekend. We arrived at around 10:30 and got a prime parking spot right in front of the kiosk. The weather was clear but chilly at 37 degrees. When we started the hike we were a bit chilly but quickly warmed up early on during the hike. Thank God we visited this site before we decided to pick this trail because we took the advise of reviewers who said to wear good hiking shoes, bring hiking sticks, and lots of water along with a backpack to tuck away our layers. I found my hydration backpack to be very handy so we didn't have to stop to hydrate. The hiking shoes really helped us get through the extremely rocky trail. The entire trail is filled with big rocks so make sure that you are prepared - I recommend stretching before and after. We are not experienced hikers by any means but we do have a moderate workout schedule which definitely helped to get us through. In the fall, there are lots of leaves on the ground so the hiking sticks helped us not to slip in the areas that were a bit slick. Once at the top, the view was absolutely breathtaking! Definitely worth the hike. On the way back, because we didn't keep track of the ascents and descents, we were definitely feeling the roller coaster effect. Every time we thought we had reached the end, there was another ascent. All-in-all, this is a great hike! The trail is also very well marked, so that was a tremendous help (look for the white mark on the tree trunks to help guide you). Also, the trail was not crowded at all. We saw people about every 5-10 minutes which was nice because there were big chunks of time when we felt completely alone. Everyone was very friendly and courteous. I would definitely recommend this hike for anyone who wants a great workout - even for beginners but if this is your first hike, just be prepared to be very sore the next day because this hike can be a challenge. The views are a huge bonus so take lots of pics!

By: Lauren Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 15, 2017
Overall, I think this trail was as described. It was definitely very rocky but the views at the top are gorgeous. The only downside was that there were a lot of yellow jackets at the overlook which was kind of annoying but really only a problem this time of year I would image. I think the hike took us about 3 hours 45 minutes. We encountered other people but not so many that it was obtrusive in any way. Overall the trail is well marked and easy to follow.

By: Clare Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 16, 2017
As a solo hiker I enjoyed this path because it was a well trodden route with people nearby most of the time. It was a good challenge, as I haven't been out for a good walk in a few years, but it was manageable. I completed the hike, out and back in 2.5 hours with a combined 15 minute break at the top and and at the spring. If I was to do this route again I would ensure that I wore sturdier shoes as the rocky terrain caused my ankles to roll a few times but asides from that it was a good first route back into the hiking world.

By: rishi Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 10, 2017
fun and challenging but really long would be great if you want a longer hike

By: Susanna Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 6, 2017
I hiked this earlier today in about 2 1/2 hours with a little lunch break at the top (there isn't a lot of space up there but the view is pretty). I kept track of how much I went downhill going in so that when I returned I wasn't surprised by the "roller coaster" effect, which wasn't as bad as I was expecting based on some of these reviews. Parking is tight but I was able to get a spot and although I did see a fair amount of people it was pretty easy to navigate around others. Overall, I would recommend this to someone with only time for a shorter hike or if you are easing back into hiking. I saw a few thru hikers which was great as this is on the AT, therefore I found it well marked.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 22, 2017
Thanks reviews are right about two big things: the parking is tough. We got lucky that someone was leaving when we got there around 10:30 because otherwise the overflow lot is a good walk back out a ridiculously dangerous Route 7. The other thing is that it's a challenging hike. Not difficult but on the high end of the moderate scale. Not crowded but we did see hikers every 10 min or so.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 8, 2017
I have a hiking group called Her Hike Collective, where I take Women out to the mountains and hike together! This day we had eleven women with us as we hiked Raven Rocks Hike. It was a gorgeous spring day, where we started off cold but quickly only needed a light t-shirt. That's why its great to hike with layers and have a backpack to put them away. We had to park in the large parking lot across the highway but it was fairly easy to find the hike trailhead. We passed hikers that were hiking the Appalachian Trail, or really they hiked passed us, and it was interesting to ask them how long they had been hiking for. I really enjoyed that this hike was a part of a much longer trail for some. Crossing the state border into WV was really cool, the sign is small and some of the girls missed it on the way back down the trail. The view is one of the best I have hiked before and I cannot wait to share my photographs of our hike. I am also a photographer so I photograph all of our group hiking and the scenery. We could see why the hike got the nickname the Roller Coaster, but it was a great change to previous hikes we have had that had a lot of switchbacks. We got to see a few guys rockfall climbing and repelling once we got to the top, and we took a break to eat lunch and sit in the sun. Perfect weather, perfect views and an all around perfect day! I would highly recommend this hike! If you would like to see our group in action you can go to the hashtag on social media #herhikecollective it is open to any women to join us! The ladies with Garmins or Fitbits did say that the hike actually totaled about 7 miles instead of the above listed 5 miles. I did not have one on but I would have to agree that it did seem a little more than 5 miles total. We also did park in the farther parking lot which is about a half mile walk to the trailhead. I hope to do this hike again!

By: D. Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 19, 2017
The up-and-down make it a tough hike, for the relatively few miles. But the view really is one of the best of any of the hikes in this area.

By: Steve from Winchester Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Very nice hike with a great view at Ravens Rocks. Very rocky trail so boots/shoes with good support are recommended. The only issue I had is the trail (white blazes lacking) is not well marked in one spot on the return trip. After passing Raven Rocks Hollow stream and beginning the ascent 1/3 to 1/2 way back up one of the ridges I lost the white blazes on a rocky portion of the trail. I went back to the last white blaze seen 3 times to retrace my steps and still was not able to find the southbound AT back to the parking lot so I had to bush wack up the ridge for 20 minutes before seeing someone hiking that oriented me back to the AT. Since I was alone this was a little uncomfortable. That said, its a great hike with a super view.

By: Hans und Heidi Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 30, 2016
A great hike, and being close to the suburbs makes it even better. I checked the walking milage on my iPhone and it was 6.87 from trailhead to lookout and back. We parked across the Rt 7 and there is a foot trail behind the hi way guardrail leading to this very sizable parking area. The fall colors have not fully peaked this close in, but at higher elevations more so. Colors should improve well into November. For a late start on a perfect Sunday, we didn't think the trail was too crowded to enjoy. Probably 20 dogs along the way, all good dogs.

By: Boomie Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 29, 2016
Great day for hiking. The fall colors haven't kicked in yet and the warm weather made the trail a bit crowded but the hike is wonderful and the views at the end are great. I have noticed that they have new signs at the trailhead saying they will tow any cars on the shoulder (vice the parking lot). Where the lot ends and shoulder begins is not very well marked - hiker beware!

By: Suzanne Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 22, 2016
Just a gorgeous hike! The view at the top is worth the steep, rocky incline to get there. I started hiking at 9, and only a few of us hiking at that time. Different story on the way back. Very windy today. I would love to do this hike in the Winter when the leaves are down. However would not attempt it if any moisture was on the ground. The rock would be too slippery.

By: boyer62 Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 25, 2016
This is a nice hike, not too difficult but not easy either. View at the top is great and there's plenty of space to sit and enjoy it. Trail was in great shape and well marked. Didn't love this hike, though, because there were a TON of people. I would say we passed between 50 and 75 people and many had kids/dogs. Granted, we did the hike on a nice fall Sunday morning, but with a solitude rating of '3' I didn't expect as many people. We also had to park in the bigger lot across Rte. 7 due to the parking lot near the trailhead being full. Overall a nice hike, just would've been better with fewer people and better parking.

By: DesiHiker Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 7, 2016
This was my first hike. The hike was fantastic. We started at 8:00 and got back to the starting point by 11:15. The view of the ridge at the top was breath taking. The hike is well marked - just follow the white marking. Fallen trees were removed from the trail. Hardly any water in the streams. Did not see any animals. As we were climbing we did not see or pass anyone - but as we were climbing down we should have crossed about 50 hikers.

The whole trail is wooded and shaded. Just saw one family with small kids - all others were adults.

By: HoboHiker Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 10, 2016
This hike will get in shape and you'll be sore the next day. I call it moderate-strenuous. I parked at the RT 7 & 601 parking lot. Plenty of parking spaces at that lot. That lot can hold about 150 cars. Parking is free. (I left the lot around noon and still plenty of parking on the weekend.) I took the blue parking lot trail(middle of the lot) towards Bears Den and then when I hit the AT (white blazes) I turned right or north. The trail then leads you back down towards RT 7 and at RT 7 you will see white arrow painted on the pavement pointing left to the crossing point on Pine road. (It's a little nerve racking walking along the 55mph highway for a 100 yards)Cross over RT 7 and enter the little parking lot. The trail ascends quickly with steps along a ridge. The trail is steep at points but you never have to use your hands. Long grades make it bare-able. A lot of the trail is large 2 foot stepping stones. The trail winds up and down ridges. A hundred yards up and then 100 yards down. (Hence the trail name Rollercoaster) You ascend and descend about 5 times with the final ascent into Raven Rocks being the toughest. The view is awesome. I encountered a lot families and many AT thru-hikers. The thru-hikers are generally the hikers with large backpacks and beards. Many of the day hikers looked worn out and were sitting on rocks resting. Many asked "How much farther????" I wouldn't suggest this hike for young kids. I think it's a bit too much for kids. I chatted with one of the thru-hikers and he said so far the "rollercoaster" has been the toughest part of the AT.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 25, 2016
Wonderful hike. We managed to knock it out in about 1.5 hrs. Great camp site just steps away from the ridge. Some good climbs as well so bring your gear if you're into that. Water access is available at a creek just before the final ascent to the ridge. Encountered a fair number of through AT hikers along the hike. Please take note: DO NOT PARK ON THE STREET only in the designated parking area. We arrived and found it full so parked on street but I ended up having to trail run 5 miles back to move it as the police showed up and started towing cars.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 8, 2016 Had a free day and after seeing the great videos posted on youtube by Smell N Roses and Peakbaggers for Cancer (RidgeWalker), I decided to hike from Snickers Gap north to Raven Rocks and back. This is a great portion of the trail with lots of places to camp as well as great views at Raven Rocks. The leaves were not out yet, so the 1st half of the hike had additional good views of the valley that would be obscured by trees in the summer. There is a nice spring in the second valley on the way up to the peak and also some cool rock formations and under-rock water noises. This hike has a couple of steep switchback sections with nice flat portions with places to sit and restt in-between. There is pretty good parking for about a dozen cars right at the base of the trail on the westbound side of Rt. 7. Also, there is a cool bar/restaurant, the “Horseshoe Curve Restaurant” very close to the trail on Rt. 679. It's also only about 15 miles to Harper's Ferry.

By: KCM Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, December 12, 2015
Hit the trail around 9:15. Lot about 3/4 full. Combination of leaves and rocks kept my focus on my footing much of the time. Bringing the dog along made it all the more challenging as the day wore on and more dogs appeared on the trail. Although not a long hike the gains were steep enough to break a pretty good sweat...then again it was 70 degrees! Without any leaves on the trees, the views along the way were nice. The Rocks themselves were a good restspot but the view itself was a bit limited. The other drawback was the noise from Rt 7 which never really disappeared. Round-trip in under 4hrs with about 20-30 min lunch.

By: Jsibel480 Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 7, 2015
Leaves make the trail a little slippery. Great hike and very nice views, especially at the Raven Rocks. Note that parking lot is rather small, the earlier the better :)

By: Don Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 25, 2015
The weather was iffy with just enough overnight rainfall to make the rocks and leaves wet in spots. I spent most of the hike watching my footing. I have hiked other trails and this is one about which I can say I have done it and don't need to do it again. I'm almost 68 years old, and that is definitely a factor. I think I would have enjoyed the endless rock scrambling at a younger age.

The view at the top of this up and back hike is nice, but not exceptional - by itself, I don't consider it worth the effort. There were four of us, and we started at 7:30 AM and got back to the parking lot just before 11:00. We encountered a number of people on the way back, including one individual who had hiked the AT from PA and was on his way back home. The hike does seem to be popular and has the advantage of being readily accessible from Route 7.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 17, 2015
Nice hike - Heck of a workout! i felt the rating on this with a 3 for Strenuous is misleading by far. There is a reason that this is part of the AT "roller coaster" ! Although the hike was peaceful i was a bit displeased with the Scout Troop that was at the rock having lunch. I am glad they were able to experience the hike however they did not display very much hiking etiquette when others arrived at the peak. They were noisy, bags were spread out and i felt it was disrespectful for the adults to not encourage the group to allow other hikers to experience the view from a few of the prime spots. Peaks deserve peacefulness and respect for all to enjoy. With that said,it was beautiful once we discovered a few 100 yards to the left some additional beautiful views and complete privacy. Shhh dont tell...

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 11, 2015
Sunday was hike # 5 for me on this part of the AT.  I like the hike. Great workout. It seems to be getting very popular. Eight people passed us going up while two were hiking South. After reaching the overlook at 1100 hrs, we started our return and encountered 75 people before returning to the parking lot. There were 15-20 dogs. That's more than I have encountered on past hikes. It's usually forty or less.  Beautiful weather was no doubt a factor.

There were about 6 cars parked illegally on Pine Grove Road when we left. Judging from the notes posted here in the past, towing is an active activity there. Be sure to read the signs.

By: Loretta Redmer Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 27, 2015
LOST DOG - Stanley A Staffordshire bull terrier, approx. 30-40 pounds, 8 months old. Lost yesterday near the power tower. Contact Meghann at 703-727-3510 or Blue Ridge Valley He is very friendly, but very scared so do nit approach him. Try to get him to cone to you.

By: Steve Bauer Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Great hike. Pretty strenuous hills even for me and I run 6 miles a day. Only saw about 12 people, two on the way out ret on return trip. My 13 year even loved it and he's not the outdoors type. Would be great in fall with colors.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 19, 2015
Very nice hike for the family. A little warm and humid. We started the hike at 8:30, got to the top, had lunch, and headed back down. Hit the parking lot 4 hours later. I'd say we were hiking for a solid 3 hours but it was at a very leisurely pace. There are two streams you will cross and the second one is flowing strongly enough to easily get water out of and splash some on your face. You can get by with running shoes but I would recommend hiking boots as there are lots of rocks. Overall, a nice hike and not too many others on the trail.

By: Katie Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 28, 2015
I didn't get here until around 2:30 and got the last spot in the small parking lot! I thought this was a very fun hike. There are a few steep, rocky ascends but they would end at the perfect time and you could walk flat for awhile! Be careful going down, it did a toll on my knees and I don't usually have issues there. Very fun though and there are several campsites throughout since it is along the AT!

By: Training for Peru Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 31, 2015
Good ankle support, water, bug spray and being in fairly good condition cardio-wise and being able to endure up and down on rocky trails would be my recommendations. With all that said and the previous reviews covering the trail well enough-as far as the parking situation goes- YOU WILL BE TOWED! If you park on the road where there are No Parking signs, the Clarke Cty Sheriff's office strictly enforces towing- they make it a point to drive by the parking area mid-late morning. You may not see the first sign as I didn't because it was obstructed by a another car. My car was off the road and 4 cars (including mine) were towed this day and being a Sunday there is no guarantee you will get your car back since the Tow Trucks are actually with car repair or auto sales businesses that are closed on Sundays. Heed this advice also- kindness and courtesy to the Dispatcher at the Clarke County "Communications Center" and ultimately the tow truck driver (at least CT at Tripps) may pay off. Otherwise you are hosed until Monday. I had to hit up an ATM for 150-bucks (cash only) and CT met me at his business to get my car. He was super nice (but you could tell he's been there with some major attitudes and initially on the telephone call he was very professional but had a take no crap attitude-cant blame him if you think about it). Ask for a receipt to at least try and get reimbursed by your Insurance Company if you have towing coverage. I was told cars are towed EVERY weekend and they have been "mandatory towing" up at the trail head for 2 years. Clearly this word needs to get out else where because people still ignore the signs (or don't see the first sign obstructed by another car). So at the end of the day, I lost two hours of my life- realized how lucky I am to have a friend of a friend who ran all over the place for us and then stopping at Camino Real Mexican Restaurant in Berryville to lick our wounds over Margaritas just made the whole day good for a laugh or two. P.S. apparently the other tow company charges more for towing and not so readily available on Sundays to get your car back. Do NOT chance it- if the very small parking area at Raven's Rock is full, park up at the rt7/601 Commuter Lot which is also the Bear's Den trail head and walk the 1/4 mile or so. Just be super careful crossing 7. Local drivers are used to seeing hikers, but others aren't and they are flying down the hill if there aren't any police around.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 10, 2015
Set out for Raven Rocks and arrived just after 8:30am and we were the only car in the small lot. Took the two of us just over two and a half hours to finish, with a 15 - 20 min break at the Raven Rocks overlook. We decided to go down the AT a little farther and then turned back around.

This hike definitely sneaks up on you. It doesn't seem that difficult at first but the climbs come out of no where. I would like to come back and do this trail in the winter when the trees have lost their leaves. I believe the views would be much better then.

I'd suggest bringing your bug spray and making sure you have some sturdy shoes because the trail is very rocky in areas.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 3, 2015
What a spectacular day and hike today! Should have gotten there a little earlier, as parking lot was full. I was able to squeeze into a spot, so we were good. Definitely a challenging hike, not sure I would recommend to novices, and I would probably rate it as a 4/5, instead of a 3/5. Description is right on...lots of ups and downs, both ways. We passed less than 25 people this afternoon and had the rocks to ourselves at the vista. Tons of great spring flowers along the path.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 26, 2015
Second training hike of the season for the Ultimate Hike we have planned in August. Knowing that parking could be an issue, we arrived at the trail head at 8am. There were only 3 other cars in the small lot which was a bit surprising. The weather was brisk and the skies were overcast making it for a chilly start to the morning.

The trail was definitely challenge. You start out by going up a small incline and get very little reprieve from the ups and downs until you make it to the overlook. Within the first mile, you will come to the first overlook tucked a few feet off the trail. It's a sampling of what is to come when you finally make it to Raven Rocks.The trees are only starting to get their leaves so we experienced some nice views for the first part of the trail until we descended into the hollow. The descents were just as brutal as the ascents with steep grade and rocky paths. You had to constantly watch your footing or risk tripping and falling.

The final ascent brings you to a sign that marks the VA/WV border. This was a cool place to catch our breaths and take a few photos before the final push to the rocks. Not long after you pass the sign, you will make your way out of the forest and arrive at the overlook. We spent 30+ minutes relaxing and exploring the top of the ridge. The views were spectacular, and we felt very lucky to have the rocks all to ourselves for the majority of the time.

Our trip back to the car had us passing several groups of hikers including both day hikers and AT hikers. We could definitely see how this can become a crowded trail later in the day. The ups and downs are just as challenging as what you experience on the way to the overlook so make sure you fuel up and drink lots of water.  Overall, we enjoyed this hike quite a bit and will come back in the fall when the leaves start to change.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 4, 2015
the hike was tougher than i expected with several rocks on the trails and uphill battles. it was a lot of fun and i got a great workout. the end of the trail was breath taking and worth the trip. during the hike had wonderful views and rocks to jump on for fun. will definitely go again before it gets to hot :)

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 8, 2015
I would like to follow up regarding the person's comment about parking. This is a Clarke County Area - therefore Loudoun County does not make that decision. I was parked on the gravel - before the No Parking sign and I was STILL towed by Office Hough from Clarke County. It's a shame that as we take in nature and try to have a good time, follow the rules - we are still punished, $150 by Tripp's Towing. THe best part was- originally we were told by Clarke County that we couldn't get the car back untiL monday because the Towing place wasn't open. Clarke County - This is not the right way to treat the loyal patrons of Virginia's beautiful Trails and Parks.

By: Kat Reeves Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 7, 2015
My first time on this hike and I will definitely be back. We arrived early when it was still pretty cold, and there were several parts of the trail on the hike out that were very icy on the descent, and very slippery. Had to be quite cautious and proceed slowly on the ice, but on the way back it had loosened up a little and we made better time. We really enjoyed that this hike had multiple ascents and descents, kept it very interesting out and back.

By: Randy Cook Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 17, 2015
UPDATE: Route 601 access to Ravens Rock is closed. We all have to hike the honest 1.5 to 2 hours from route 7 parking lot.

By: Randy Cook Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, January 15, 2015
***NOTE RE: Parking on shoulder of 601*** I contacted Loudoun County Sheriff's office on 1/23/15 and spoke with 1st Lieutenant Bruce C. Domin, #9113 at 571 258 3751. He said as long as you park between the signs that indicate No Parking beyond the signs, it is legal to park. Because there are no signs indicating No Trespassing on the fire road, it is legal to access Crescent Rock via this route. He stressed that you are not to enter surrounding private property. I hope this clarifies this issue.

By: Christopher Boyce Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 26, 2014
Ran an 8 mile section of the Appalachian Trail with some family the day after Christmas. We ran south from the Blackburn Nature Center on top of Appalachian Trail Road down to the Bears Den parking lot along highway 7.

The trek took about 2 hours, which included a few stops to take in the scenery. The sunny weather made for great views from Ravens Rock overlook. The trail was moderately technical and mostly downhill. Had we started from the Bears Den parking lot, we would have experienced a very different run. Think steep climbs and staircase-like rocks!

It was an overall great experience, and we knocked it out well before lunchtime!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, December 18, 2014
This is a very challenging hike - took us 2 hours each way. VERY ROCKY but fun. Crescent Rock is beautiful. I've done this hike several times and had a blast every time. NOTE: if you drive up Route 601 for a few miles, you can access the fire road around the cell tower and it's a short hike from there to the Rocks. It's only about 20 minutes relatively flat. You'll see the access point on the left at the gated fire road. There is only enough room for about 5-6 cars and is clearly marked where you can legally park. Get there early! It's my preferred route because you can hike north along the ridge before or after you visit the Rock.

By: Sigrid Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 25, 2014
****This site says that you can get to the rocks 0.4 miles from the east.****  Please take that down off of the website.  That area you all are talking about is NOT to be used as a access hike, and no one should park off of 601.  You will get towed, ticketed or given a trespassing warrant.
People live there and they to not like to have cars parked all up and down their roads and properties...and they to NOT like having strangers hiking around their private neighborhood.
601 and the access road is NOT a part of the Appalachian please DO NOT park there.  Not even on the side of the road or, in front of the signs, behind the signs or by the side of the signs.  Any parking along 601 or in any part of the neighborhoods off of 601 is NOT permitted.
Other then that, it is a beautiful hike.

By: Jess Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 28, 2014
A few friends and I did this hike because it was close to home. The hike, like many others have stated, is VERY rocky. If you have weak ankles and don't have proper hiking shoes I wouldn't recommend this hike to you. Also like others have stated (and you can see in the elevation profile) the trail ascends and then descends a few times before reaching the summit. I'm 22 and in pretty good physical shape and I was definitely out of breath with a pounding heart at the top of each incline. The view is pretty, but not the greatest and the overview was COVERED in stink bugs. I mean, these things were landing on us, flying into us, basically harassing us and that definitely resulted in us leaving the outlook sooner than we normally would have. Check out my full review:

By: AndrewM Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 21, 2014
Enjoyable hike with what seemed like one trail. It was nice crossing two states (VA and WV) - when you see the state
boundary, the end (from where you would turn back around) is only about a 15 mins hike away.
Payoff from the hike was good with a nice view from the the rocky ledges (at end of hike).

Parking is not so good for this hike as the lot is small (maybe 7 cars) and it is unpaved so drive slowly to avoid scratching your cars undercarriage.

I would rate the hike in terms of difficulty as a 3.5 (out of 5) as it is very rocky terrain with lots of ups and downs! The hike took us about 4 hours including 30 mins for lunch.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 14, 2014
Ok, what a banner day to do the hike in the first place! And yes, of course, all that has been said before me continues to be true. But, alas, the hike wasn't without a mishap...but not ON the hike but afterward, as many of you who did hike it yesterday came to find out.

You know those "No Parking" signs? Well, word to wise my hiking friends! The area neighbors, and Clark County Sheriff's Department, take them seriously. I was so sure I had parked behind the "No Parking" sign, and was all but a few inches off the road...not so much. I did park behind the sign...the second sign. The first sign, unfortunately, was right smack dab beside my car. So, yes, hiking fans, I was towed, as were many others. too.

So, from now on, I will just have to park at the parking lot on the opposite side of VA 7 and up a few hundred yards (you probably know the place, whereas I, the newly of hiking, was totally oblivious to it. Argh! Apparently, there are two towing companies that do the lion's share of towing, and if you unlucky enough to get your car towed, believe me, you will be paying...and, if you are even more unfortunate, as i and the others were, to get towed on Sundays, the towing companies themselves are closed, even if the individual towing services are still available 24/7 to the county.

Trip's Auto Sales in Berryville, VA was the company that towed my car. Had I asked the Clarke Countey dispatch (who by the way, is a very pleasant person, so please DO be courteous if you talk to her...she is a gem!) to give me CT's (the man who towed for Trip's) phone number, she would have been more than happy to do so...but of course I didn't know that) it was, I was given a ride by a fellow hiker, thank you so much for that!!...he gave me a ride to the Horseshoe Restaurant where Jimmie (or is it Jimmy) was the greatest. My cell phone had completely drained, but he let me use the restaurant phone, he even helped me look up phone numbers, and I want to share those with you right now...just in case, hiking fans:

Clarke County dispatch 540-955-1234 (Pam will most likely be the one who helps you I said, she is a gem!!!)

Trip's Auto Sales (Tows to Berryville where they are located) (540) 955-1367 (CT is very helpful, so is the owner...)

Dewey Towing (540) 955-8021 (I'm sorry to say that I didn't know that I can't give any information about them -- although I know some others got towed by Dewey)

So...why can't someone just take a moment to write down the cars' tags that are being towed (yes I'm talking to the towing companies about this), write down the phone number to get in touch with them to know where the car is towed to, and what the fee will be? There is that big posting board at the trail really rocket science to pull out a notepad and write it down and Oh, yes, I guess they do have carry tacks with them...assuming there is no County ordinance against carrying tacks in a vehicle :) Just a note on that board would have been a lot better than just trying to figure out who to call, what the numbers are, and where to go...

When in doubt, though...walk, or better, invite another hiker to go with you and buy them a brew at the Horseshoe Restaurant, and at least you can get some nice help from real people there...

Well that's it for the somewhat down side to the didn't ruin the whole hike, but I suffer a blister or two because I just didn't take the time I needed to navigate the plethora of stones, rocks and small boulders that are part and parcel to the Raven Rocks hike. Oh, and I guess the swollen knee after the hike wasn't that much fun either...but, again, it was all on me, because I didn't take the time to properly descend the trail as I had ascended it. Silly me.

Looking back on it, would I have wanted someone to tell me "oh, by the way, they're towing cars at the parking yours one of them, perhaps?" while still on the trail? hmm...let me think...uh, NO! I should have just put my hands over my ears and "Nananananana" until I was out of ear shot of nice as they were, the news didn't help any!

Ok, so the the summit...the awesome cliff where the view is nothing short of breathtaking...oh, and ok, trivia, I don't have the answer to this question but maybe someone know the answer...when you're at the cliff and you look a little to your left, you see that on the other mountain just below its ridge? Does anyone know who owns that beautiful place? What a view he/she/they must have!!!

The first run has a few more loose boulders than the last time I hiked it, so just be a bit more careful when crossing them. What else to report...well let's see...oh yes! Bear poop. Watch for it. I saw a couple signs of bear activity, and the owner of Horseshoe Restaurant confirmed that there has quite a bit of bear activity in the area...that and wild hog. So there you go...

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 24, 2014
Lovely day for a hike. I was expecting from previous reviews that this would be a difficult hike. It had moments where it was difficult with the ascents, but overall it was a moderate hike. For reference, we have a 2-year-old that did at least 1/3rd of the hike on foot. My 12-year-old thought it was a fun hike and enjoyed hopping from rock to rock along the trail. The dog was tired at the end, so I know he felt relieved to be heading home.

Trail head was difficult to find - was hoping for a sign along HWY 7 that told us it was approaching. The parking area was tight when we arrived and left - busy hiking location, but didn't feel that way on the trails.

Very rocky trail - I wish I had hiking boots, as my ankles were hurting by the end of the hike. My husband broke in his new boots and was grateful for the ankle support at the end of the hike. The view is beautiful and I look forward to doing this trail again in the fall. Next time, we will take a lunch along and enjoy the view longer.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 9, 2014
Really enjoyed this hike. Limited parking at the trail head. No real views in summer until you get to Raven Rock, but pretty forest walk all the same. Lots of ups and downs, but not super steep. Could be tough though if you're not in shape. A couple of small streams along the way where you can fill up - very little water flowing at this time of year. Some good camp sites along the way. The views from Raven Rock are really pretty - definitely worth the hike up. Would like to do this in fall.

Bonus - there's a little bar / restaurant about a quarter mile from the trail head on horseshoe road ... a welcome respite after a big day hiking!

By: Cathy Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 9, 2014
I arrived around 7:40 am on Saturday and there were 2 cars parked there already. Right after I parked, another car came. By the time I finished the hike at 11:30 the parking lot was already at full capacity, with 16 cars and 1 Harley Davidson. So go early.

The hike consists of several good ups and downs, pretty balanced. Rocks are almost at every step of the way, so I suggest wearing hiking shoes with good ankle support. I used walking stick, and so glad I brought it with me as it provided great support when ascending.

Basically it's walking in woods with 2 small water crossing which will not get your shoes wet (at least at summer time), and a rewarding view from the top.

Going up was quiet, however on the way back to the parking I met several groups of people going up. It was getting crowded pretty quickly.

I finished this trail in 2 hours 53 minutes. I was going pretty slow when the trail is going upward so I tried to catch up the time by walking rapidly in the section where the ground is flat. I'm 38 and in a pretty good shape.

By: aldikuma Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The inclines weren't as steep as I thought they would be, but the changing elevation makes for a great workout. This hike didn't hurt my knee, so I use that as a way to judge if it was tough or not! The difficulty should be more like a 2/3. I would rate the solitude a 1. I was surprised to see the trail so crowded for a Wednesday, but I guess it is summertime. Views from the Rocks are amazing. This would be a beautiful hike in late Fall.

By: BaileyAndHarl Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 29, 2014
This is a great hike but I don't really know how anyone could say this is good for beginners or novices.  Perhaps if you are young or in good shape, then maybe so.  But I'm 51 and my girlfriend is 45 and we have done a lot of other hikes recently.  And this one is definitely challenging.  What makes it more challenging are two things: 

1) The Ups and Downs - While the hikes we've done in MD are usually straight up to the rocks / views, this one makes you go down twice before the final ascent.  So, by the time you are done (including the reverse trip back of course) you have to do 5 ups and 5 downs.  So, it's just more work.

2) The Rocks - There are definitely a lot of rocks and a few sections that are basically rock gardens.  It's tough going in a couple of places if you're not used to dealing with so many rocks.

Overall, because we walked very slowly on some of the hills (up and down), it took us 5 hours with a 40 minute break on top.  It was a hot day, and we barely made it with the fluid we had as you could feel the dehydration setting in.  So make sure to bring LOTS of water if it is a hot day.  The view on top is gorgeous!  Not trying to discourage anyone from doing this hike as it really is a good one, but just be prepared for a challenge, especially if you are middle aged or older and aren't an expert.  It's definitely a great workout!

By: Matt T Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 29, 2014
Very nice hike!  Arrived at the trailhead around 7:00 am and didn't encounter anyone until the way down although there were a few other cars in the parking area.  I hiked/ran and was able to finish in 2 1/2 hours, including a 20 minute break up top to enjoy the views and have a snack.  On the way down I encountered about a half a dozen other hikers, and by 9:30 the parking area was completely full, so I recommend starting early.  The other plus is accessibility . . . the trail head literally comes up immediately after turning-off on to Route 279 off of 7. 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 20, 2014
Took our active 3 year old dog along for this on a mid-60s day. Reached the Raven Rocks overlook in about an hour and 20 minutes, then continued along the AT until we reached the blue-blazed Ridge to River Trail (maintained by Friends Wilderness) and headed west towards the Shenandoah. Called one of the numbers posted on their sign for permission to enter and did an out-and-back to a lovely river overlook at Rocky Branch. Added about 3.25 hours with a decent long climb out all in all, 6 hours and 20 minutes including two stops @ the Raven Rocks overlook, one at the overlook on the way up, and a couple of stops on the Ridge to River trail (including lunch). Beautiful views.

By: Bryan Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Amazing hike! Definitely one of the best views anywhere in the NOVA area. Don't be fooled into thinking that 5.5 miles is short. On this hike, it feels like FOREVER. There are 3 tough ascents and descents and the whole trail is covered in big rocks that really slow down your pace. Going too fast will easily leave with a twisted ankle or worse. Once you get to Raven Rocks, the views are spectacular. Another cool thing about this hike is that right before the final ascent up to Raven Rocks, there is a fairly large spring where you can fill up on water.

By: LC Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 22, 2014
If you're just getting into hiking (like me) make sure you check the elevation profile - it is up and down and tougher going than you'd expect. Now, there was a lot of snow on the back side of each hill, so that certainly added quite a level of difficulty that we weren't expecting - this would be an easier hike in the summer for sure. That said, the overlook is fantastic, and this is a nice workout.

By: Rachel Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 19, 2014
A great weekend hike! I decided to head out to Raven Rocks around noon on one of the nicer weekends in January. There were about 15 people on the trail that I passed, about 5 groups in total. As a beginner to hiking on the AT, I would say this trail is pretty good for those looking for a challenge. With two streams in total and about 3 mountains, this hike is great for a morning or afternoon in nature. The first half of the trail, about halfway through the two streams, was fairly easy. The last two mountains were a workout, mostly because of the large amounts of rock. I had a tougher time going down that up due to a thin layer of snow on the rocks. As for kids, this is a place I would not bring anyone under the age of 7 or 8 to, assuming previous hiking experience. The view was way more than I bargained for- with a 180 degrees view of the canyon and fields beyond. I took about 4 hours in total, including a 30 minute break at the top, at a slow to moderate pace. As everyone else has stated, don't park on the side of the street because they do tow. I would definitely recommend hiking shoes with a good ankle support, the rocky descents gave me a couple near trips.

By: Fannie Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Great hike! And very accurate directions. Went on a Saturday to see the fall colours-- the view did not disappoint. The hills and few scrambles are tough, but well worth the rest at the end. Ran into a lot of people at the beginning of trail, crossing over the creek bed and of course at the top. But the in-betweens were very nice! The only complaint is that parking was very tough... Not very many spaces. Saw the comments about towing and did not want to chance it... We ended up finding a spot, but saw a sign posted on the bulletin board at the trail head that said the antique store a little ways down the road is hiker friendly. Wouldn't have seen it had we not been looking though, it is a small house. Enjoy this beautiful and invigorating hike!

By: Melissa Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 20, 2013
I have hiked this many times, and I enjoy it more each time. I live just down the mountain so its really easy for me to get to (even as a last minute decision that I needed some exercise at 4pm today). This is a moderately strenuous hike if you are a novice, however if you are physically active you can knock this out in less than the time suggested (unless you spend a long time at the rocks). Although rocky, the trail is always cleared and very rarely do I see trash from other people. This is something that keeps me coming back to a hike. Two weeks ago when I hiked/ran it I completed it in 1:50 which included a very short break at the rocks. Today I finished in 1:30!! I hope to keep up this pace in my future jaunts up this beautiful section of the mountain. Keep the balance!

By: Angi Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 13, 2013
I got towed :( My fault clearly there are "no parking" signs but I thought, it's really not hurting anything to just pull off here. So, word of warning, they really do tow.

Hike was a nice walk in the woods. We didn't go all the way because we were schedule challenged, but the few glimpses of elevation we saw were nice!

By: Mike C Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Hike was ok, but not what i'd call great. It took us about 3 hours total, including a 20 minute lunch break at the cliffs. I guess due to the cooler nights and warm day, the cliff site was literally crawling with stink bugs. While they don't bite but just buzz around, we really couldn't stay there very long and retreated down the trail a bit to have our lunch.

As for crowding, even though it was a weekday, we still ran into 3 groups of people. The parking was a little tight too as there is only room for about 4 cars.

There is one section where the trail can be a little hard to follow through a creek crossing. Just be sure to not get distracted by the blue blazes.

Overall, a good workout - but not near as scenic as other hikes around here with similar scenic ratings.

By: Kelly Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, September 2, 2013
Really enjoyed this hike! The hills definitely got our hearts racing and the view was great. There were a few people on the trail, but definitely not too many. We went on a beautiful labor day, so a lot of people were probably either out of town or preparing for the start of the school year. Parking can be difficult, but we luckily found a spot right at the trail head.  Took us right around 2.5 hours with a 15 minute stop at the top and a couple water breaks here and there.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 8, 2013
Very easy to get to. Awesome hike. If you are a beginner, this would be a great test for you to see if you are ready to try much more difficult hikes. The view at the top is well worth the hike.

I feel like the hiking time mentioned is a little off. I took my time and stayed at the top talking to some rock climbers for about 20 minutes, finished in 2 hours 20 minutes. I consider myself an avid hiker, but could see the average hiker completing this in far less than 4 hours.

I would like to also mention how beautiful the forest is along this hike. The forest changes in an instant... going from quiet, dark green, damp, moss covered rocks to dry, windy, and alive with noises from every insect in the book. I saw about 5 other groups, a few through hikers that definitely will not make it to Katahdin in time.

Overall a great hike to do by yourself when you have free time to enjoy nature!!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 7, 2013
It was in the 90's today and humid as we hiked this trail under a nice canopy of trees.  The only good views were from the Raven Rocks - very nice and worth the hike.  The first view from the first hilltop was obscured by summer growth.  Was saddened to see the West Virginia sign totally missing and parts of the Virginia sign chewed off.  The spring at Raven Rock Creek was very cold and refreshing (external splashes only) and helped cool us down from the natural sauna of the day.  We enjoyed hiking down to the base of the rocks and looking up as well as looking at the multi-color lichen on the rocks.  Round trip took about 3:45 with lots of stops to stay cool and hydrated. 

By: Brian Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 27, 2013
Really nice hike with a couple steep inclines to get your heart pumping. The view at Raven Rocks is excellent.

Note about parking – there is not much parking at the trail head and they are very aggressive about towing here. Lucky for me as I was about to park in a spot that was questionable, a local drove by and said the state troopers drive by all day long on their way to eat. She advised me of a parking lot a quarter mile away. Take a left on Rte 7 and then your 1st right (paved road) on your way up the hill and there is a parking lot (can’t see from the road, drive up the service road).

By: LeoraR Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 3, 2013
I recommend this as a good morning hike, and probably an excellent hike for newbies. It's close to DC, quiet, well-marked, and has a lovely view of the Shenandoah valley. There are a couple decent climbs that will make you break a sweat, but generally it's gentle. I began at 9 and only saw a couple people, but it was noticeably more crowded when I was finishing. It shouldn't take more than 3 hours unless you dawdle - I was back in the city in time for Sunday brunch.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Chilly and windy day.  We'd only done this hike once before in the early summer and got a super late start. Hiking Upward lists this hike at about 4 hours and I'd say that's a good average depending on your speed and abilities. Fearing a return in the dusk we kept a pretty relentless pace and finished this out and back in 2 hours and 35 minutes. Not a lot of time to sight-see but still a nice trip through the woods. Windy and cold depending on where you were on the mountain. After spending a few minutes at the peak taking in the view we headed back. Good hike for those trying to get out of the city without the time to reach Shenandoah, will definitely be back!

By: Hans ( und Heidi ) Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, January 8, 2013
For January the day was warm and in the 50 degrees area. There was some snow about and on the trail here and there. We found the hike to be pleasant with just enough grade variation to make for a good 4 hour workout. The woodlands and terrain are nice and not "junky" here. The view from the rock outcrops was very distant but not widely panoramic, still beautiful by any measures. A special thing happened of note. Heidi had dropped her cell phone on the trail and some very nice young people made a great effort to contact me and returned the lost phone soon thereafter while we were still hiking. They saved the day and a whole lot more potential anguishes.

By: Trevor Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 16, 2012
For seasoned hikers, this was a perfect choice for a day hike.  Just enough difficulty to tease your interest in hiking some more without being so demanding that it makes you want to sit and rest.  The view at the 'top,' really just an amazing vista situated along a ridge on the AT, is worth every bit of the hike.  We didn't plan on visiting another state, but after overlooking the West Virginia border on the map, it was a welcome surprise just beneath the Raven Rocks.  Grab your lunch and your pup and you've got the recipe for a great afternoon!

By: Christian Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 1, 2012
Used this trail to break in my new trekking poles and boy did they come in handy. I'd read descriptions that this was a rocky trail and it did not disappoint. Proper footwear (i.e. boots with ankle support) helped a lot too. Even though I got to the trail head really early (6:30am) I still ran into a total of about 17 other hikers. Fortunately that was mostly on my way back down from the rocks, which I had peacefully to myself for about 20 minutes. Views were nice from the top and the ascents offer a decent workout. I'd come back again in the fall/winter when the views open up more.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 24, 2012
I liked this hike. I got a great workout and a fantastic view at the top. It was on a Sunday Morning. I started at 0815 and finished at 1200. I met 12 people on the way up and 18 people on the way back. I still felt the solitude of the the woods and me.

I enjoyed the bird sounds and of course the Ravens.

There were a number of places along the way where it would have been nice to just spend time and enjoy the harmony of rocks, stones, fern fields, trees, and more.

My sound meter app on the phone measured 40 decibels at the top (typical of most overlooks). At the parking lot near Rte 7, it was 59-68 decibels. The lowest reading I've ever recorded is 37 decibels. The breeze at the overlook may have accounted for some of the sound.

I'm writing this review about 30 hours after I returned to my car in the parking lot.  I'm still sore.  It feels good.  I've recommended this hike to others. I plan to hike it again sometime.

By: Larry P Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 3, 2012
We started out about 9:30 and reached Raven Rocks by 11:00. The terrain profile was accurate, and overall this was a good workout. The weather was fantastic, so we really enjoyed ourselves. We will probably come back after the leaves are down in the fall, since I think many of the views were obscured.

By: Andrew Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, May 25, 2012
This hike was pretty good if you are looking for a physical challenge.  I consider myself a regularly active person and I must say with the constant elevation changes and rocky ground it was a great work out.  Since its late spring alot of the view points along the way were blocked by leaves so I would say if you are looking for those do this hike early spring, or late fall.  Wearing sturdy shoes with ankle support is a must!  Lots of rocks to walk over.  The final view is very nice however and I enjoyed the break at the top.

By: Kylena Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 13, 2012
I started this hike a few weeks ago but cut it short due to a thunderstorm. The wait was worth it! Today was just beautiful and since I started early the only other people I saw on the trail were with a boy scout group. Fun ups and downs, rewarded with a gorgeous view at the rocks. Oh...and my dog liked it too :D!

By: Waldo and friend. Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 8, 2012
Great hike and not as strenuous as I had thought given the profile. Watching the ravens soaring over their rocks was wonderful. We took the slow way back, via Middleburg, stopping for beer at an outdoor cafe. Thanks to reviewers for the tip about parking. Arrive early!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 1, 2012
It was a great, quiet hike. The afternoon was a great time to hike, for both the spring temperature and for minimal hikers, and when we were done we were able to make it to a nearby winery before they closed at 6pm. The hike itself was a little monotonous, but the view from the top was great-- and a great spot for lunch-- though it can get pretty windy up there. We had a greyhound with us, and she had no problem navigating the rocky parts of the trail.

They are still towing according to the Sheriff the tiny lot (5 or 6 spots?) is fine, but the somewhat arbitrary line of the roadside is not.

By: DRF Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 4, 2012
good, short hike with rocky terrain, and a decent set of hill and dales to keep things interesting.

Caution: do NOT park along the sides of rte 679.  Carke Cty Sheriff's Department has begun towing. 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 4, 2012

My hiking buddy and I arrived at the Hiking Upward GPS coordinates at 10 AM today to find a packed parking lot.  The small parking lot is right next to the trailhead.  Although we saw the "Do Not Park" signs, we decided to park there, thinking it's a country road and the traffic is probably at a minimum (we live in Washington DC so we know what bad traffic is).  Some of the vehicles were sticking out in the road, but driving a compact car we were able to park completely on the grass next to the road. 

The hike itself is a pretty good workout.  If you're in good physical condition, you will have no problem with this hike.  In fact, I really enjoyed the ups and downs and streams but I hike on a pretty regular basis.  I would rate it a 2 in difficulty and yes it is rocky, but if you're an avid hiker it shouldn't be a problem (just be careful).  My hiking partner and I made it up in less than 90 minutes stopping at Raven Rocks for lunch.  We spent about 20 minutes having lunch before heading back down.  While hiking down someone running up calls out, "the Sheriff is in the parking lot towing people."  We made it down in an hour but it was too late my car was towed.  In fact, there were three Sheriff cars and several police officers.  They contacted several tow companies in the area and had all the cars towed pretty quickly (others got ticketed).  They had to have towed maybe 10 or so cars even those of us who were not blocking the road....they mean business!  Luckily, one cop drove us to the tow lot and they charged $140 to get our car out....DO NOT PARK ON ROUTE 679!  Unless you want to pay $140 to get your car back.

By: eric Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 26, 2012
I just started to get back into hiking. I am going out to AZ in May and wanted to get back into it. I must say that, although this was a short hike it was a killer after not hiking for over 10 years. The trails are pretty well marked and easy to follow in most parts. The grades on the first three hills up to Raven Point reminds your thighs of the pass real quick. Also don't pack heavy if you don't need to. Two of the three point at are good for photography and a view now have an obscured view due to tree growth. But the view from the Point is georgous. I don't recommend this hike to anyone who hasn't hike in a long time unless you are just taking you time and doing at a leisurely pace. For everone else is, it is a great short hike that I do plan on doing again. My friends over active 7 pound dog went with us. This dog never relaxes in the car. Passed out this time without one whine. Hope this helps

By: Robert Barefoot Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 19, 2012
Raven Rocks overall was a great hike. As part of the Appalachian Trail, the path itself was well defined and gorgeous. Along the way, there were plenty of creek beds to stop and look at, as well as some fairly unique foliage, despite it still being winter. I found the summit a bit dissatisfying, however. It was littered with trash, and the views were a little less than promised. Although, we did get to watch a wildfire from the top of the rocks.

By: Kevin Gunn Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 12, 2012
Great hike but you need to be in shape. the constant up and down is a bit challenging but the views are worth it. only saw 2 other people hiking the entire day! very quiet and peacefull

By: Sienna Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Made sure to go on a weekday so it wasn't busy, only came across one other hiker, so plus on the solitude there. The trail itself was pretty cool, so many things to distract you on the way up :) The views were awesome (being dead winter you could see forever), but I can def see how some of the panorama could be blocked in the spring. Overall a pretty cool place!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 23, 2011
This is a great hike that's close to Northern Virginia.  I tend to love hikes that have dramatic views (with bonus points awarded to stream crossings).  This hike had both and did make me sweat, despite being in good shape.  I keep very active and I pushed to complete it in 2.5 hours with 20 mins at the top to snack.  Better views this time of year due to the lack of foliage which gives great sneak peeks as you're on your way up.  I ran into only one other hiker as the weather was cool and slightly windy.  Wear something to protect from the wind and have at it.

If I had to hike this when the trail was crowded, it would probably be a three star, or slightly under, hike.  I like my solitude.

By: Greg Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 18, 2011
Not as challenging as I thought it would be and very crowded.  Not a good hike for solitude even in the middle of December.  Beautiful view even though it was a bit hazy the day of the hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 23, 2011
Overall a good workout If you like hiking in a mall when shoes are on sale. Lol way to many hikers on this Sunday one ok view at the top with way to many people hanging around to enjoy a nice quite lunch. Not a hard climb or hike at all

By: Janae Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, October 10, 2011
Wasn't too hard and beautiful view at the top with the red leaves still on the trees, but TONS of stink bugs at the top view from the rock, so we couldn't even sit and enjoy our lunch at the top. They wouldn't stop flying into us. Had to hike back into the forest to get away from the stink bugs, otherwise would have eaten one accidentally. It was beautiful even on the trail because of the leaves changing colors, tons of red and orange this week. Otherwise the majority of the trail might have been boring.

By: Diane Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Great hike--easy to find, easy to follow, very quiet on a weekday. We loved the woods and streams and, of course, the payoff at the lunch spot: great view of the Shenandoah Valley and the nearby rock outcrops. At this time of year, there are still too many leaves on the trees to allow a clear view of the Winchester Valley from the second ridge. Still, well worth doing. If you're moderately fit, as we are, you'll manage this hike in the estimated time, and you'll be pleasantly tired by the end of it. And yes, it IS rocky.

By: Drew Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 11, 2011
It is a great hike. You have to focus on footing the entire way. If you loose focus you will need an appointment with the dentist. If you are a desk jockey, this hike will be quite strenuous.

By: JV Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 28, 2011
Hiked it the day after Hurricane Irene swept through the area.  It was a good thing it is so rocky as the rain had little impact on trail quality.  Beautiful veiws from Raven Rocks themselves- an excellent spot to have lunch and look at the valley.  Be careful as in a couple of places its easy to follow the rocks and miss the trail blazes.  Nice moderate difficulty level day hike.

By: WV Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Nice trail with a great view, there is no more rock on this trail than there is on other trails in the area unless you stay in state parks. This is my 7th midweek hike in the last 4 weeks and the first midweek hike that I have saw other hikers on the trail, probably due to the cooler weather this week and the easy access to the trail head. I noticed one unmarked trail crossing and one blue blazed trail crossing not sure if there is a way to make this a loop or lasso hike.

By: Pete Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 18, 2011
This trail has got to have the most rocks per square foot of any trail ive seen. Raven rocks itself is nice, but the trail is largely boring. You are in the trees the whole time, and you can't even look around because if you did you would fall on your face in about 3 seconds. This hike would be good for someone looking to work on their endurance. There are 3 notable hills that you have to do twice, but the largest upward inclines are at the end of the out portion of the hike right before Raven Rocks, and at the end of the back portion shortly before you get to your car. There was plenty of solitude. I ran into 2 small groups of people. I probably will not hike this one again... Too Many ROCKS!

By: David Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 7, 2011
This trail is fairly tough with three tricky vertical climbs. I trail run and loved this trail. It requires constant attention to navigate the very technical rock scatter. It was over 90 degrees the day I visited the trail, and I didn't see another person the entire way.

By: Jayne Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 17, 2011
I absolutely love this hike! It has ups and downs, streams and shade throughout the trail this time of year. The top is why the sweat is worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude and beauty.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, June 27, 2011
I'm not 100% sure but I think this is also called Crescent Rock.  I've compared my trail maps from Bears Den and they are identical.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.  Either way it was a great day hike, challenging at times but the view was worth the hike.  We brought our labs with us that day, they made it through but it's not a very dog friendly trail.

By: Tracy Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 4, 2011
This hike is really lovely at this time of year... tons of mountain laurel in bloom, lots of honeysuckle and many many butterflies. The view from Raven Rocks is wonderful, and the hike is nicely strenuous. I'm not a regular hiker and not in the best shape, so I enjoyed the workout (my legs are still sore)! Four hours is a pretty generous time estimate for this one... I was done in three, not counting my lunch break and stop at the summit, s well as a couple other photo ops. The stream makes a nice quiet shady spot for lunch... I headed upstream about a hundred yards and perched on a fallen tree.

The only issue I have with this hike is, sadly, its popularity. It was a gorgeous day and I was certainly not the only one in the area with the idea to go hiking, so several times I'd be stuck listening to other people chatter... not a big deal, but I usually prefer some solitude with my hikes. It was cool to meet a couple AT thru-hikers along the way, though!

By: wazootraveller Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 20, 2011
Not a bad hike in terms of aerobic workout -- lots of ups and downs -- and vista was pretty good.  Rocky terrain got a bit tiring after a while.  And many, many people on the trail today.  Still no blossoms or buds on trees -- would probably look better later in Spring.  Easy to find trailhead, and very convenient to DC.

By: TMP Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 31, 2010
It was my first hike here, and overall I was pretty pleased with it.  It's very rocky in many spots and I just could not believe the number of people I saw hiking without poles and or water.  Also, I would suggest maybe have more trees blazed, as many parts of the trail cross over large areas of rocky areas where the term "trail" should be used loosely.    However, the views make it well worth it.  

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 3, 2010
A nice, short hike. Definitely appreciated the caution about the rocky trail. The view was pretty impressive. When I got to the 'summit,' I slung my hammock up to enjoy a peaceful lunch and the cooler autumn weather. I would have stayed there longer, but a massive swarm of Stink Bugs convinced me it was time to hit the road. What jerks.

I look forward to coming back to see the view during winter.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 3, 2010
Went for a late afternoon hike and found it to be very pleasant. I had some worries going into the hike about the rocky terrain and wasn't sure what to expect. The rocky terrain definitely did lend to wearing tough shoes. It's a kind of rocky that causes a lot of toe stubbing, and walking along sharp edges of stuck rocks rather than a loose scree type of rocky. So wear your boots if you got them! My hiking partner did manage just fine in her sneakers.

Overall it was a very nice hike. The elevation profile looked very intimidating but turned out to be very nicely balanced. The tough climbs are long enough to get your heart rate up but are short enough that you get a reprieve of flat or down hill terrain just when you need it. The first view was pretty heavily obscured by leaves but the view from Ravens Rock was fantastic and worth the journey there. We've recently had some heavy rains but the two stream crossings were non-issues. The first run had a bit of a muddy quality to it but delicate steps kept boot bottoms mud free.

A gentle hike with a rewarding view relatively close to the city? I didn't think it was possible but this hike hits the spot for those lazy Sundays where you want to get outside but maybe not be out all day. I look forward to doing this again later for good leaf views.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 1, 2010
Hiked this by myself: started at 7am and got back to the car at 9:45am, which includes 45 mins sitting at the top.  It was a great morning for a hike with temps in the high 60s, low 70s, and at that hour, I didn't see any other hikers until I was on my way back down.  The trail is definitely rocky so make sure to wear good shoes with good soles - my running shoes are a bit worn out so at the end I started to feel it. 

The best part of this hike is indeed the "summit".  After the last ascent, you come to a nice open area with flat rocks and amazing views of West Virginia.  There was a nice breeze and I ended up reading a book on the rocks for 30 minutes.  (Since the views face west, I'm sure it would be a good sunset hike, too.)

By: Sona Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, May 20, 2010
Great day w/ temps in the 70's. Nice day hike w/ my girlfriend.

By: Leesburg Bob Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 15, 2010
Great hike.  70 degree, sunny day brought out many other hikers.  Mt. Laurel was in bloom.  Trail is in very good shape

By: Jeffrey Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Raven Rocks is a great place for an easy winter hike, especially in the snow! Mostly flat, few technical sections, well-marked, and just the right distance. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly last weekend and were very clearly (no boot/ski tracks) the only ones there...okay, maybe a deer or two.

By: R.W. Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 6, 2009
I did this hike a day after it snowed several inches.  The trail is blazed very well and fortunately there were several other hikers whose footsteps I could follow.  I think this is a great short hike that you can do without having to be up early in the morning.  With several accents and descents this is a great hike if you are looking for exercise.  The view from the top is very cool as well.  Without the packed snow I think this trail would have been more challenging because it is rocky.  I would like to do this hike in the spring or early fall. 

By: sleepingmushroom Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 3, 2009
This was a really nice shorter hike with much variation to and from the top. There were several steep inclines and two overlooks (the last the biggest). One note to mention was that the trail splits at one point to a blue and white trail and there was no signage to stay on white. We saw lots of dogs and people of all ages. Lots of squash bugs on the rocks.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 26, 2009
Awesome hike! Slightly moderate ups and downs. Views from the overlook were far, all the way to front royal! Not too many people, maybe 8 the whole hike. Be prepared for a rocky trail, stones slippery from rain the night before, but all around great hike! Would definitely do it again when leaves are changing.

By: Alex Szczybor Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 5, 2009
This is one of the better hikes I have done.  It took me just over three hours to do, but I did not stop long for eating or drinking.

As most of the hike is in the woods, it is fairly cool.  I did not have to use sunscreen.

It has a lot of ups and downs and no bridge crossings of rivers. 

I chose to do it very early on a Saturday on labor day weekend.  I only saw three other hikers, all on the way back.

If you want to be (mostly) alone, this is a hike to do.

By: Steven Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 3, 2009
This was my first time at Raven Rocks and I have to admit it was a really nice hike. Though hikers may not cover a great deal of mileage, the hike is very bumpy and nearly the entire duration of the hike is "up-and-down." The view from the top was crystal clear and there were many scenic points that offered good views. All in all, it is a good hike, though there needs to be more parking available!

By: Suz Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 16, 2008

Great place for a late fall hike. Lots of leaves on the ground make it a little bit slippery, but still enjoyable. The dog only had trouble with a few of the rock crossings. When we arrived around noon, there was plenty of parking. Took us about 3 hrs 45 min to complete at a leisurely pace. Would like to come back in spring.

By: Zanne Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 2, 2008
I rated this a great hike for a couple of reasons.  As previously mentioned, living in Sterling and finding a hike where you feel like you're AWAY from the world is GREAT in itself.  The view was spectacular with the autumn leaves and well worth anyone taking the hike.  Lots of rocks so yes, wear good ankle support if you can.  Did the hike in 3 hours which included lunch so it's very do-able on an afternoon with time to spare!

By: WyEast Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 2, 2008
I hiked this on what must have been the best day for foliage of the year, so the view from the Rocks was gorgeous. I got a late start and hit the trail head around 9:30. But I only saw a group of 3 plus dog on the way up. I had the overlook to myself for a nice lunch break. The way down, though, I must have passed at least 30 people, and the crowdedness is why I give the hike only 3 stars, despite the nice view. It was a good workout, and an easy quick hike. The multiple ascent/descents made the hike pretty fun and varied. There was a fair bit of trash at the overlook that had fallen down between the rocks. Please be courteous and pack out your trash!

By: Jeff Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 26, 2008

The description is quite accurate, I had a pretty large group on this hike with people of varying abilities, but our actual hiking time was just under four hours, with extra thrown in for lunch on the beautiful overlook.

The trail was easy to keep and wasn't strenuous, although those with no experience may have difficulty with some of the rises and need to rest. The overlook is right after the state line and impossible to miss, it's pretty much as advertised. Take a camera and boots.

By: Bradley Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 11, 2008
I live in Sterling, so the drive was relatively short for me, which was nice.  The view at the top was pretty.  Not a very busy trail.  The parking lot at the start of the trail is very small (only a few number of cars can actually park there).  We were fortunate enough to get their earlier enough to get a spot.  If you take the road down further there is a restaurant on the left.  It was closed when we got there Saturday morning.  I'm not sure if they would allow you to park there or not.  The trail is rocky, but shouldn't be a problem for anyone.    I would consider this a good, fun, challenging family hike.  (Make sure you bring water to carry).  I carried a backpack so I had some extra weight on me (I brought lunch, blanket, sleeping bag and pillows with me)- the next day my calves and stomach muscles were sore :)  It was a good hike all around.  Needless to say, I would go back. 

By: Meesh Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wonderful hike--took 1.25 hours to make it to the top at a steady, brisk pace with no stops. Started at 5:45am and there were already several cars in the parking lot. Breakfast at the top and some exploration of the surrounding rock formations. Great views on a clear day & good photo op. Passed quite a few hikers and groups headed up on our way down so recommend an early start to avoid people. No problem with parking/car safety. Recommend this one.

By: ricenpeas Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 11, 2008

Given the recent posts here about cars getting vandalized at the parking area for this hike, I put my car in the Bears Den lot up the hill on the other side of Rt. 7 (the parking lot for the Buzzard Hill hike, also listed on this site) and all was well.  I saw two cars in the Raven Rocks lot (one a Benz!) and when I came back down about 2 hours later both still seemed to be in good shape, so hopefully that spat of vandalization is over.  Thanks to the others for posting about this.

The hike itself was very rainy and windy, with this storm settling over us for the past few days.  The trail was in fine shape though and the streams were flowing heavy.  Didn't stay up at the Rocks for very long though, with the wind cutting right through my clothes and making it not that enjoyable this time around.  But eerie, cool skies and the great mid-atlantic green carpetting over the hills and valleys.  A great viewpoint.  Overall a nice hike along the AT, and a lot easier then the Buzzard Hill hike going the other direction from the same gap (that one always kicks my butt for some reason).

Btw, the Raven Rocks hike is not listed on the main page left side listing, under either VA or WV.  Just an FYI.

By: Ben & Delilah Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 2, 2008


Loved the hike as our son was down for Spring Break and we took the dogs for a hike as well..  This is our 2nd time there and we were sad and disappointed when we saw that our vehicle had been vandalised.  The cops' state they know about this but nothing has been posted to alert future hikers of this.

By: Michael Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 2, 2008
I found the actual trail to be excellent. The entire trail (going out and back) took me a little over 3 hours which included about 30 minutes of resting. The views were spectacular and I found the trail to be challenging since I'm still trying to get back into shape. Just be careful with all the rocks because it is rightly named.

The only downside, and it's a biggie, was that 3 cars were broken into at the Pine Grove parking lot. From talking with one of the victims they said it wasn't the first time either. Be very careful with your vehicle.

By: Joe Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 1, 2008
Great hike with 2 moderate views of Winchester along the way. Just a word to the wise - there have apparently been a lot of car break-ins in the small lot off Rte. 7. There is a couple of spots with broken car glass, so I think the warning is true. I was advised to park at a restaurant just down the road a ways. It's not far from the trailhead and I don't think the people at the place mind.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, November 12, 2007
Very enjoyable hike, particularly if you don't have an entire day to go out to the SNP.  My buddy and I made it out to the rocks in 1 hour and 15 minutes, although there were two very fit climbers with packs that beat us by at least 15 minutes.   We took a 10 minute break at the rocks, and made it back in 1 hour and 20 minutes.  The trail head is only about 20 minutes west of Leesburg.  It's a great workout with all the ups and downs.  There are really no level stretches on this hike.  Heed the warnings - this is a very rocky section of trail, so I wouldn't recommend it for the little ones.  And wear a good pair of boots.  The views from the rocks are beautiful, although they are not as dramatic as the kinds of views you see up in the higher elevations of the SNP and GWNF.  After this hike, I very much look forward to doing the Buzzard Rocks trail next.

By: Dave Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 27, 2007
Great trail, and wonderful views. As was mentioned by several other people, the trail is very rocky and rough on the feet. It took me an hour to get out to the rocks and an hour to get back. The four hours listed here is very conservative. There are a few hills, and I averaged about 10 meters/minute ascending and descending. I encountered three other hikers and four trail runners while on the hike, but only briefly. My one complaint is that there was someone on a dirtbike riding nearby and I had to listen to that for the majority of my hike out to the rocks. Other than that, it was a great afternoon of hiking!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 7, 2007
I took my boy's 10 and 6 on this hike. It was our first time on the AT. Wow, it was a great hike. A lot harder than I thought it would be and my boys did really good on this hike. We didn't make it all the way but got three hours of hiking in. I mountian bike so I thought this would be no big deal on my legs. I was wrong, what a great work out!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 21, 2007
This review is coming from a novice hiker who walks alot, but still needs to lose a few pounds.    I arrived at the trailhead around 12:30pm and the lot was pretty full, although I managed to find a spot to park my truck.  To say that this hike is rocky is an understatement.  There are places on the trail where it is nothing but rocks and you're walking from one rock to the next without touching dirt.  I found the ascents to be very challenging to my heart and lungs and my legs started to tighten up toward the end of the hike.  The view at the top was well worth the effort and the two overlooks along the way are nice little rewards to keep you going.  Even though there were a lot of cars in the lot, I must have passed most of them on the way up because I was the only one at the top (except for some rock climbers).  The trail was very well maintained and when I wasn't totally sure where the trail went, the AT marked trees guided me.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 17, 2007

It was a beautiful day for a hike.  And this little out and back hike was just great.  It has some nice elevation changes and a couple very nice lookouts, one being Raven Rocks.  It only took me 1 hour to hike there and 1 back with 20 minutes to stop and enjoy the scenery.  I ran into 2 other hikers, both thru-hikers.

It's a very rocky trail so sturdy footwear is advised.  My Lowa Tempest Lo shoes were perfect.

Overall, it was a very nice little walk in the woods.  I would recommend it.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 20, 2007

All-in-all this is a very nice hike for the distance vs. rewards value (I would actually grade it at 3.5 stars). There are a couple of very nice views offered in the short 5.5 miles.

The out-and-back hike I did was: I started at Bear's Den and continued through the Devils Racetrack and and made my way close to Blackburn Hut (round trip was about 13 miles). I just wanted to log some extra miles that day. Total trip time for me was 5.5 hours. I will concur with some of the other reviewers in that good boots are a good thing to have on this very rocky trail (unless of course you have iron feet).

The day I hiked, it was very overcast with the threat of rain (it just started to drizzle a bit right at the end of the hike) with temps in the low 70s although that didn't stop the 4 rock climbers at Raven Rocks. It was nice to take a short break to watch them do their thing.

The other kinda neat thing is that when you are doing this hike is you get to cross the state line into West Virginia. The mile maker sign also reflects just how much distance there is in Virginia on the AT.

By: Kris Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 21, 2007
With limited time due to a late start, I headed out to do this out and back since it is close enough to home. I have done this hike a few times now. It is always a good little workout and a coupe of nice views can be had. Weather was in the upper 70's and crystal clear blue skies. There were a fair number of people parked at the trail head, but encounters were not overwhelming. As always, this is a pretty rocky hike in places, and the soles of feet are pretty sore after this one. Leaf cover is increasing, but the views are still easy to find. The ascents are rigorous, but short lived. Streams offer a  nice refreshing splash, and ice cold refreshment if you have a filtration system.  The last 1/2 to 3/4 mile to Raven Rocks appears to have been recently maintained and is in excellent shape. The rest of the trail is also in very good condition and well marked.  There are a couple of minor obstacles to negotiate.  I enjoyed a nice lunch on raven Rocks ( Vienna sausages and mandarin orange jello cups. Mmmm) and took a catnap. Rock climbers were also at the cliffs having a blast.  Earlier views on the hike will become more obscured with leaves as the Summer approaches, otherwise, I would rate this a five. It is a good training hike. I did the whole hike, including lounging at Raven Rocks for a 1/2 hour, in 3 and 1/2 hours.

By: Jay Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, March 23, 2007

nice hike..I had done about 3/4 of this hike before, but this time I went another mile or so up the trail after Raven Rocks, giving me and my wife a total hike of a bit over 7miles.  At least 2 steep areas along the way, and tons of white quartz on the trail, and the surrounding areas.  Saw numerous deer, and 3 good overlooks on the way.With it being a weekday, I only say one other hikers, and that was on my way back. Nice hike, and I love the AT.  Hope to go further the next time, maybe starting from a small lot near RR.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, February 19, 2007
Just hiked this after the recent snow.  The day was clear, sunny, and cold (28 degrees).  The mountain was covered in snow and a layer of ice which made for a very challenging and fun hike uphill and downhill.  The white snow and cold air created a beautiful atmosphere of solitude.  I had the entire trail to myself, except for the footprints of those who passed by a few days ago, and lots of animal tracks.  The switchbacks were particularly dangerous.  Thanks to whomever stomped some good footholds into the ice!  I squatted down on my haunches and did a little "skiing" down the longer downhill stretches.  Great views through the trees along the trail and at Raven Rocks.  Highly recommended winter hike, especially after a little snowfall!

By: Charlie T Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 17, 2007
Discovered on this very website by a hiking buddy, we scheduled a visit to Raven Rocks before snow was in the forecast.  Not ones to shy a way from a little weather, we agreed to go inspite of the hardpack ice-like snow cover that mother nature chose to leave in place.  Our group of four had a blast.  While the slick conditions added to the overall solitude and challenge, we enjoyed the steady views to our west into the valley which are likely invisible for the most part when the leaves are up.  The rolling terrain kept things interesting; avoiding the all too common march to the top of a "hill".  As such, the payoffs are many and the distance just right for a winter hike.  Add to that, the trail's location just west of Leesburg makes access an absolute breeze!  We all hail from Columbia, MD so the extra hour we save from our nornal Shenandoah drive was a real plus.  Rocky varied terrain, pristine forest cover and a great location all add up to a trip weel worth it. 

By: Scot Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, December 9, 2006
Great training hike! I second the notion about the need for real hiking boots, though... lots of rocks, and I twisted my ankle on more than one occasion. Though there was little on the day I went through, I would guess that in rainier season, and/or, in winter, after snow melts, the low points can be pretty muddy---or, perhaps, even, flat-out wet---despite a thick layer of rocks on top of he stream (it was arguably an underground stream). Take a camera, some lunch, and plan to sit atop the rocks for at least 20min.

By: bmoregal Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 13, 2006
A great, challenging day hike with a view worth the effort. If you're an experienced/speedy hiker, you can do this in less time than indicated. I was in and out in 3 hours with lots (about 45 minutes) of rest time (which you need on some of those ascents.) Just a note- I found myself wishing I'd worn my more sturdy hiking boots (I chose my softer, low rise hiking shoes). Much of the terrain is rocky, and it's helpful to have more ankle support and sturdy soles. All in all, a beautiful day!

By: HikerMom Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 21, 2006
This is the hike that made me wish for dual trekking poles instead of the single walking staff I usually carry. With all the rocks it was definitely wobbly going down with just one pole, and going up I kept switching arms to even out the pain. It was a gorgeous day for hiking and quite a few people thought so too; I passed five or six groups of hikers out and back. The view at Raven Rocks doesn't disappoint. It was a cloudy day but regular breaks in the clouds would let shafts of orange light kiss the hillside and valley. There is a trail sign marking the state line between Virginia and West Virginia, and for some reason, I found that really amusing. This is a nice short hike for keeping in shape during the winter.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 10, 2005
My buddy and I took in this day hike in mid August, during some really humid conditions. I have been out to Raven Rocks several times over the years with Boy Scouts, and my family. Although it has been about 6 or 7 years since I have made the trek, not much has changed. The terrain was how I remembered, but the last climb to the overlook was much harder than I expeceted. It was definatly a workout, and I must stress it is not a hike for the novice as the way back can put a hurtin' on you. It took us 3 hours to make the whole round trip with a 30 minute break at the cliffs. We had a very brisk pace, which I regreat as it did cause some jelliness in the legs. I would think that at a normal pace it would be around a 4 hour hike. The views were immaculate, and I was very touched by the remnance of the fire that engulfed the cliff a few years back. It is amazing how the forest can rebuild itself from such a devistating mistake some camper had with his camp fire. I recomend this hike to anyone who loves hiking the AT. Taking in the of the Shenandoah Valley and admiring the wilderness that Virginia has to offer can't be beat.

By: Kevin N Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 10, 2005
We hiked the trail exactly as outlined and found it to be enjoyable. Getting there was quite easy and parking was plentiful. The highlight was definitely the Raven Rocks destination, which is a nice reward after a deceptively tiring .4 mile uphill climb right before reaching the outcrops. We ran into about a dozen others on the trail, but that wasn't too many considering it was a nice summer weekend.

By: Suzanne Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 30, 1916
Great hike! It woud be much more scenic in the Fall and Spring when the leaves are not on the trees. I didn't get all the way to the end as I got a late start and didn't want to get caught by darkness. The rock formations that I did come across would have had good views, if not for the trees. Very rocky. Good hiking shoes are a much.  I could have used a hiking stick too. Worked up a good sweat.

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