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Hiker Comments for the Stony Man Mountain Hike - 1 to 54 of 54   
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By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, October 24, 2019
The hike described here is perfect. I was worried that hiking at the height of the October I'd be overwhelmed by novice hikers along the entire trail route. And, well, the summit of Stony Man was overrun. However, for 90 percent of the hike I was all by myself and had a wonderful, peaceful hike. The Passamaquoddy Trail section is my favorite. There is an amazing view here, too. In fact, there are three stunning rock outcrops along this hike! It felt so isolated at times, and it reminded me of hikes I've taken out west, particularly in the Sandia Mountains outside of Albuquerque. Follow me on IG at "brianopolis" to see some pics!

By: Diego Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, September 6, 2019
Was going to do this hike today, but ended up not because I had a dog with me, and this trail doesn't allow dogs. Hadn't seen anyone mention that before, so figured I'd let people know to NOT bring your dog on this trail.

By: TAG Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, December 24, 2018
We were blown away by how beautiful this hike was. It was bitter cold and windy on December 24th but the trail was coated in snow and the leaves were gone which made for a magical snowy scene. The early vista was beautiful. There are two paths out to separate peaks here which are close enough that we photographed each other from opposite peaks. Amazing photos. The short ridge area was a beautiful lookout in itself and we even saw ropes attached there where people were climbing up the cliff side. Further down passamaquaddy trail was yet another beautiful vista. We loved every minute of this hike and look forward to coming back in different seasons to enjoy different views.

By: Jennifer C. Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, April 17, 2017
My husband and I did this hike after checking in at Skyland lodge, (Our room had an amazing view and was very quiet and peaceful.) We had planed on doing the hike the next day, but since all we had to do was walk out our door to begin the hike we decided to do it that evening. We our both in good shape so we were back before sunset. We began by taking the Passamaquody Trail from our room to the Little Stony man summit which was really nice and peaceful. We then turned right on the Stony Man Trail and then decided to go left where the trail splits and went to the Stony Man Summit. We then took the stony Man Horse Trail back to the road that goes to Skyland in order to make it back for our dinner plans. My favorite part of this hike was walking along the edge of the mountain on the Passamaquody Trail and how quiet it was. Really nice views of Luray.

By: Heather H. Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 4, 2016
It was a beautiful day and not too hot so we decided to take advantage of the nice weather with a hike. I read about this hike in a magazine and decided to check it out. The trail markers are definitely confusing and we somehow found ourselves at the Skyland Resort where the cabins are. A nice couple shared their map with us and we walked along the road back to the parking area. The trails to the overlooks are pretty crowded but the Appalachian and Passamaquoddy Trails were less crowded. The overlooks were great, it was a clear day so we could see pretty far. This was a very easy trail, not many inclines or challenging parts. I liked the hike but I don't think it's worth the $20 fee to get onto Skyline Drive. Unless you plan to do some other hikes or take advantage of the overlooks. We drove 3 hours round trip and the hike took us about 2 hours. Granted we did get off course but I think we probably did about 3.5 miles. I printed out the map from the National Park website and I still got confused. It doesn't have all of the trails on it. I wish there was a better map out there for reference.

By: Mark P Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, August 12, 2016
My family hiked this today, and it was pretty enjoyable. My 6 year old didn't complain too much. We started at about 8:15 on a Friday morning, and we were able to get about 10 minutes of solitude at the summit before waves of other hikers starting arriving. Continuing the circuit, we saw only 3 other hikers and the views from Little Stony man are just as good as at Stony Man. Towards the end, we almost missed the turn onto the yellow blazed trail. The turn is right at a spring that is inside a locked building on the left (listen for the water).

By: Ed Matthews Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 7, 2016
In an effort to get in some miles and solitude, we created our own 11-mile hike starting from the parking area at MP 37.8 where the Corbin Cabin Cutoff Trail crosses Skyline Drive and joins the AT on the west side of the hill. From the parking lot, we walked south on the AT beneath the Stony Man Overlook to the intersection of the Passamaquoddy Trail at the base of Little Stony Man. The views along this trail are fabulous. We skirted under the cliffs on the blue-blazed Passamaquoddy where rock climbers were just gearing up for the day. We would meet them again at the top later in the afternoon as we made our way back via the AT. We followed the Passamaquoddy all the way into Skyland where we kept following any trail (or open patch of grass) that seemed to head south until we reached the ampitheatre and the start of the Miller's Head Trail.

Climbing up over Brushytop and then down to Miller's Head, we were rewarded with excellent views, though the drains on the overlook at Miller's Head were clogged and the standing water, besides smelling ripe, was attracting way too many bugs (especially horse flies) to stay there long. We backed off a couple hundred yards to a rock outcropping on a knoll with a wonderful vista and had a brief lunch. There was only one other group on this trail, a blessing in a day of crowded trails. This little side trail (1.6mi round trip) was well worth the detour, if only for the great variety of wildflowers.

Backtracking to Skyland ampitheatre (great butterfly watching all around this area), we picked up the paved entrance road and walked southeast towards Skyline Drive, striking the AT just before reaching Skyline Drive. We headed north on the AT back towards the car, walking almost immediately through an area where the ground was littered with bushels of chanterelle mushrooms. It took every ounce of LNT training to keep the chef in me from picking a feast for dinner. Oh to have been on private property!

Our solitary walk on the AT was very brief. We came upon masses of people at the Stony Man parking lot as we walked through. Though we tried to stay between bubbles of hikers, it wasn't always possible and certainly there was no way to avoid the noise. We left the AT to climb Stony Man and despite all the people, the view was really quite fabulous. Looking south over Skyland, we could see both Brushytop and Miller's Head where we ate lunch and looking to the north, in the foreground, we could Little Stony Man lower where we were in the morning and upper where we would encounter the rock climbers again in about 20 minutes. In the background to the north, we could see the peaks including Mary's Rock heading up to Thornton Gap.

The walk from Stony Man to Little Stony Man was less crowded but still busy and we got stuck behind a threesome who would not give way on the single track. We managed to slip by them in the confusion at the post marking the intersection of the Passamaquoddy and the AT only to find ourselves behind a large group swilling beer, smoking, and generally being a nuisance. After the Little Stony Man parking area, we had the AT to ourselves for the couple of miles back to the car.

Pros: There's a lot to see in a very compact area and it's not a problem to put together a hike that suits you. The views are some of the best in SNP. There is some elevation gain but it really is gentle. The trail is rocky in places, but nothing like dozens of other hikes I could take you on.

Cons: You are not going to be alone. And even when you are alone, the AT runs right along Skyline Drive, sometimes within 20 paces of traffic.

I would do this again and again, mid-week in January!

By: Jerome Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 16, 2016
Overall, this is a great hike with beautiful, expansive vistas and a leisurely route that's perfect for a relaxed, enjoyable day. One important caveat, however: the directions for where to pickup the trail to start the hike are not accurate. Furthermore, there are discrepancies between the hike description given on the webpage and the one provided in the PDF topo map use the website information. To pickup the trail, park at the Stony Man parking area and use the trail junction on the RIGHT side of the parking area (not the left as described above). We started on the left and ended up doing the hike in reverse... resulting in the leisurely downhill route being surprisingly uphill. Start on the right hand side and you'll have a great hike. One final note - there are other trails that connect at various points so you can add/shorten as desired once you get there (take a look at the map at the parking area).

By: Hans (und Heidi) Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 27, 2015
The Day After Thanksgiving. REI told everyone , including the employees to "go out". They did! So did we,,,, Last time I was here here was with Armando, ( may God Bless the Soul of my Hiking Buddy). That was in 1977. I have been everywhere very near here countless times. But I came back this day. To this place. The day was perfectly clear,,, the westward view just as scenic as could be. The trail changed from when we backpacked it as teenagers. We could walk it as seniors, tomorrow ,,,, Still a great place in the park. We will be back . Soon ,, like during the week.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 1, 2015
I started this trail at Little Stony Man parking area with my dog. I tried to follow the trail along the shorter path, to the left, to reach the summit, instead of hiking the circuit as described, as we had already hiked Hawksbill that day and just wanted a quick summit hike to finish out the day. Well, we accidentally took the wrong trail, and ended up hiking the Passamaquoddy trail. Which was fine, but a lot more time than we bargained for. At least two other groups of hikers I encountered along the way had made the same mistake, and decided to give up and turn back. One of them gave me her map after I had decided to trek on for the duration of the loop. We finally reached another parking area (the main parking lot, I assume), which was very far from where we were parked. At this point, I started seeing signs that said dogs were not allowed on the trail. The signs at Little Stony Man all indicated that dogs were allowed on the trail. I tried taking the orange blazed horse trail to the summit to obey this rule, but was not able to actually summit with my dog. At this point, we were two plus hours in to an unanticipated hike, tired, and the daylight was fading. Thankfully, a good natured family offered to give us a ride back to the other lot where my car was. Had this not been the case, we would have been in a bad spot. This would have been a great hike, but if you start from the Little Stony Man parking area, be very careful about your directions. Especially if you plan to bring along your pet.

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

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

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

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

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, October 20, 2014
My second time hiking this area recently. Great views and the colors were really good. It was not crowded on any of the trails but there were quite a few people at the main Stony Man overlook. I had three nephews and one of their friends with me (ages 8, 13, 14 &14). We started our hike from the Little Stony Man parking lot and took the Passamaquoddy Trail around and under Little Stony Man and Stony Man, we missed the uphill turn to get to  the main Stony Man parking area (starting point listed on this hike) so we continued all the way around until the Amphitheater at Skyland. Then we made the return trip taking the Stony Man trail and finished along the Appalachian Tail back to the Little Stony Man parking area.  The hike was not hard, but the 8 year old starting getting worn out for the last mile or so.  The views are truely "5's". Our detour thru parts of the Skyland area probably added about 1-1/5 miles.  Total time was about 2 1/2 hours

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Overall I though it was a great hike but you have to know going into it that the trail will be super crowded, so if you want solitude then this might not be the hike for you. The directions were spot on, although we chose to turn around at Little Stony Man and retrace our steps back to the parking lot. Super windy and super cold (for October) at both summits so we didn't spend much time at either. Despite the crowds, the views were nothing short of spectacular.

By: aldikuma Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Great, short hike with amazing views. The trail going up to the Stony Man lookout was crowded, even on a weekday. No dogs allowed on this section, so we skipped it and continued on the white blazed trail. The views on the white blazed trail just before and at Little Stony Man were so beautiful and probably just as good as from Stony Man. Best of all, we met only two other hikers after getting onto the white blazed trail (a wonderful couple celebrating 57 years of marriage!). A note that we started this hike from the right side of the parking lot on the blue/white dotted trail and dogs are not allowed on this section (oops...). So be sure to start on the yellow blazed if you're with your dog.

By: Pete Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 9, 2013
People on top of people here today. I hiked this hike just prior to doing South River Falls. The hike is easy, and the views are tremendous at the top, if you can see them for the people.When I got to the overlook there were 50 people at least thee, and a line waiting to get the view. Solitude was more like a -5 today. I imagine it must be great on a slower day.

By: Mark of the Hill People Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 28, 2013
We hit the trail around 11 AM on a cool, overcast Saturday and there was plenty of parking available. The beginning trek to Stony Man was the most crowded. After we got onto the AT we only saw a couple backpackers.

Little Stony Man had more people, but since it is a bigger area, it seemed less crowded than Stony Man. The cliffs below Little Stony Man are a good place to stop for a lunch break, with a great view!

By: Chris Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 4, 2013
We packed up our campsite at Big Meadows and headed out on a gorgeous late Sunday morning.  We expected this trail to be packed and to our great suprise, it wasn't.  We passed just 4-5 other groups in 3 hours and we were alone on all but one of the many prime viewing areas.  Another bonus was our close-up sighting of a small bear crossing the switchback trails just before the turnoff to the Passamaquoddy Trail.  My only critique is the 1-star difficulty rating.  While most of the trail is quite easy, there are several narrow, rocky, and fairly damp/slippery sections, esp. on the Passamaquoddy section as another reviewer mentioned, that require the hiker's attention and I would not recommend it for the very young or very old.  In my opinion, 2-stars would be more appropriate. Other than that minor detail, this was one our favorite hikes in SNP.

By: Kate Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, March 15, 2013
Overall, very nice hike. As other reviewers have said it is quite quick with beautiful views, we finished the loop in about 2.25 hours. I will caution, currently the entire trail is packed snow, which makes for a great calf workout on the uphill portions and a bit of a slide on the way down. Hi-top hiking boots and/or trekking poles would have proved useful. Sections of the Passamaquoddy Trail are especially treacherous the snow is so deep in some places that each step left 6-18 inch indents in the snow for about a half mile. We also saw what looked like very fresh bear tracks and droppings. The Passamaquoddy Trail did offer awesome icicle waterfalls from the snow runoff freezing over the rocks. Great hike on a spring-like winter day.

By: Nala Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 13, 2011
A short hike with many beautiful vistas.  There were a lot of people on the hike, however, even in mid-November.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 9, 2011
We had a friend from Russia visiting and I wanted to show her the beauty of the mountains here and decided on that easy hike. Views were great! If you want to convince someone to start hiking that's the trip to do it.

Re the previous review it shouldn't be surprising that a gorgeous 4mi hike that close to the Skyline Drive is overcrowded. Besides getting into many National Parks in this country costs something, and it's not something new for the SNP check their website )

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 1, 2011
We did this hike on a cold and windy first day of October. We got a late start and didn't get to the trail head until noon. The parking lot was packed, almost no parking spaces. There were so many people there I thought we were in the wrong place. The hike itself is not bad, as some steep inclines in the beginning but mostly downhill and even travels after the first vista. We had lunch at Stony Man rocks, where you could barely get to the edge or sit down anywhere because of all the people. After the first vista, however, the people lessened and the hike became much nicer. i highly recommend doing the whole hike as described on HU, the lower portion was awesome!
Did this hike in 4 hours. At the end, where the yellow picks up from the blue trail, is a bit confusing. Make sure to turn left up the hill and not a right where it says "1.1 miles to Skyland Parking" this will take you a much longer way.
If this hike was not so crowded, it would have been amazing, but all the people really made it hard to pee in the woods ......
And I must mention the fact that we had to pay $15 to get onto skyline drive, wish we would have known this before we went.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 13, 2011
Third time for me doing this hike. I do it in reverse, starting on upper Little Stony Man, then Appalachian Trail to Stony Man, then horse trail to Passamaquoddy trial and then back to lower Little Stony Man. There is a small parking area on the Little Stony Man end that will accommodate 10-12 cars. We got started around 9:30am and finished around noon. Stony Man and Little Stony Man are extremely popular and easy for casual hikers to access, so don't expect any solitude at the vistas. There were no less than 20 people all trying to lunch on top of Stony Man. The best part of the hike for solitude is the horse trail, the AT, and the Passamaquoddy trail. Most casual hikers only go to the summits and back, they don't do the loop. It started raining when we were on the horse trail, but ended by the time we got to Passamaquoddy. The Passamaquoddy trail can be very slick with wet rocks. Be cautious with your footing!

By: aepva Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, August 1, 2011
Views were great and the AT portions of the trail and the summit was really nice, but had a hard time with the Passamaquoddy Trail. Someone had recently gone through and chopped down all the foliage intruding on the path, but had not bothered to clear the debris from the path at all. At times this was annoying, sometimes it was downright dangerous, as the green leaves made the rocky parts of the trail slippery even though it was a dry day. I ended up spending more time than I would have liked pushing the larger branches and debris off the path, particularly in the steeper, rockier bits where I was worried about my footing.

By: Pete Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I hiked here last Wednesday. The view at the initial overlook was incredible, and the views at the end, well I didn't get to see because unfortunately they don't tell you at the start of the hike that dogs are not allowed at the end of the trail. I did see a really nice rattlesnake about 50 yards after the first overlook, which was cool....

By: Nick McLennan Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, June 13, 2011
I gotta give it a 4 star rating because of the 3 very nice views as well as the trail itself. The weather was perfect for any hike in the SNP today. Easy hike from the parking lot along the AT to the first over look, Little Stony Man, and then up another mile to the Stony Man lookout. It was awesome. I chilled on the cliffs and had lunch.  I will do this again and add another hike to the day. A very good time!!!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 23, 2010
We arrived at 12:30pm, and were done with the hike just before 2:30pm. We went counter-clockwise, and went straight to the summit first off. After that, we followed the rest of the trail past each vantage point before we ended up at the car. It probably would have been a better hike going clockwise, as suggested here. Unfortunately, we didn't realize the we wouldn't have data service when we got there, so I couldn't read the directions until we got up to the summit. It was somewhat busy, but not obnoxious. I think in the 2hrs that we were there, we might have seen 30 people total.

By: Hokie Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 2, 2010
This was a great hike that you could easily do in 2 hours, maybe a little bit less, but you'll easily want to take 3-4 hours to really enjoy the views- which are absolutely amazing. We started the hike around 10am, and the first overlook was already getting quite busy, so much so that it was pretty hard to find room for a good picture- but it seemed that most people stayed at the first overlook and didn't continue to the second one. I imagine if you want to get some good pictures- you want to start your hike early or late- avoid the middle of the day.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 22, 2010
A nice short walk with worthwhile views. A tad crowded, but overall nice.

By: Marshell Chandler Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 1, 2010
I hiked this mountain last fall with my teenage children.  On that day it was rainy and windy.  It was much more pleasant this time. I brought my wife Kim with me this time.  We didn't park in the typical parking lot, we started from the little parking lot at the 'Little Stony Man' trailhead just off the parkway.  Our first view was at the Little Stony Man ridge.  I do believe that this view is better than the summit.  We continued on after taking some pictures to climb to the summit.  If you don't have much time and want to see a beautiful view I would suggest hiking up to Little Stony Man.

By: Ian Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 2, 2010
Did this hike in reverse, first hike of the season since my wife was incapacitated for a few months. I wish I did my research before I hiked it. It's VERY rocky on the Passamaquaddy trail. I've done the Manassas Hike, and this is much more difficult. I also found the Passamaquaddy trail very technical. You don't get to enjoy all the little views you get through out the hike due to the very difficult terrain of the Passamaquaddy. When we hike we typically take dogs and kids. This time it was just dogs but, I would not recommend this hike with children. You get way too close to cliff edges for way too long.

By: SD Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 10, 2010
Great day for a hike. Directions were a little confusing at the beginning, but worked out well in the end. Parking at the lot was available. Met a few people on the trail. Great views. Also did the Millers Head trail to increase distance and difficulty. Great two hikes from the same area. Views were amazing!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, December 12, 2009
I had the pleasure of doing this hike with 3-other senior citizens, on a day when the trail was covered with snow and ice, and knowing how to plunge walk was vital. This skill was learned in the Adirondacks with the Tidewater
ATC. Temperatures were in the mid-20's. Solitude was the order of the day on the Passamaquoddy Trail altho we did see 2-couples on the A.T. portion including a pair of Thru HIkers.
Hiking Upward directions were good except for the final portion telling how to get from the Furnace Springs Road to the "yellow blazed trail" --20-yards and a sharp left put you no where so far as the 4-of us could figure out.

By: Brandon Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 15, 2009
Hiked this with my non-hiker mom, as I never have interest in a 3.7 mile hike. Parking lot was maybe 1/4 - 1/3 full when we arrived and when we left. Views were great, from the main summit, the smaller overlook along the AT, and the small overlook at Passamaquoddy . Saw some climbers tackling the wall. Also, due to all the recent rain, there were numerous instances along the Passamaquoddy of streams intersecting the trail, or small waterfalls off the rocks. Right before the yellow-blazed trail you could really hear some water gushing in the valley below, but sadly I could not investigate.

The reason for 4 stars not 5 is because the yellow-blazed trail looked to be very rarely used with infrequent blazes (some of the blazes weren't even the normal yellow but some fading neon yellow color). Hiking along the Canyon Rim in Roaring Plains was easier than following this trail. The leaves on the trail were barely worn, if at all. Thus, my non-hiker companion was very nervous along this stretch.

Total time: 2:40 with frequent photo stops but not stopping for lunch.

By: litework Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 8, 2009
Nice hike on a beautiful autumn day.  The hike including the summit was not crowded.  We took a horse trail back to the parking lot and didn't see one person outside our small group.  I've made this hike a number of times taking quite a few newbies they all found the views at the summit to be breathtaking. This is a good hike to take a first timer.  I think the "1" rating for ease is misleading, especially in comparison to the "harder" trails that I've hiked in the area-these higher scoring hikes didn't seem more difficult than the Stony Man Hike.

By: tim_j Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 7, 2009
I hiked Stony Man today with my girlfriend, following the 3.6 mile loop described here. The summit of Stony Man was fairly small outcropping of rock and was pretty crowded with a dozen people or so there around noon. We thought the best view on the hike was actually the Little Stony Man overlook where you get an almost equally majestic view as Stony Man, with a lot less traffic. The way back on the Passamaquoddy Trail under the rock face was a bit more technical, but it allowed for a bit more solitude and still gave a great view to the right of the valley below as you move along under Little Stony Man and Stony Man. Overall, it was a very fun hike, with well-marked trails, and great views. It took us a little under 3 hours to finish, but we took our time and stopped for almost 30 minutes at Little Stony Man.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 16, 2009

After doing Old Rag yesterday, my girlfriend and I thought that we would spend day two of four by going a little easier on ourselves today.   This little scenic hike was perfect for allowing us to work out the kinks in our muscles from yesterday without straining ourselves too much.  We arrived at the trailhead a little before 7:30 am and found ourselves alone in the parking lot....except for our escort.  A medium sized doe was waiting for us right at trail entrance.  This deer walked along, just off to the trail's side, with us for a little more than 3/10ths of a mile.  This doe wasn't shy at all and let us take several photos and was within a just a few feet of us on several occasions.

I didn't take us long to reach the summit of Stony Man. Along with our escort, the scenery and the turns in the trail kept our attention (I always like to see what might what might be waiting around the corner for us).  We did see two more fawns at the top of the trail...these were pretty skittish and kept their distance.

The view from the top of Stony Man was gorgeous and I thought it was very comparable to the Old Rag views with a lot less work.  When we started the hike the temperature was 65 degrees out, so it was probably in the low 70s when we reached the summit.  Just perfect, clear weather for a great view.

On the way back down, we did see several small pairs or groups of hikers working their way up the trail.  To me, getting on the trail early is worth the extra'll have more solitude and may see more wildlife as a result.

After we finished up with this hike, we headed over to the park office/dining room.  During our short walk in the surrounding woods, we spotted another sizeable doe (who allowed photos) and a medium sized black bear (who we got some distant photos of, before he quickly headed off in the opposite direction).

Off to the more challenging, longer White Oak Canyon/Cedar Run Hike tommorow for some waterfalls & cold mountain water swimming.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 25, 2009
A very nice hike with outstanding views and if you add the Millers Head 1.6 mile out and back it makes for a good morning outing. The trail is interesting for the most part but the top of Stony Man can get crowded on a summer Saturday. Except for the summit we saw only 1 other hiker on the Passamaquoddy trail and a couple on the Millers Head trail which is located on the south side of the Skyland complex and has a great view of the valley from a stone observation point. It is easy enough for beginning hikers and those that aren't looking for solitude but enough of a challenge to make it worthwhile.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, July 23, 2009
This was my first time hiking and I enjoyed this one very much.  Great views from the summit.  I went on a Thursday early afternoon and there were a few people on the trail but it wasn't crowded.  I'd say this is a nice hike for beginners, not too difficult and definitely worth the trip to the top!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 19, 2009
This is a fun little hike that you can do in 3ish hours. The views are amazing. The first half at the Stony Man overlooks are a little busy, but that is to be expected as they are major attractions of the park and have easy access from the parkway. Once we left the Little Stony Man overlook on the Passamaquoddy Trail the only mammal we saw between there and Skyland was a fawn that took off before I could get my camera out.

I think the "1" rating may be a little misleading though. A 1 rating to me is a pleasant stroll in the woods. This hike is that easy when you start, but once you hit the Passamaquoddy Trail it gets very rocky. It's level for that mile, but it's certainly not something that you would want attempt with a 7 year old wearing tennis shoes. A 7 year old with a little experience hiking and proper footwear would be fine. Also, the Furnance Springs hike uphill back to Skyland is a little tricky in that it seems to be so rarely used that picking the trail out from the rest of the forest floor is a challenge at times. It is marked well enough that you can almost always see the next yellow blaze, so as long as you pay attention and follow the blazes you are fine.

Does anybody know what that gold mine shaft looking hut is at the intersection of the Passamaquoddy and Furnance Springs? We could hear some sort of pump or motor running in it.

By: MRHyk Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 28, 2009

MSHyker and I did this little loop as our first wedding anniversary hike. The views were all socked in due to heavy cloud cover. It was still a great hike. We were impressed by the extensive hillside cribbing used in the construction of the Passamaquoddy Trail (formerly part of the AT). At one point, below the Little Stony Man cliffs it was over 10 feet high. What makes it even more amazing is it was all done by hand back in the 30s and 40s.

We finished the day with dinner at the Thornton River Grille in Sperryville. We highly recommend it! If coming out on a weekend you might want to make a reservation in advance. We plan on coming back for this hike until we finally hit it on a clear day. 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 22, 2008
Great day for this hike.  My two eldest  daughters and I enjoyed the grand views provided on a cold clear day like today.  It was 22 degrees at the parking lot for "Little stony man".  We ventured onto Stony man from there. It can be very windy at the overlooks so dress appropriately.   I wanted to get a winter perspective for this hike because I/we have done this hike many times in the past during warmer and busier seasons.  I agree with a previous post that this hike is great for those with limited experience and ability with big pay offs in scenery.

By: Robert Godlove Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, October 24, 2008
Nice Hike...with Great Views, Took 4 Kids between ages 7-14...The directions are a little shakey, but found everything they spoke of...A great deal of hikers, hit this trail...I suggest to go during the week...This is a pretty area

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 12, 2008
Great hike! We did it with our son and his 11 and 10 year old boys. They loved it all the way especially since the weather was perfect. And it took exactly 3 hours plus 1/2 hour for lunch.
Had dinner afterwards at the Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill - nice way to top it off!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 11, 2008

I am rating this high to boost its rating.  It is a terrific hike, for those who are not experienced in hiking, in poor shape, or who are just a little intimidated by the idea of going a longer way up and down slopes on other trails.  In fact, the views that are possible at several points are spectacular.  I have done this trail so many times for more than 25 years, it would be fair to call it a favorite - Every season, every temperature, snow, heat and humidity, spring blooms and fall colors - its all beatiful.  I usually go here with non-hikers and feel it is a good choice for such folks.  If you are with older folks, younger kids - make it easy and just take the "nature walk" up to the stony man overlook.  Awesome. 

Mr. / Ms. hiker - maybe not for you, but anyone who complains that it is shorter and fairly crowded -- well what did you expect ?  A short, not-too demanding trail to one of the very best overlooks in the park....please.  OF COURSE there are other people here.  So many other choices if you want more solitude.  That does not mean it isn't a good trail, with a great set of views, just that its accessability and short length make it popular for newbies and those who may be pressed for time because you got to the park later than you wanted in day 1, or are squeezing in a quickie before heading out for home at trip end ! 

By: B. Gordon Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 23, 2007
I would have given this hike a higher rating if it were a little longer and for the amount of people on the trail.  I guess a lot of people spent Thanksgiving at Skyland as we ran into quite a few people on the last half of the trail.  We did the trail in reverse with the temps around 31F and with the wind blowing quite strongly.  If you do it in reverse you can do a little scrambling up a pretty steep "trail" just as you get to the bottom of  Little Stony Man.  This "trail" cuts out the switchbacks on the other side of Little Stony Man.  Take a left at the top and you are almost at Little Stony Man. I wouldn't recommend coming down this way but it was fun going up. The views from Little Stony Man and Stony Man are pretty spectacular for such little effort to get to them.  While eating lunch at Little Stony Man we were privileged to have a Bald Eagle soar overhead, what a great sight!!! I would recommend this trail as a good winter hike to get the kids out of the house and yet not spend too much time on the trail in the cold.  If you do the trail in the morning there is still time to get back on Route 211 over to Luray to visit Luray Caverns as we did. 

By: hfogg Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 23, 2007

Nice Fall Day. Morning was cool and foggy, but by the time I got on the trail, it was clear/sunny blue skies. Had some traffic on the Stony Man Lariat part,  and No One else on the rest of the hike. Great views to the east.

By: Eric Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Good hike with great views and it's easily accessible.  I went on a weekday afternoon, so I only saw a few other hikers.   The hike took about 2.5 hours since my friend and I stopped for a while at both little stony man and at the summit. 

It was cool and cloudy with poor visibility.  However, standing in the clouds and watching them cascade over the mountain face was cool.  I could see how this would be very crowded on the weekends with its proximity to Skyland.  Don't forget to bring a camera.

By: Jerry W. Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 22, 2006
I'm with phall:  The directions left a little bit to be desired.  This was my second attempt at finding this hike.  If you turn right at Skyland and follow the signs you'll find the parking area for Stony Man.  But it's not 'right off Skyline Drive.'  Once you're there it's pretty easy.  The hike was relatively short but the vistas were excellent albeit a bit hazy on this Sunday.  It was a bit crowded with all the leaf-lookers but I was able to find some solitude by taking the yellow-blazed trail about 100 yards away.  The highlight of my hike was seeing first a bear cub romping through the woods away from me and then a black bear crossing the trail about 30 yards in front of me.  I managed to snap a picture too.  The bear wasn't interested in me, thankfully, and kept going.  It was kind of amazing considering the number of people out and about. 

By: phall Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 8, 2006
Very nice hike, with great views as promised, but directions to the start of the hike were confusing.  The parking area is not at mile marking 43.  In fact it is not on Skyline Drive.  The parking area is located off of the access road to Skyland which is between 41 and 42. phall, thanks for the feedback. The driving directions have been corrected.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 29, 2006
Nice, interesting hike to some great viewpoints - Stony Man Mtn. viewpoint is among the best in the Park and one of the easiest to get to.  Hike directions were not very good, however.  The directions provided seemed barebones and didn't mention many of the attractions along the way (like the talus slopes, great views from Little Stony Man cliffs, etc.). Some things were inaccurate - there was not wooden shack near Furnace Springs, for example.  The yellow-blazed horse trail at Furnace Spring back to the Stony Man Nature Trail parking lot is not very well blazed or maintained and the trail was very difficult to follow.  I recommend folks turn right at Furnace Springs and follow the trail back to Skyland.

By: Kevin N Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 12, 2005
I have hiked this one before and found it to be an enjoyable way to stretch the legs a little and take a couple of nice views when you don't have a lot of time to tackle some of the longer and more difficult hikes in the park. This past Saturday I did it again with very nice weather, a clear sky, and foliage just past their prime. The only downside...or upside depending on your interests/ that it is really accessible and lots of people are scattered throughout the trail and at the major vista points. I would recommend this hike to anyone who has only a couple of hours of daylight available, but would still like to take in a nice, short hike.

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