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Buzzard Rock North - Front Royal, Virginia

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

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

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

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

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

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

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 10, 2017
Great hike--local "go to" favorite with stellar views of Fort Valley with a relatively short hike. If the parking lot is full, DO NOT PARK ALONG THE ROAD! West side is posted, east side is not, but they'll tow you regardless, even if you're 100% off the pavement. If you do get towed, call the Warren County Sherif and they'll tell you how to get your car--it's likely in Front Royal and will cost you $150.

By: Alexandra Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 7, 2017
Hiked out to Buzzard Rock to climb at the top, and the hike was very moderate, even on the "steep" section at the end. The views overlooking the fish hatchery and at the top are incredible, and comparable or better than views from the other side of the valley along the Meneka Peak trail.

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

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

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

    View all 41 reviews for the Buzzard Rock North hike
Early May - Photos Courtesy Jim Brewster
Late August - Photos Courtesy of J. Thomas Holman
Late May - Photos Courtesy of Heidi W.
Mid January
Buzzard Rock
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