Hawksbill Hike: Shenandoah National Park
Mileage- About 1.8 miles up and back Directions
Hike Time- About 1.5 hrs with 3 kids Facebook
Rise- about 670 ft Weather
significance- Tallest mountain in the Shenandoah Nation Park
Here is what you need to know: The parking for this trail head is at mile marker 45.6 on Sky Line Drive. You will notice 2 trails at the trail head, the one to the left is the most direct route to the top. If you do the loop you will be returning on the trail to the right. You will see a large map at the parking area so take a look and get oriented. It is only an extra mile or so to do the loop, but it was getting late so we stuck to the up and back.
1. Scroll the mouse over the altitude line to see where it lines up on the map
2. Click on the flags for more information
3. Click on the pictures to make them larger
This trail is up hill all the way to the top traveling about 600 ft in elevation over 0.7 miles. It was a work out but because the distance was relatively short the kids did well. The path is well groomed with few obstacles along the way with forest surrounding you all the way up.
Just before the summit of Hawksbill the woods open up and the Byrds Nest Shelter appears. This is a day shelter for picnicing only. Note just before the shelter the trail splits off to the left, if the loop is what you want to do you will head to this split after you check out the summit. Remember to study the map at the bottom of the trail because their are several connecting trails on the loop.
The Summit is a stones throw away from the shelter. A platform has been built for you to appreciate the vastness. You get about a 250 degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains including Old Rag and Stony Man.
Surrounding the platform are boulders large and small. The small rocks were big enough for the kids to climb, and the 12+ foot high rocks are big enough for the adults.
In Virginia the temperatures in February run in the 40’s and 50’s during the day often with sun. That is why we frequent the area in winter. Unfortunately the days are short and the evenings are still cold. Our trip was over too soon but we were lucky enough for a picturesque ride through the Shenandoah National Park, and a great hike on the Stony Man and Hawksbill trails. It is always worth the long drive and we will be back again soon.