Mileage: about 2.9 miles Directions
Rise: About 620 ft Facebook
Hike Time: about 2.5 hrs with 3 kids Weather
Here is some of what you need to know: Parking for the hike is on mile 41 of skyline drive, look for the concrete mile markers as you drive. When you pull into the parking lot and you are facing the woods, you will see a trail to your left and right corner of the parking lot. We took the trail on the right side of the parking lot, their is a sign with a large map on it, take a minute to orient yourself. I believe both trails meet at the 4 way intersection but just so we are on the same page. This trail covers Stony Man and Little Stony Man, both are worth seeing.
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 large
This trail is well groomed with few obstacles anywhere. Their were rises in elevation but the kids zipped right up them with only minimal encouragement needed from me. Really with the length of trail it takes to get to these vistas they are practically handing them to you.
After about a half a mile you will come to a 4 way intersection. If you came to this point from the directions above then you want to go straight to get to The Stony Man. Right will take you to Little Stony man, their is a sign at the intersection with some instructions if you are concerned. We hit big Stony Man first, it is not far from this point.
The Stony Man is broken up into 2 vista points, both will blow your mind. We were lucky enough that the previous nights cold temps froze the fog onto all the trees at the higher altitudes. I do not know if we could have picked a better day. The white frost on the trees, with 50 degree temps and a clear horizon we got more than we bargained for.
The viewing areas are very rocky, i had to keep the kids close. Tripping over a rock might mean going over a 2′ or 12′ ledge. Lots of areas for climbing.
As the morning went on the frost melted from the trees and it was time to head down to Little Stony man. On your way down to the 4 way intersection their was one split in the trail, keep left.
From the intersection you will head down hill about 1/2 mile towards Little Stony Man. We were wondering on our way down if it was going to be worth the climb back up, and the answer is ohhhh yeahhhh.
The views are not a whole lot different, but they were still incredible. Also the cliffs on either side were a site to see, if you are a rock climber this is a destination for you.
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.