Ramble On

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Revisiting Mary's Rock: An Easy SNP Day Hike

"It's a right nice walk!" - Jesse, our contractor

With my mother and brother in town, we decided to head out to Hawksbill Cabin for part of the weekend.  I'd wanted to get a hike in with my brother, to share with him some of my favorites from Shenandoah National Park. 

Our logistics made it a late start, so choices like Blackrock down in the South District, or Hawksbill and Stonyman, here in the Central, were out.  Those destinations would have taken a painfully long time to get to - still a ton of leaf peepers up in the Park. 

Mary's Rock, with it's proximity to the Thornton Gap entry, seemed perfect, especially since there were two lines of more than 10 cars waiting to get in when we arrived.  An added benefit is my familiarity with the trail, having done it a half dozen times or so - minimal outfitting.

I've reviewed Mary's Rock here a number of times - it's a great hike to an excellent vista.  Depending on the source you are using, it is listed as a 3.7 mile round trip with more than 1,200 feet of elevation; another attraction is that most of the route follows the Appalachian Trail.  A portion of this route hugs the mountain side through two coves, and the trail has been built over masonry shoring walls - it is probably my favorite feature of the AT in the Park so far...I'm still discovering though, so don't hold me to this.

For Jeff, I think this was the highest altitude he'd ever self-propelled himself to.  He told me he was enjoying the views and the fall colors.  And there was still snow up there at altitude along the trail on the north face of the mountain - added bonus!

Check the "easy day hikes" label at the end of this post to find other reviews of Mary's Rock, as well as other easy day hikes in the Park.

A great outing for us.  Mary's Rock is now officially a go-to option for visitors who want to put in a hike while they are staying with us.

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