Shenandoah National Park has so many gorgeous trails and backcountry in which to hike, but if you’re only planning on getting your feet wet and just doing one, then this is the one to do.
My advice to you is to pick a clear day and go early in the morning for the hike to Mary’s Rock, which is located at milepost 31.6 off the Skyline Drive. The views you’ll be afforded at the top are simply incredible, making it a nice reward for all your hard work.
This trail takes you 1,120 feet up but after you reach a certain point, it’s level hiking until you get across the top to the viewpoint. The photo above was taken at the start of the trail.
Every now and then in this park, you’ll come across the remnants of an old homestead and the trail at Mary’s Rock has one such offering. The photo on the left is going up and the photo on the right is of the same chimney coming down.
This shot was taken while walking along the top of the ridge. That’s Mary’s Rock up ahead. According to one version of park lore, years ago a woman named Mary Thornton once made this hike alone to the rocky summit. When she returned, she carried a bear cub under each arm. I don’t know how true this account is, but it makes a good story nonetheless.
We’re almost there. The view is just around this ledge.
It was a clear day and a perfect one for this hike. The photo below shows my husband and George a the very top rock. I’m not insane, so I stayed put, on the rocks below.
Can you see George’s tongue hanging out? I actually think he was a tad bit wary of that high spot. He wanted to come down with me.
The view shows the Thornton Gap entrance station below where Route 211 crosses over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This is a beautiful hike to take. Yes, it’s difficult in the beginning, but it’s just one of those things that is so worth it. And if I can do it, believe me, you can too.
It’s raining here in Maryland as I write this. It’s a good, steady soaking rain and is typical for April. The grass gets greener every day and it’s good to be alive.
Thanks again, everyone, for stopping by and sharing my hike. Have a great day, all.
Until tomorrow, my friends . . .