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“A Fantastic Day Hike” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mary's Rock Summit Trail

Mary's Rock Summit Trail
Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, VA
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Fredericksburg, Virginia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“A Fantastic Day Hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

I have done this hike twice with kids. It is a moderate hike with no rock scrambling like Old Rag. It is really important to have shoes with traction. The view at the top and even going up is just lovely. I have seen it in spring and winter.

Visited December 2012
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35 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Centreville, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Invigorating!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

We parked at the Meadow Spring parking lot (between mile markers 33 and 34 along Skyline Parkway). Just south of the lot across the parkway is a trail marker where we entered the Meadow Spring Trail. It is almost entirely upward along a rocky terrain for the first ½ mile until you reach the Appalachian Trail. You will pass an old unmarked chimney about half way up. Once at the Appalachian Trail there is another trail marker that points you North toward Mary’s Rock. We stopped at this juncture for a brief snack. Heading North on the Appalachian Trail it does level off some, but is still predominantly uphill and rocky. About a half-mile later you will notice that you see a ridge line to your left and that’s the sign you are getting close. You’ll see Mary’s Rock on your left, but we took the spur trail along the back side and entered the rock from the North. (Some others were more adventurous and climbed up the rock from the South). Once at Mary’s Rock, we spent at least 45 minutes climbing all over it and taking in the views. We sat on a boulder overlooking the valley and enjoyed our picnic lunch. There were other people around which made for friendly conversation, but not at all crowded. It was nice having other hikers to take our picture (and vice versa). The hike back down was much easier because it was almost entirely downhill and we knew where we were going. I highly recommend this hike if you want a stunning view but don’t have enough time for some of the longer hikes in Shenandoah National Park. I would rate this hike as moderate to difficult due to the significant ascent and rocks. Mary’s Rock is worth it!

Visited October 2013
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Annandale, va
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Excellent beginner hike - Two ways up”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

For anyone who lives in the DC area, this is one of the closest and best little hikes around. The almost 360 views are magnificant (go in the morning to get the sun behind you on the best side). In the fall with the leaves it's amazing, though it can get crowded!

Keep in mind there are 2 ways up, I have done both a bunch of times. The main way from Panaroma is the harder. The way from the Meadow Spring Parking Area is a good bit shorter and only 3 miles round trip. The first half up is strenuous, but then it gets much easier. I recently took my 5 year old Godson for his first real hike and that way was perfect. The parking at that area is limited so on a busy weekend get there early.

For anyone with young kids, or is elderly or just not in great shape, but still wants to do a real hike with a great payoff this is great. And you can do the whole trip in half a day. With my Godson we left from Fairfax County at 7:00am and I was back home by 1:30 (and we spent a good 45 minutes at the top)

Visited September 2013
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Greenbelt, Maryland
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Summit tip: look around.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013 via mobile

The first view that greets you isn't the best. Scramble up the boulders at the top for a total 360.

if you have energy to spare consider going S on the Appalachian Trail past Byrd's Nest #3 to The Pinnacle.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Work out with a prize at the end...a great view!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

The hike is listed as "moderately" difficult but depends on a person's activity/fitness level. Persons of all ages were on the trail. There are some points that gets a bit of incline with areas that range from rocky to hard packed dirt. It was a great work out with the end result of a wonderful view at the top and can see out for miles! Went during summer and can only imagine how much more beautiful it would be in the fall to see the varieties of trees and changed leaves! Would definitely return in the future.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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