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Mary's Rock Summit Trail, Shenandoah National Park

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#7 of 11 in Things to do in Shenandoah National Park
Hiking Trail Nature / Park
Mary's Rock, also known as Marys Rock, is a 3,514-foot tall mountain in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, United States. The peak is just south of the Thornton Gap Entrance of the park, and north of the taller Pinnacle. Mary's Rock is the eighth highest peak in Shenandoah National Park.Hiking Mary's RockTwo trails lead to the summit of Mary's Rock. One which starts from the Panorama Visitor Center and the other which starts from the Meadow Spring Parking Area. The trail from Panorama is somewhat longer and steeper, and is generally considered more difficult. It follows the white-blazed Appalachian Trail. The other trail is shorter and somewhat less difficult. The summit of the rock offers views of the northern section of Shenandoah National Park and Page Valley.Legends of Mary's RockMary's Rock has its fair share of legends of how the rock was named. One story claims that Francis Thornton wed Mary Savage and brought her up the mountain to show her the lands they would own together. Another legend claims that Thornton had a daughter named Mary, who climbed up the mountain when she was young and came back with a bear cub under her arm. Yet another states that it was named after the wife of William Randolph Barbee.Marys Rock TunnelMarys Rock Tunnel is a 610ft long tunnel blasted through the mountain that Skyline Drive passes through. Constructed in 1932, it is considered one of the engineering feats of Skyline Drive.
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Where to stay in Shenandoah National Park

All developed accommodation in Shenandoah National Park lies on or near Skyline Drive. The park offers one lodge, one resort, and one set of cabins, all of which a private concessionaire operates. With 179 rooms, rustic cabins, multi-unit lodges, and modern suites, Skyland Resort provides the most places to turn in for the night. You can also choose one of four campgrounds, all of which remain open through spring, summer, and fall. Of these, only Matthews Campground accepts reservations; if you plan to visit the park on a summer or fall weekend, arrive early at the other campgrounds to grab a site. Plenty of inns, bed and breakfasts, resorts, motels, and hotels surround the park. Stay in the nearby college town of Harrisonburg if you're looking for a lively nighttime setting.
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  • The terrain on this hike was varied: lots of switchbacks, rocks, and tree roots to pay attention to. The views were well worth it. It seemed every time we turned a corner, we had something lovely to s...  more »
  • Lots of big rocks which my teenage boys loved. It kept them entertained while my husband & I just sat & enjoyed the view.  more »
  • Loved Mary's Rock Overlook! See the photo! The weather was perfect for a hike this day and we wanted to hike the entire 9 mile trail but ran short on time. Some spots of the trail can be rocky and ste...  more »