Mary's Rock Summit Trail, Shenandoah National Park

4.6
#7 of 9 in Parks in Shenandoah National 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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Mary's Rock Summit Trail Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
89 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This is a nice class 1 trail (easy). Ample parking at trailhead and a fairly busy route. No water available at any point except trailhead. This route is an out and back that can be extended easily by ...  more »
  • Okay, this trail isn’t for just anyone. It’s a steep hike up that gives you no break. We would ask hikers coming down, “how much further?”. No matter where in the hike we were we kept hearing “about a...  more »
  • We wanted to make a day of it and weren’t sure of our capabilities. Instead of the most direct route to Mary’s trail, we parked near jewel where there was an actual parking lot. Made our way about 50 ...  more »
Google
  • I've done this hike several times, and it's always a great view! There are at least a couple ways to get to the peak. I've done the ~4 mile round trip hike from the panorama parking lot the most often. However, if you're feeling up to it, there is a more scenic hike from the pinnacles picnic area that's about 7 miles or so round trip. Either way, it can be a tough climb, but the views are definitely worth it! This hike from the panorama parking lot is also good in the winter. If skyline drive is snowy/icy, and you don't want to or are unable to go further into the park, this hike is still worth the drive out here! I'd recommend trekking poles if the trail is icy, however, since there are a couple spots where slick ice can lead you tumbling down a steep incline if you aren't very careful.
  • This trail is moderate to strenous and straight up.  The trail itself is very nice and shaded.  There are some nice views along the way and the summit is cool look out. It is a rocky trail so your feet might hurt some.
  • Hiked to Mary's rock on Summer and Winter time. Defiantly recommend to hike there in Summer time. Views are just amazing and breath taking. It's not very hard to get. Total about one hour one way. Do not forget to take some water with you and some snacks. Have fun and enjoy.
  • Easy short hike . Overlooks the skyline drive from top
  • Summiting Mary's Rock from the parking lot area will take 90-120 minutes for the average hiker. This includes water breaks (yes, bring some), and navigating traffic on the trail. Coming back down will take much less--45 to 60 minutes. We started our hike in the morning and enjoyed a quick snack on the blustery rock face overlooking the Thurmont Gap Entrance Station. This trail is well maintained, the parking lot is plentiful in the morning, and the restrooms are conveniently located at the trailhead. Definitely recommend checking out this view!

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