In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northern Virginia, this hike takes you from the eastern side of the mountains to a view west. Much of it will give you a workout within the lush Virginian forest, but clear views are to be had at Mary’s Rock.
As an out and back, this hike is about 8 miles. Take the Buck Hollow Trail up through the Virginian woods along a stream. Eventually you’ll come to a parking lot along Skyline Drive. Take a left along Skyline Drive for a moment, then cross the road to take the Meadow Spring Trail. Once you hit the Appalachian Trail, take a right and before you know it, you’ll be at Mary’s Rock.
Whether you climb to the top of the rock to gain a higher vantage point or not, the views from Mary’s Rock are beautiful. You can take your time here, if you’d like, and soak it all in. It would be a good time to hydrate, eat a bit and rest up for the journey back the way you came.
The hike begins off of Route 211, east of the Thorton Gap Entrance to Shenandoah National Park. There is a small area for cars to park immediately off the road.