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Rudimentary Ranking w/ Pros and Cons : Kennedy + Tower with 360 view; lightly trafficked; ~2 hrs away; moderate difficulty - 8.7 mile loop; unsure of flora variety; view is good, but not amazing Bearfence Mountain +awesome view; 2.5 hrs away -only 1 mile loop; rock scramble Little Stony Man +2-2.5 hrs away; great view, nearly 360?; could pair with bearfence -only 3.4 miles; moderately travelled Spy Rock - 3 hrs away Trayfoot Mountain +awesome view; diverse scenery; stream; -2.75 miles away; 9.9 miles Three Ridges Trail +amazing view; waterfalls and streams; - 3.25 hrs away; difficult; 12.6 miles Cole Mountain -3.5 hrs away Rocky Mount and Gap Run + good view, not just one view of surrounding mountains; stream - 2.5 hrs away; 9.2 miles Riprap Trail + trail looks fun; nice view at top; Stream, waterfall and swimming-hole - 9.4 miles; views limited; 2.75 to 3 hrs away Signal Knob + 1.5 hrs away; multiple viewpoints; Areas with stream - 9.98 miles and hard difficulty; views look eh Strickler Knob +nice vista view; 2 hrs away; river - ok views, not looking over other mountains, but the surrounding valley; 8.8miles Big and Little Schloss

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trail running
1 day ago

I ran the trail today in 4 hours. It was amazing! started at Reid's Gap just as many did. I've run a portion of this trail before, but wanted to knock out the whole loop today. It has very technical terrain and even more so with the snow and some icy spots left from other people packing the snow down - so down hill traveling was very slow. I kept going past the Mau-Har Trail and followed the AT down to the highway (not sure how long that leg was) and the turned around and went back up, this time turning onto the Mau-Har trail. I was not expecting that portion to be as difficult as it was...very steep most of the way up and I was already tired. It was very refreshing to complete the loop and get back to the car by the end!

muddy
snow
1 day ago

Went for a trail run/hike MLK weekend. The trail was well worn. Some areas were muddy, slick, and still snow covered, but nothing boots or goretex trail shoes with gaiters can't handle.

I started on the upper Orange ridge trail, went to the peak, and loved the view. I added a few meters of "bonus adventure trails," thanks in part to snow but mostly me not paying attention. I completely blew past both switchback areas mentioned in the comments:

-The first is a rather clearly marked switchback on Orange; there is an emblazoned forked tree trunk and a small wall of rocks to guide you though in snow it was not clear and there is a trail of sorts on the other side which can lead you heading toward the wrong side of the peak; keep the peak on your right.

-The second is the transition from Orange to Yellow after the peak..today it was marked by blue tape on the trees. I just was on a running roll and flew by it. It was nice to break new snow at least!

The yellow trail bit is best for trail running, but the whole loop was a nice way to disperse pent up energy just enough to then cozy up in a nearby cabin.

If you park at the upper parking area, it ends with a nice steep ascent that today had an odd concentration of horse tracks and manure from the lower parking area to the upper parking area back on Orange. This was the sloppiest part of the entire trail, and I admit it had me huffing and puffing. Good way to end a nice moderate loop!

Took me about 3 hrs, with some running, walking, and picture taking pauses.

I LOVE THIS HIKE! This hike can be as easy or as challenging as you want it to be. There’s a relaxing trail that can lead you in or out of the rocks that still gives you an amazing view (for beginners) or for those who like the “fun” way, there is a wicked awesome rock scramble on the way up the mountain. One of my favorite hikes on skyline. It’ll never get old.

Good hike no fishing spots I think there was a error on this.

Great views from the top, not terribly difficult

Awesome hike with great climbing opportunities

hiking
15 days ago

Very nice hike with awesome views on Spy Rock. Reminds me of a mini version of Old Rag, but not as difficult. Views along the trail (AT most of the way) are best during winter months.

trail running
15 days ago

Was able to make the loop in three hours of steady pace. Give yourself longer if you want to enjoy the summit and pause to eat.

This was a pretty hard trail loop to be honest. We went during the summer, which was a big mistake. It’s amazing for a hard days hike, but be warned: it’s not well hiked, which means the cover is VERY thick and VERY prickly. We had bloodied arms and legs...and pair of leggings torn.
Absolutely worth the views at the top and along the way.
The ascent to the peak is a nice climb, great for a workout. Would love to go back and do this loop in the fall/winter when the brush isn’t so thick.

Overcast day, but still an enjoyable hike. Nice view.
The trail is rocky with a few steep climbs. Not a well marked trail. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a trail marking until reaching a junction. Just pull up this app and find your location on the map.

Loved the trail especially the rock scramble. Amazing views.

Hiked this loop on 12-30–18, starting with Kennedy peak and looping back up from the west. Great views along the ridge and up and down Kennedy peak. The trail was in good condition for the most part. Took two of us and a dog about 4.5 hours with about 15 minutes on Kennedy Peak. It was a Sunday before New Years so there were a lot of people (with dogs) at the peak and on the trail. We passed one group of about 10 people, several families, and a dude on a horse.

The only trouble we had was the transition from the orange to yellow blazed trail along the ridge. The intersection is now marked with a stack of three stones as the path was hard to recognize with the fallen leaves. This hike is worth doing once, but if your looking for solitude, check it out on a weekday.

camping
21 days ago

Beautiful view. Much like hawks bill.

hiking
22 days ago

Really awesome trail. This was my first time completing a rock scramble and I really enjoyed it. Short but challenging hike. Great views.

Such a blast!! I love this little trail. Views are amazing

Traveling counter-clockwise, the first 1/2 mile may be crowded as it's a popular short trail to the Stony Man overlook. Skip that view, though, and continue on the AT to connect up with the Passamaquoddy and amazing overlooks with fewer hikers.

Trail is definetely not for the inexperienced hiker. Lots of elevation changes, crossing a few streams, pretty long distance. Very challenging, great views for last .5 mile to the top!

Fun little hike. Didn’t get to see the view due to rain and fog, but I imagine it’s worth it if you want to pause your drive to stretch your legs.

Great hike even in gloomy conditions. The rocks are super slippery when they are wet. Will have to hike it again on a clear day.

Simply Beautiful. Don’t miss it

Awesome rock scramble

Also parked at end of Horsehead Rd and did trail clockwise. Skyline Drive was closed that day because there had been an ice storm 4 days before. So on the trail there were lots of blowndown branches and limbs- but all were passable. Even had some areas of ice on trail, but more crunchy than slick. Hike up Trayfoot was long but not too steep - a good workout. Since leaves were off the trees, I had lots of good views both east and west since much of time on a ridgeline. Got to BlackRock summit and it was spectacular views in many directions. I was only one around and it was special to have the summit to myself. Hike down Paine Run trl was uneventful - it is more like a fire road. However, due to this season of rain, I had 2 water crossings going up and 3 coming down. Passable with water shoes ( came up just short of knee) but water was really cold. Total distance was 10.5 miles

I would suggest a sturdy truck to get up to the parking lot (state maintenance ends on the road leading up to trailhead). I did ok in my Honda Civic but would have rather had my Ram. Other than that the hike was fabulous! Great landscaping and views!

hiking
1 month ago

The hike up will definitely get your heart pumping. The view from the top is fantastic. Worth the hike!

rock scrambling is the best.

Fun trail with beautiful views! I recommend getting to the summit just before sunset to view massanutten in it's blueish silhouette glory.

A little rocky, but overall a great hike for people and pups alike!

My Husband and did this hike yesterday. Though you can hike under a mile to the summit, we decided to do the loop. Which I’m glad we did...it allowed us to be away from people and to absorb nature. I’m happy I used AllTrails because the trail/tree markings weren’t the best and we went off the loop trail a few times. (Another adventure so we didn’t mind). The trail was rocky but it was a lot of fun. There are different lookouts in the the loop trail that were intimate and quiet. When we hiked to the first lookout (lower rock lookout) a bunch of people emerged from the opposite direction. They ran in front of us and started posing for pictures. The top rocky view (not summit) was the best lookout of the entire hike. It’s priceless and you won’t regret it. Very rocky though. The summit view wasn’t my favorite of this hike. The touristy “hikers” ruined some of natural components of the view by taking countless Instagram pics. Definitely a great hike, suggest hiking it week days to avoid rude people and to hike the loop to enjoy some downtime with nature.

hiking
2 months ago

This is probably my favorite trail in the entire park. This is like a giant playground. It feels exposed and if you are afraid of heights, this probably is one to stay away from ...but the views are amazing and worth it. It is a pretty easy hike and the payoff for the view is well worth the scramble. NO DOGS allowed on the trail for obvious reasons ...I don't want someone hurting their fur baby trying to get them up to the summit for a pic, there are plenty of other places for that in the park..

Dogs are allowed on the AT and other trails but they are NOT allowed on the trail to stony man.... which makes this loop mediocre at best.

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