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To Do Map

Best at sunset

15 days ago

The first thing I will say is that the Wayne National Forest’s website stating this trail is 9.5 mile, as well as AllTrail’s description stating it’s 13.7 miles are both wrong. We backpacked this trail in 2 days (camped 1 night on the trail). Our total distance on my recording shows 14.6 miles with 8 hours 37 minutes moving time. This distance and time was following the trail blazes exactly and only leaving trail enough to explore the Great Cave and Natural Bridge. We also went the wrong way (in and out) about 100 ft. Otherwise, It’s all the trail. I’d estimate it at about 14.3 miles following it to a T. So if you’re going to go here, just be sure you’re ready for that distance. I’ll also note that there are a few spots where the trail has been rerouted and they all add distance, which would explain the discrepancies. We didn’t think it was quite that long and definitely got more than we expected but it was also out first time back out in over a year. Other than that, the trail is beautiful. It’s a LOT of hills but great scenery.

The trail was blazed very well and mostly easy to follow with a few spots that got a little confusing with the leave on the ground.

There are only 4 campsites setup along the trail so be sure to familiarize yourself with their locations if you plan to overnight this for the first time. My recording is uploaded with all 4 campsites marked, along with creek crossings and other waypoints. We did this trail counter clockwise. Going that way. There are 2 campsites just a few miles into the trail I wouldn’t suggest stopping at these and leaving everything for the next day. The next campsite is right after a steep decline. I would say this is about halfway and by far the nicest campsite. It’s right by a creek and setup nicely. It’s also very very secluded in the middle of the trail. We chose to keep going to the 4th campsite to leave less hiking for the next day. We found it was quite a hike to the 4th one but we made it before dark. It’s located where the trail intersects with another trail and also a short walk to a road where that trail’s trailhead is located. If you plan to hike here it would be a great spot to stash water or other supplies you don’t want to carry. I think it was called Jackson Road Trail.

I also would highly suggest not filtering or treating any water here. Carry everything in or stash it near the road crossings. There are many old oil wells along the trail, one that is definitely leaking into the creek.

Overall it was a tough, but great trip. Doing the loop counterclockwise and staying at the 4th site, we did about 9.5 miles the first day and the other 5 the next. If you stay at the halfway campsite I’d estimate it about 7 miles the first day and 7.5 the next. Looking back that would have been the best choice, but I’m glad we didn’t stop there because there was one other group hiking it clockwise and we passed them between these two sites. If we had taken this site they would have had a very far hike to the next one and wouldn’t have made it there by dark, so take that into consideration when hiking when it’s busier.

NOTE IF YOU HIKE CLOCKWISE: Going counter-clockwise we came down a very steep downgrade right before the 3rd campsite. Looking back up the hill, it looked impossible to climb up it and hard to even see where you would go. Obviously it’s possible due to the loop going both ways but it looks nearly impossible, maybe because the leave covering.

Make sure you stop to check out the Great Cave and Natural Bridge! Both very cool and to the left of the trail going counterclockwise.

not a big fan of the expense to go out here

Nice look out but definitely an easy hike.

Loved doing this loop today! Was able to do the summit of both Stony Man and Little Stony Man in one go. Was a bit muddy and there were parts of the trail covered in ice so be mindful if you’re going during the colder months.

Hiked this trail on July 2017. Unfortunately we could not get to the tunnel falls trail due to the fires. Anyways it didnt matter since the trail is so beautiful and there is so much to see. We stopped and had lunch on a little cave by the punch bowel falls and it was magic. The path does get narrow, sometimes wet. Be mindful that you will walk alongside of a cliff but it is doable. A tree branch will definitely help.

Gorgeous! If you are in this area and you do not check this site out, then you’ve missed out!

Great trail for an over night trip. Unlimited watering points, plenty of camping spots and a lot of scenery. Dog slaughter and Bark Camp Creek falls are off of this trail so that's an added bonus. A couple of Sheltowee shelters along the way also. Next to the RRG, probably the most hiked section of the Sheltowee.

Great trail. Hiked two weeks ago with 4 inches of snow on the ground. Will hike again in the Spring.

Phenomenal view at summit. Kid-friendly trail with shallow gradient.

short & nice submit

Beautiful view, great first hike in Shenandoah!

I hiked this trail in August of 2016 and it takes the cake for all the other trails I’ve hiked. It’s 18 miles round trip and will 100 percent test your endurance. But if you can tough it out, it will be well worth the views. Sadly I believe part of if not the whole trail is closed due to a fire started by some kids in September. The trail was a breath taker. Literally and figuratively.

Amazing view with a short hike to get there!

4 months ago

Beautiful trail and totally worth the trip up!

I love this trail. Kid and dog friendly. Easy and great views.

4 months ago

Good for families and kids. Great view from the look out point

4 months ago

There is not enough words to describe how amazing this hike is!! The scenery, waterfalls, creeks and views are absolutely breathtaking! We hiked about 8 miles the first day and found an beautiful little place to camp, settled in and then hiked a few more miles up and back before settling in for the night. Camp spot was awesome!! Right next the running creek! Headed out the next morning..lots of weekend traffic unfortunately....Stopped at Punch Bowl to relax and take it all in!!
Hiked about 18 miles round trip!!!
Loved every bit of it!!

4 months ago

I was doing Archers Fork Loop Trail as a over night backpacking trip to test out some new gear before me and my pops trip to do 98 miles on th AT. I started this trail counter clockwise started at 6 and got to to the natural bridge just in time to watch the sunrise. I passed up and down over and around breathtaking rock formations and small streams and rivers oil wells old and new throughout. I made it to Jackson run where there was a good little camp spot at about 1 set up camp ate some food and took a nap. when i woke up i decided to just finish it up so packed up in a bit of a haste at about 330. i don't know if it was because i was tired or what but that last section of the trail whooped my ass with the elevation ups and downs finished up about 630. It was a great trail but ran in to a little to many hikers more then my likening anyway but this little challenging trail has a ton of natural beauty and wildlife.

4 months ago

My wife and I spent two days hopscotching trails from Natural Bridge to Front Royal. Being a pair of old senior the Upper Hawksbill trail would be our longest hike but we knew it was easy. This 2 mile out and back trail was easier then most of the 1 milers we did. Although it was a gradual 520 foot climb it is the highest point on the skyline. The elevation was 4,050 feet. It was like a regular walk in the wood full of young Oak trees and plenty of wildlife. The main views are near and it the summit. I highly recommend it for anyone. All the trails are well mark and most are also well used. Wide enough for the crowd that occurred by 3 in the evening. Parking was becoming a problem.

An easy hike on a heavily traveled trail, one of the most popular on the ridge. The view from the turnaround point is a huge draw and offers a fantastic view of the Shenandoah Valley.

Parking at the trail head fills quickly but the lodge offers plenty of parking just 100 yards up the road.

4 months ago

It was all uphill worth the hike up for the nice view! My puppy is 6month old and he did pretty good took us 1 hr and 30 mins

4 months ago

Great view well worth the trip oct 18 2018

A little crowded at Stony Man overlook, but a nice hike.

Okay hike - view was fine.

Pretty crowded. Very rocky. With so many leaves on the ground, it made the rocky trail a little treacherous. Very glad we had on hiking boots, but wish we had hiking poles. Views make it worth it!

Gorgeous views of the falls with a moderate and manageable hike . Will be back for sure when reopens .

4 months ago

Easy hike, with great views of Mount Bachelor and the Three Sisters. Road back to Bend was treacherous but fun if you have a high clearance vehicle. One of the best trips I’ve been on!

We went to both Little Stony Man and Stony Man Summit and came back the same way. Nice hike with great views.

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