Buck Ridge Trail To Mary's Rock Loop

MODERATE 46 reviews
#36 of 147 trails in

Buck Ridge Trail To Mary's Rock Loop is a 8.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Sperryville, Virginia that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,585 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

beach

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Nice moderate/strenuous loop that can be done by itself or included with an additional hike up to Mary's Rock. From the parking area on 21, head up the trail crossing the stream and go left to the blue blazed Buck Ridge trail. The first 1/2 mile is very steep and has more than 660 steps. Continue up the mountain passing a rock overlook until you come to a tee in the trail. Go right on the yellow blazed Hazel Mountain Trail for to the Hazel Mountain parking area. At this point you can either continue up to Mary's Rock or shorten the hike and turn right on the blue blazed Buck Hollow trail. To continue up to Mary's Rock cross Skyline Drive, walk 50 yards left uphill and head uphill on the Meadow Spring Trail for 0.6 miles passing the ruins of an old homestead about halfway before meeting the intersection of the white blazed Appalachian Trail and ridge line. Turn right on the AT following it for 0.8 miles before arriving at the junction of the Mary's Rock Lookout Trail. Turn left uphill on the Mary's Rock Lookout Trail and come to the Mary's Rock Vista. There is a fun rock scramble from here to the summit. To return, retrace your steps back along the AT and down the Meadow Spring Trail to the Hazel Mountain parking area on Skyline Drive. To continue, turn  left just below the parking lot onto blue blazed Buck Hollow Trail. The Buck Hollow Trail descends the valley crossing the stream several times. At the intersection of Buck Ridge trail, turn left on the Buck Hollow Trail and arrive back at the parking area.

hiking
1 month ago

Bears are definitely out and about in this area, especially on lightly travelled days. Started at the bottom with only two other cars there. Took the left path (Buck’s Ridge) to knock out those stairs first. I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish the remaining 8 mikes after those step up the side of the mountain! Levels out some after that.

About half way along the ridge, came up on a bear cub running through the woods. I hung back for 5-10 minutes to wait for them to move along. As I continued on, I spotted the momma bear down the hill looking up at me. Continued on to not stick around that area.

Hit the parking area for Mary’s Rock without seeing another person. Passed a few people while heading to the top there. Great views!

On the way back down, maybe a quarter mile from the top, I startled another bigger bear that I didn’t notice as I came around a bend. It took of running into the woods, and looked back as I moved along.

Took the Buck’s Hollow trail back down to the car, not seeing another person on that trail either. It follows a stream most of the way down, which was nice.

Definitely recommend this hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Started on Skyline, went down Buck Hallow, up on Buck Ridge and all the way up to Mary’s Rock. A tough climb but I’d totally recommend this direction! This trail had everything— water, woods, views. Buck Hallow is lovely along the river with some small falls and easy water crossings. The descent isn’t too steep but it’s constant. Really glad I went up Buck Ridge because there were some spots I wouldn’t want to go down (including the stairs!). Once you’re up it flattens out which is a nice way to end the loop. Mary’s Rock was tough after the ~6 mile loop but what a view from the top! Well worth it! Loved this hike!

2 months ago

This is a great trail for calorie burning. Go left and clockwise from the Rt 211 trailhead and you’ll get 664 steps to start out your hike. This is a bear spot for some reason, I’ve seen one almost every time, but no reason to avoid the hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Very enjoyable trail We take our kids (5 and 7) moderate ratings are usually okay for them Just a little advise do not split left at the first split trail option We did not go that way and I ran into another hiker that did and it is very steep

hiking
5 months ago

Remarks from the Buck Ridge Trail Overseer for exactly twenty years. I helped rescue this trail from planned abandonment in the late seventies. Perfect circuit when coupled with the more attractive and older Buck Hollow Trail. There are, BTW, 612 steps at the bottom. I know. Patrick Wilson and I dug most of them in. Boy Scouts lugged most of the steps up when needed. Patrick was…and may still be…the Buck Hollow Trail Overseer. Of all the Blue Blaze trails along the AT, BRT has the greatest altitude change in a short distance. Something like 1800’ in a quarter mile. Don’t hold me to those numbers. I last did the circuit in 2012 when I was 78 (6 ½ hrs). I love that trail.

hiking
5 months ago

great exercise hike. plenty of spots that open up to see some views, took me only 3 hours 10 mins with a little delay . would do again for sure

hiking
Monday, December 12, 2016

Love this semi-challenges no hike for a dog's day out:)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Great trail, and well maintained. Great hike if you're looking for elevation.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Awesome babbling brook most of the way up. Mary's rock is super crowded. bucks ridge was less than challenging, except the stupid stairs, on the way down.

hiking
Sunday, November 06, 2016

I took the left trail up and the right one down. Great hike but the only views you get are of surrounding mountain but during fall it's great simply because of the colors. After completing I realized I am in better shape than I originally thought.

hiking
Monday, March 14, 2016

nice trail, dog friendly and reasonably kid friendly. would recommend taking the right path at the fork and following the stream with the waterfalls on your way up. the left path is nice, but has a steep climb with stairs.

hiking
Saturday, May 16, 2015

My wife and I did this trail counterclockwise working our way up to Mary's Climb. We did the Buck Hollow trail to start and ended up coming back using Hazel Mountain. The trail has a beautiful creek with a few very small waterfalls and some amazing overlooks on Mary's Climb. According to GPS it was closer to 10 miles than 9 if you do the entire thing.

hiking
Thursday, January 01, 2015

I've done this hike honestly over 150+ times over the last several years. I use it for training. Start from 211 and go clockwise. Its a decent elevation gain (2000+) good workout . If you have time, take the trail from Skyline to the top of Marys Rock. Adds more gain and way better views at the top.
Have seen bear on buck hollow every year and love it. If its views you want during the summer this is not the trail. It only opens up in a few spots.

hiking
Monday, February 18, 2013

Did the trail to Mary's Rock, clockwise again. It was a pretty cold day and a dusting of snow here and there on the trail. Snow was probably an inch or so by the time I got to the ridge. Skyline Drive was closed due to snow and ice. It wasn't that bad crossing. The trail from there to Mary's Rock was snow covered, probably an inch or two.

hiking
Sunday, September 09, 2012

Did this clockwise on the first of what seemed like an autumn day. The steep incline is a killer. The calves were feeling it half way up the first mile or two. Once you get beyond there it's a more moderate but steady incline until Skyline Drive. Views at Mary's Rock are always great. You could see some patches of trees turning red about a mile or two from there.

hiking
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The trail has very pretty rocky creeks to cross. Not one person seen while hiking. It is a steady incline. Definitely wear bug spray when you go, as I did not and got attacked by the gnats and mosquitos. Very fun trail. Will go again and bring my dog next time.

hiking
Saturday, February 04, 2012

I did this trail counter clockwise from the 211 lot. Once at Skyline decided to go up to Mary's Rock for an additional few miles.

I'd definitely recommend counter clockwise, as the other direction form the 211 lot can be pretty strenuous. For those wanting to try it, the very steep part does have steps which help. They look like they were recently added. Once that part is done, the trial follows the ridge up to Skyline at a moderate incline.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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