Hawksbill Summit Trail is a 1.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Syria, Virginia that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
672 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wildlife

Tallest peak in Shenandoah, nothing to see until summit, then 360 degree view. This trail is steep for nearly the entire hike. You are well inside the tree line for the entire hike, so there is not much to see. Once you reach the byrd shelter the views abound, and just another 100 feet or so, you reach the summit overlook, a beautiful 360 degree view. The NPS has a stone overlook built on the summit, so it's easy to know when you have gotten there. It's a tough walk but worth it. Within an hour you can bag the tallest peak in Shenandoah! There is an alternate version of this hike that is a loop. The hike described in this report is an out an back route.

hiking
16 days ago

Great trail to end your day on! Super easy. Great for kids!

hiking
1 month ago

Hawksbill is a great mountain and over 4K. The shelter and overlook in the summit are really great. The summit trail is great and accessible to all. You can also approach this trail from the eastern valley such as white oak canyon or cedar run for a real challenge.

hiking
1 month ago

Simple, short, scenic sunrise hike. Satisfaction guaranteed.

2 months ago

a little uphill with rewarding views

2 months ago

Nice hike - 20 minutes to summit. We took the salamander trail to the Appalachian trail back. This routes goes through an active talus or boulder field very cool

2 months ago

Short and intense on the way up. Beautiful views!

2 months ago

Great view. Well worth the effort.

hiking
2 months ago

Steep at some points but love the shade cover all the way until the summit. It’s a strenuous hike for those who are not avid hikers but I found it relaxing. Go early to avoid crowds. There’s a picnic table at the top and two great lookout spots. Hard to get a completely clear look with the low sitting clouds but I highly recommend!

hiking
3 months ago

easy short hike. Spectacular views from the summit. Lots of hawks riding the thermals.

3 months ago

Amazing views for such a short hike!!

3 months ago

It’s a steep trail but totally worth it. The entrance is all covered with trees up almost half way and then once you reach the hawksbill summit, it was so relaxing to just sit on the boulders and enjoy the breeze. Due to low clouds and fog we were not able to see the scenic view but we still enjoyed it. Remember to take water bottle because you will need it.

hiking
4 months ago

5 months ago

This was a tough hike for me, but I am still a beginner. The incline was intense, but totally doable with a bunch of breaks. The view was amazing!

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike but took wrong turn and ended up having to walk the road. Will do it again. Saw a small bear when leaving.

hiking
6 months ago

Stunning views !!

hiking
6 months ago

Nice hike through the woods until the very top. Not too strenuous or difficult. Can't comment on the view, as everything was in fog when we visited.

hiking
7 months ago

Decent hike. It can be 1.7 miles or 2.7 depending on wether you make it a loop down the Appalachian Trail. Otherwise, just walk up to the summit and back.

Good short moderate trail for leashed dogs and kids.

I’ll visit again.

hiking
7 months ago

Rewarding and intense quick hike. Awesome views anytime of the day. Have seen both the sunrise (in October) & the sunset (in April) here - both experiences invigorating. Would absolutely do it again and again.

9 months ago

Great little trail, nice incline to a beautiful summit. Took about an hour round trip! Worth the climb for the beautiful view.

10 months ago

Short hike but the view is awesome!

11 months ago

Great short hike.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Daniel Andorsky: this summit will probably have a decent number of people there if the weather is nice. It's a fairly easy trail with a great view, which will probably equal a number of families, and hikers looking for a good lunch spot. It is however a GREAT hike to watch the sunset. Get there a little early stake out a space to watch it, and hit your knee as the sunset gets going. Neither one of you will care who is around, and it's not a proposal she'll forget. I will also be at the park that weekend. I'll be thinking of you ☺️

hiking
Wednesday, October 04, 2017

How crowded does the summit get? I am looking to go on October 22nd (Sunday) in the early afternoon to propose to my fiance. I just don't want it to be too crowded. Is there are more secluded area with the views? Any help is appreciated!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Amazing view! Stayed there for 30 minutes and enjoyed the view.

hiking
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Nice climb. Nothing but fog at summit with only one or two peaks visible in distance. Waited 20 min and it blew out leavening spectacular views.

hiking
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

So crowded. The hike is straight up and short. If you're coming from DC, it's a 3 hour drive for a half hour hike. Once you get to the top it's as crowded as a mall food court. It was loud and not peaceful at all.

This was listed as one of the best hikes in VA. I beg to differ.

hiking
Monday, September 25, 2017

worth all the incline. started at big meadows and took the AT to salamander trail up to the summit and back for a total of 10 miles. Took about 5 hours with water breaks and stumbled across 3 bears on the way back.

hiking
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Great short hike with awesome views. It's a pretty straight uphill incline the entire way with little to no switchbacks so that can be challenging. We did it in probably about an hour, stopping for breaks.

hiking
Sunday, August 27, 2017

Awesome views for not a lot of effort. We headed right at the trailhead and went around the loop the long way. Though it's longer, the steepness of the trail (in our opinion) makes it a lot easier to do. On the way back from the summit, however, is a different story (filled with aching knees and ankles). The summit itself was gorgeous, and the views were impeccable. There is another off-shoot summit that you can visit as well that might not be as populated (the views were actually better there, imo).

hiking
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The hike is an easy walk with a couple steep sections but it's all about the view! Stunning. Saw crows, hawks and turkey vultures. Great view of old rag and several other peaks. Easy for dogs and kids

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