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Hawksbill Summit Trail

MODERATE 162 reviews
#13 of 178 trails in

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

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

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
1 day ago

We enjoyed this short but steadily steep hike. In May there are an abundance of beautiful wildflowers along the way. The view and interesting rock formations were a nice, quick payoff.

hiking
17 days ago

did this trail with my family a couple of summers ago carrying a 2 year old in a carrier and let my 5 year old lead the way. She's fast. Its pretty much straight up so don't expect easy but it isn't long. The views are outstanding at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely a beautiful view of the park from the summit. As others have said, it's a pretty steadily uphill from the trailhead to the top, but it only takes about half an hour to get there. The trail itself had very little to see, which was disappointing. But the view at the summit makes this a four star hike for me.

1 month ago

great view at the end

1 month ago

steady incline all the way to the summit which makes the viewpoint even better. A great way to get your heart rate up but not super difficult. It took about 35ish minutes to reach the top. Took my 8 yr old son and we did this hike after the cedar run trail so we were pretty spent upon arrival. going back down was actually harder than going up, but i think for us, this was due to already hiking the cedar run trail. The view is absolutely amazing and very very well worth every minute. there is also a shelter atop of the climb. Would definitely do it again!

hiking
1 month ago

Great March hike. Trail was a gradual incline. Views at the top spectacular

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

We just hiked the short path up to Hawksbill, and it was a great trail! Very steep and rocky, but it only took us about 30 mins to the top. I would reccomend having shoes or boots with good tread.

I took my dogs for a nice hike today up to Hawksbill Summit. It was a pretty easy walk, however one of my dogs was afraid of the stone balcony for some reason. She preferred to stand on the jagged rocks rather than the flat rocks. Kind of weird, and the only time she’s ever done that. Either way, the view is amazing, and I highly recommend going here! However, I would go after February. It is really freezing!!!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Quick little hike guaranteed to get your blood pumping and you’ll be handsomely rewarded with a gorgeous scenic overlook at the summit.

hiking
5 months ago

Pretty short hike and straight forward. People are complaining about there being lots of people, I woke up at 430 and hiked up didn't see a single person had the sunrise to myself. You gotta go when no one else wants to, that the trick!

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing views, worth the challenging uphill hike! Extremely windy at the top, careful with the wind gusts when close to the edge!

hiking
6 months ago

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

hiking
7 months 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
7 months ago

Simple, short, scenic sunrise hike. Satisfaction guaranteed.

8 months ago

a little uphill with rewarding views

8 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

8 months ago

Short and intense on the way up. Beautiful views!

8 months ago

Great view. Well worth the effort.

hiking
8 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
9 months ago

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

9 months ago

Although the trail is a short distance it was a steady incline to the top. Once you reach the summit point the view makes it all worthwhile as it is breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

The hike itself is pretty short. Although the last quarter of the trail gains a lot of elevation which can make it hard for people who aren't in shape. The viewpoint was amazing. The views were definitely worth it. The only negative thing I experienced while on this hike was once we reached the viewpoint the gnats were horrible. I was covered and was constantly brushing them off by body. No amount of bug spray helped me. I even have a couple pictures and there was bugs on the lense of my camera haha. Overall would recommend this hike!!!

9 months ago

Amazing views for such a short hike!!

9 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
10 months ago

11 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
11 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
Sunday, May 20, 2018

Stunning views !!

hiking
Saturday, April 28, 2018

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
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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.

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