Marys Rock via Appalachian Trail (North Approach)

MODERATE 172 reviews
#12 of 163 trails in

Marys Rock via Appalachian Trail (North Approach) is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sperryville, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,210 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
5 days ago

Awesome! Hiked this trail on a beautiful January morning. Started at about 7:15am on a weekday and had the entire trail to myself. Made it up and back in about 90 min. I am a young, fit, fairly experienced hiker, but this trail is definitely doable for people of different skill levels. In general I would allow 2-3 hours. Garmin tracked 3.65 miles.

Trail was rocky, but nothing crazy. Hiking poles helped me feel secure on slippery sections and rocky downhill sections. Steepest parts were at the beginning, otherwise fairly gradual. Initial section of trail along the east side of the mountain was very slick due to rain the previous night, even some small icy spots as well. As long as you are careful of your footing you should have no issues.

Absolutely gorgeous, expansive views at the top! Awesome reward for a fairly short hike. Was also pleasantly surprised at the amount of views to the east while along the first mile of trail (bare trees help). Would do this trail again!

hiking
13 days ago

Started 2019 with a short hike up Mary’s Rock on New Years Day. Was concerned that Skyline Drive might be closed due to gov’t shutdown. Great hike and well worth the effort to get to the top. The views are fantastic. Recommend good shoes as the trail is rocky and rugged. Lots of parking. Trail head located at the Thornton Gap area just outside Sperryville VA. One of my favorite hikes along the parkway.

14 days ago

Well maintained trail. Beautiful views.

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful hike. Not too easy and not too hard. The view is worth the effort. Please make sure you wear good footwear. The terrain can get jagged and rugged. Some parts of the path are frozen with ice and snow. I went up on a cold early morning the day after Christmas. Happy New Year!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views throughout. Lots of climbing. We had a blanket of snow so it looked extra magical. Took us just under 2 hours. Great views up top.

1 month ago

Straight up and down through switchbacks. Definitely tiring on the way up, but the overlook is so worth it. Make sure to have solid footwear with ankle support for the rocky way down.

hiking
1 month ago

Chilly weather gave us the trail pretty much to ourselves. Some precarious icy spots-bring sticks if you have them. views along path are wonderful and the view from the top was stunning!! A new favorite hike!!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice, easy hike. Icy on this day though making the trail slippery in spots. We were a group of 7 ranging from 13 to 60. All found it to be an easy outing with a rewarding view. Little crowded at the top. Great starting point with water and restrooms.

hiking
2 months ago

Super steep, but our group of mostly-out-of shape hikers, 2 young kids, and dog made it no problem. The only issue was all of the acorns on the descent. 2 adults and both kids took pretty bad spills. I definitely would bring walking sticks next time.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a fun hike. Not sure why but I didn’t think it was too rocky as many of the reviews do mention. Great views on the way up and also at the top. Moderately steep which makes it not too difficult.

hiking
2 months ago

Very rocky moderate climb to the top. Views are stunning!
Make sure to go early or midweek to avoid most crowds.

hiking
2 months ago

Steep hike up to a great overlook. Fit people will fly up this thing. Average people will hurt a little but make it up fine. Unfit people can make it to the top, just take your time and take short breaks up against all the big nice boulders. Everyone can do this one, some with more effort.

I went super early, got in the park when it was still dark. Was on the trail right after sunrise... didn’t see another soul until I was halfway up and I passed this guy with trekking poles coming down (probably hiked from the other route). I got to the top and there was one young lady there who I chatted with for a bit. I stayed for a little while at the top alone even though it was cold and rain was on the way. A family with a young child about 10 got up to the top. When getting ready to leave I heard the boy say, “going back will be easy!” Well it is easier but not easy, take your time because all the rocks and downslope can lead to a twisted ankle very easily.

On the way down I ran into a few families and couples on their way up. So if you want to do the hike in solitude and have some time at the top by yourself go early!

2 months ago

Wonderful hike, we did take a wrong turn which made the hike longer but we really enjoyed a fantastic View at the top.

2 months ago

Nice rocky trail!

hiking
2 months ago

Moderate hike with pleasant panoramic views at the end. Trail was moderately trafficked, but not crowded. Elevation steepness and roots/rocks on trail make it a bit more challenging, but it should not be too challenging for anyone with hiking experience or a good fitness level.

3 months ago

Great short hike for a fall day (hiked 9/29) with good views. Not too many people on our Friday morning.

hiking
3 months ago

The view at the top is great and good for short hike. Not a 5-star though because we were aware of Skyline Drive for the first half of the hike. Trail traffic was moderate on a Wednesday.

hiking
3 months ago

A short but steady incline that takes you to some incredible views. This is a popular trail with a parking lot, bathrooms, and water at the bottom. Expect to see people, possibly quite a few if it's a weekend or holiday.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail. Very rocky path all the way up. I brought my three and a half year old son, and he completed the whole thing by himself (while holding my hand). Good trail for kids as long as they can hold onto you so they don't trip on one of the rocks.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful view - just stunning. This hike I would rate as a little more difficult than moderate- only because my 8yr old daughter had a tough time. So beware if you plan on bringing any children. Take your time and take breaks. Kids aside- rocky but well maintained trail. Most of your view is through the forest of course on the way up- you will pass an old home- chimney remnants. Really cool- once you reach around 3000ft there are views- beautiful once you've reached the rock. Worth it.

3 months ago

Not that hard of a hike with great scenery on the way up and a astonishing view at the top. Great for family’s though it will be hard for younger children.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail, with lots of scenery. Most of the trail was in the shade when we did it in the morning with the exception of the summit.

hiking
4 months ago

great views!

hiking
4 months ago

What a workout!! Rocky uphill climb. The view at the summit was beautiful. Well worth the sweat! Downhill on the way out is a relief, but rocky. Traffic was a bit high today..lots of people on the trail and at the summit. Be careful to follow the correct posts markings, one couple we ran into had walked down the wrong trail and had to climb back up to get back on the trail back. We all burned some serious calories today!! So much fun! FYI They charge $30 to enter national park by vehicle.

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing trail! Very rewarding with the views on the summit. Recommended.

5 months ago

Great hike. Be prepared for. Rocky path.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail. We did this trail last month and only saw a few other people hiking it as well. Great views at the top. Added bonus was seeing a black bear on the trail near the parking lot.

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail - challenging but not overly steep and it’s relatively short. Dog loved it and was able to complete the rock scramble at the top. Beautiful views at the summit but also along the way. Decent tree coverage which helps in the summer - we began our hike at 11 am on a warm July day and the only part that was truly bad temp wise was the summit. Recommend this hike! Trail is pretty rocky (smaller rocks), so make sure to pay attention and keep your balance.

hiking
6 months ago

Well maintained and wide trail. It's not steep so doesn't feel like it has that much elevation. Short but really enjoyable view at the end.
I'm planning to try this again with kids on fall.

hiking
6 months ago

A very steep trek and extremely rocky. By no means is it an easy trail. I had two separate close encounters with black bears along this trail, but that can happen anywhere in Shenandoah.

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