Upper Hawksbill Trail

MODERATE 52 reviews
#17 of 118 trails in

Upper Hawksbill Trail is a 2.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Syria, Virginia that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
501 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

The Upper Hawksbill Trail is the easiest route to the summit of Hawksbill, which is the tallest mountain in Shenandoah National Park. From the parking lot, begin hiking from the Upper Hawksbill Trailhead. Like all park trails, the trail has blue blazes. The lower portion of the trail is very wide and well maintained and follows a gradual slope that makes for relatively easy hiking. The trail is heavily wooded, so no views are available, but wildlife sightings are possible. About three-fourths of the way up, the trail levels off and turns northwest for a few hundred yards. The trail actually goes slightly downhill before intersecting the Hawksbill fire road. Turn right on fire road, which heads northeast to the summit. The park fire road is steeper and rockier than the rest of the trail, so the hiking is more difficult. The first sign that you have reached the summit is a Byrd's Nest shelter. From the Byrd's nest, follow the signs to the summit, which has a stone observation platform. The views from the summit are well worth the hike, and include commanding views of Betty's Rock to the northeast, Old Rag Mountain to the east, and the Shenandoah Valley to the west. One could easily spend thirty to sixty minutes at the summit, so allow time to enjoy the view. To return to the parking lot, retrace your steps.

19 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

Talk to a park ranger to see about the two locations for entering this trail.  The location a little further south (via the fireroad) is decent and a shorter trip to the summit.  It's a nice hike.

hiking
27 days ago

Great view when you get to the top. Worth the hike.

hiking
30 days ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Fun little hike (30 min there and 30 min back). My 5 year old could handle the whole thing and was really happy with the rocks he could climb at the end. Good family hike - although strollers would be difficult to use for the final .2 miles before the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

walking
1 month ago

Beautiful views from the top! Almost too easy and too heavily trafficked.

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

It was a pretty short hike. The view was pretty facing the mountain views but the summit is very small as oppose to bigger hikes like old rag.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

The hike is not too long and it has a great reward

hiking
4 months ago

Simple hike, especially coming down. Short length and amazing views make it a great sunset hike. There were only 6 of us up there for the sunset.