Upper Hawksbill Trail

MODERATE 38 reviews
#18 of 115 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.

hiking
2 days ago

5 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

28 days ago

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

hiking
1 month 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.

2 months ago

3 months ago

Nice easy hike for the whole family with a great view.

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing view

4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

I'd rate it a little more than moderate. The trail is steep and if you go the gravel way it's slippery- especially going back down. But the view at the top is lovely and the rocks are sturdy so you can rest on them and really enjoy your view and accomplishment. Will definitely be tackling again!

6 months ago

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7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

8 months ago