Upper Hawksbill Trail

MODERATE 67 reviews
#19 of 133 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
488 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
25 days ago

Beautiful trail and totally worth the trip up!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I spent two days hopscotching trails from Natural Bridge to Front Royal. Being a pair of old senior the Upper Hawksbill trail would be our longest hike but we knew it was easy. This 2 mile out and back trail was easier then most of the 1 milers we did. Although it was a gradual 520 foot climb it is the highest point on the skyline. The elevation was 4,050 feet. It was like a regular walk in the wood full of young Oak trees and plenty of wildlife. The main views are near and it the summit. I highly recommend it for anyone. All the trails are well mark and most are also well used. Wide enough for the crowd that occurred by 3 in the evening. Parking was becoming a problem.

hiking
1 month ago

It was all uphill worth the hike up for the nice view! My puppy is 6month old and he did pretty good took us 1 hr and 30 mins

1 month ago

Okay hike - view was fine.

hiking
1 month ago

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1 month ago

2 months ago

Great short hike!

2 months ago

Awesome hike. Pretty easy with lovely wildflowers and a beautiful view from top!

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago