Hike the Stony Man Trail, Shenandoah National Park
Virginia › Stony Man Trailhead
Added by Sarah Giek
Stoney Man is a short, easy hike with some of the best views in Shenandoah National Park. This is a close hike for those staying at the Skyland Resort.
This short, easy hike will take you to some of the best views in Shenandoah National Park. As an added bonus, it’s perfect for catching the sunset without a long walk back to your car in the dark. If you’re looking to increase the level of difficulty, there is an alternate, moderate trail option that increases the mileage and the elevation gain, but won’t leave you breathless (until you reach the final viewpoint!).
The easiest route starts at the Stony Man Trail parking lot, just off the turnoff for the Skyland Resort at mile 41.7 on Skyline Drive. The Stony Man Trail starts on the Appalachian Trail - look for the blue and white blazes. After a half mile, keep straight at the junction following the blue-blazed Stony Man Trail for an additional 0.3 miles until you reach the final viewpoint. After taking some time to enjoy the view, continue on the blue-blazed loop back to the trail junction and retrace your steps to the parking lot.
Looking to burn a few more calories? An alternate 3 mile hike with 750 feet of elevation gain begins at the Little Stony Man parking area at mile 39.1 on Skyline Drive. The hike follows the white-blazed Appalachian Trail. After a quarter-mile, you will reach a trail junction with the Passamaquoddy Trail to the right. See Hiking Upward for additional information on this route option. Continue left at the junction on the Appalachian Trail for another 0.2 miles until you reach Little Stony Man Cliffs. This popular spot for rock climbing also provides great views of the valley below. Continue on for another 0.8 miles until you come to the trail junction with the Stony Man Trail. Follow the blue-blazes for an additional 0.3 miles until you reach the final viewpoint. After taking some time to enjoy the view, continue on the blue-blazed loop back to the trail junction and retrace your steps to the parking lot.
A few things worth noting: dogs are not permitted on this trail. And although it is an easy, family hike, use caution with small children on the rock outcrop at the final viewpoint, especially if the rocks are wet. Shenandoah National Park is open year-round, but Skyline Drive may be closed in the winter due to weather conditions. Always check for closures before you head out! Finally, if you want to grab a bite to eat post-hike, the Skyland Resort and dining room are just a short walk from the main Stony Man parking lot.
Trail map is available here (or ask for one at the entrance station).
- Shenandoah National Park pass (or pay the $20 entrance fee)
- Comfortable shoes
- Lunch or a book to enjoy at the viewpoint
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Short hike, sweet views!
Hope to return summer or fall. View is great, even in winter.
This is such a fun summit. Even my kids, both fearful of heights, enjoyed this and liked that they could climb around in areas that were very safe. Plus the views are amazing.
It's a fun, easy hike! Gorgeous views, but some of the views just from Skyline Drive are even more beautiful. If you are looking for a hike to take your kids on, this would be it!
More Adventures Nearby
Hike to Historical Rapidan Camp in Shenandoah National Park
Virginia / Milam Gap Parking
For this hike park at the Milam Gap parking lot located at mile 52.8 on Skyline Drive. Once parked you will cross Skyline Drive to reach the trail.
Snowshoe the Blue Ridge Parkway
Virginia / Blue Ridge Parkway at Blue Ridge Virginia
We don't get a ton of snow here in Virginia, but when we do, the Blue Ridge Parkway can be a great place to get out and enjoy a day of snowshoeing or cross country skiing.