Virginia February 13, 2016
This Hike In Virginia Will Give You An Unforgettable Experience
For those who love hiking, Virginia is a haven. We’ve got terrain here to match the wildest dreams of any outdoor enthusiast. Therefore, singling out just ONE hike for an unforgettable experience is a pretty tall order. Hawksbill Mountain in Shenandoah National Park does offer one of the most picturesque views you’ll find. If you haven’t been, these pictures should give you an idea.
At 4,050 feet, Hawksbill is the highest mountain in Shenandoah National Park. The summit loop is a relatively easy 2.9-mile circuit. This is the ideal hike for those who wish to get the grandest view without having to hike for more than an hour.
To start the trek, park in the Hawksbill Gap parking lot (mile marker 45.6), which is in the Central Section of Skyline Drive.
The trail leading towards the summit is well-marked and rather gradual. Where there are turns, you will always find clear signage to help guide you in the right direction.
Hawksbill offers four unique viewpoints along the summit. The shorter version of this hike only offers two, which is why taking the loop may feel more rewarding. For those who do take the out-and-back options, keep in mind that the incline will be much more intense.
What a view! Plan on taking some time up here. This vista is truly what makes the hike so spectacular: a 360 degree panoramic perspective. From here, you will have the unique vantage point of being at the highest spot in the whole Park.
You'll also be able to spot Old Rag, another famous Shenandoah peak.
After you've soaked up all the beauty that is the Shenandoah valley, you'll continue down the trail back to the parking lot. For some reason, the way down is a bit steeper, and you'll want to be especially careful of your footing.
It seems fitting that the Hawksbill Trail is a great spot for bird watching, especially birds of prey. See if you can spot any Peregrine falcones, like the one photographed above.
You should also be on the lookout for the white tailed deer that enjoy these wooded trails.
Hiking Hawksbill loop won't take an entire day, but is sure to pack in some of those things we love most about Virginia trails: wildlife, natural history, beautiful mountain ranges, and a chance to get out there and explore.
Have you made it to the top of Hawksbill? What are some of your other favorite hikes, possibly outside of Shenandoah National Park? Let us know if the comments below!