Mary’s Rock

  • Highlights: Views, wildlife, birdwatching, Appalachian Trail
  • Distance: 2.9 miles out and back
  • Elevation change: 830 feet
  • Difficulty level: Easy/moderate
  • Trailhead Parking: Meadow Spring parking area, Skyline Drive mile 33.5, park fee required
  • Website: Shenandoah National Park
  • Beer Pairings: Hopkins Ordinary Ale Works—End of the Trail Pale Ale & Sperryville VeryChill Kölsch

The Hike:

There are several ways to reach the summit of Mary’s Rock. This is the easiest hike; however, our favorite hike to the summit is from Pinnacles Picnic Area. This hike begins on the Meadow Spring Trail, across Skyline Drive from the parking area. The trail is well marked and well maintained. This is a very popular hike so you will likely have company on the trail and especially at the summit.

Follow the blue-blazed Meadow Spring Trail as it begins to ascend almost immediately. At about .4 miles reach the ruins of a Potomac Appalachian Trail Club hiker’s cabin. Only the chimney remains after a fire in the 1940s. Continue the climb to .6 miles when you reach a stone post marking the junction with the Appalachian Trail.

Turn right and follow the white-blazed AT north. The trail winds between some large boulders and rock outcroppings. Through the trees you can see the rocky summit of Mary’s Rock. Don’t worry, the views will improve dramatically once you reach the summit. At 1.2 miles reach a trail junction with a cement post. Turn left here and follow the blue-blazed spur trail .1 miles to the summit of Marys Rock.

The views from the summit of Mary’s Rock are among the best in Shenandoah. Thornton Gap and the town of Luray are below. Carefully climb the rocks behind you for even better views. Peregrine falcons can sometimes be seen here. Enjoy the views and a snack, then retrace your steps turning right on the AT at the first junction and left at the Meadow Spring Trail junction back to your vehicle.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing: 

Hopkins Ordinary Ale Works in nearby Sperryville is a bed & breakfast and a brewery. We have stayed at the B&B and enjoyed their beer on several occasions. This hike to Marys Rock was a day trip so we didn’t need their B&B services this time. However, The Hoppy Hikers never pass up an opportunity enjoy a cold beer after a hike. Hopkins Ordinary has indoor and outdoor seating, is dog friendly outside, and food is available at several nearby establishments.

End of the Trail Pale Ale is an American Pale Ale, nicely hopped, with a clean and crisp finish. It also has a great name for a post-hike beer. Another beer with a great name is Sperryville VeryChill Kölsch. This German-style Kölsch is made with locally malted barley from Copper Fox Distillery. It was light and refreshing—perfect for a hot summer afternoon.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe and be responsible.