Stony Man/Passamaquoddy Loop

  • Highlights: Great views, mountains, Shenandoah National Park, Appalachian Trail
  • Distance:  3.4 mile loop 
  • Elevation change: 850 feet
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Trailhead Parking: Skyline Drive, mile 41.7, Stony Man parking area
  • Website: National Park Service
  • Beer Pairings: Basic City Beer Company 6th Lord IPA

The Hike:

This is a fun hike with some great views. The trails are well marked and easy to follow. From the parking area, the trailhead is located to the right. Trail maps and information is located at the kiosk here. Follow the white-blazed Appalachian Trail heading north. In springtime, a large “forest” of ferns line this part of the trail. 

At about .4 miles, you will reach a junction for the Stony Man Trail. Turn left here and follow the blue blazes. The Stony Man Trail will become a loop giving great views of the valley below. When you reach the loop junction, turn left and you will soon see a short spur to the Stony Man summit. Below and to the north is the rocky summit of Little Stony Man, our next stop on this hike. Take in the views and continue on the loop, eventually returning to the AT. Turn left and follow the white-blazed AT heading north.

The AT passes by Little Stony Man which has some nice panoramic views of the valley below and also of Big Stony Man. With a bit of imagination, you can see the profile of a man with a beard. Follow the AT through a series of switchbacks down to the junction with the Passamaquoddy Trail. Turn left here, following blue blazes and head south. This trail passes below the cliffs of Little Stony Man and soon Big Stony Man. The view to the right is the valley and mountains and the view to the right is the cliff line above. 

At just under 3 miles, Furnace Spring will be on the left and then a trail junction. The Passamaquoddy ends here, a fire road goes to the right and the Furnace Spring Horse Trail on the left. Turn left and follow the yellow-blazed Furnace Spring Trail. This trail is the steepest part of the loop and it returns to the parking area and your vehicle.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing:

We stayed overnight at Big Meadows Lodge and had dinner at the Newmarket Tap Room. Kathy broke from tradition and had a glass of red wine. We were sitting outside on the patio at the Lodge enjoying the sunset and it was getting cold quickly. Pete enjoyed Basic City Beer Company 6th Lord IPA. Basic City has two locations, in Waynesboro and a 2nd location in Richmond. 6th Lord is sort of a hybrid between a West and East Coast IPA. Made from Scottish Yeast and Citra and Falconers hops, it was a bit more dramatic and sweeter than a traditional West Coast IPA.

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