Hawksbill Summit

Stanley, Virginia 22851

Hawksbill Summit

Hawksbill Summit Professional Review and Guide

"A loop hike to the summit of the park’s highest mountain offers spectacular views. At 4,051 feet, Hawksbill is the park’s highest peak. It’s also a good place to see birds. In fact, much of Virginia’s endangered peregrine falcon history has been recorded at Hawksbill and on several other surrounding park mountains.

From 1989 to 1993 and from 2000 to 2015, SNP Natural Resources staff and project partners successfully restored over 150 peregrine falcons to the park. The goal of this project is to boost peregrine falcon numbers in the Central Appalachians, where peregrine recovery has been slow. This restoration work directly supports the conservation and long- term recovery efforts for peregrine falcons in the park and throughout the Central Appalachians."

Hawksbill Summit Reviews

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One of my favorite day hikes in Shenandoah NP, with barely-perceptible elevation changes on a well-kept trail, great views, and a lovely picnic spot at the top.
After arriving at the first set of 30+ feet falls, I whipped out my tripod and camera and set to work capturing the abundant flow of water cascading over rock ledges on film. There’s something about seeing water rushing headlong over any obstacle, creating a white mist or film over rocks. After the first set of falls, I walked a few feet further, guessing another set would reveal themselves as the water disappeared into empty space before me. Sure enough, there was the second cascade. These falls equal 63 feet altogether but are broken into two sets. Along the lower area of falls are rock ledges on the left hand side of the river, rising about 20 feet vertically. These “cliffs” are up on the bank some 80 feet above the river. Anyways, along a 100-foot length, small streams and drips of water fell over the edge, creating a long thin sporadic waterfall of sorts. This would only be observed during wet weather season. This shimmering tumble created a fairy tale setting for deep woods tales.

Hawksbill Summit Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 to 3 hours
Spring to Fall
Shenandoah National Park
Local Contacts
National Geographic Trails Illustrated Topographic Map 228; Map 10, Appalachian Trail and Other Trails in Shenandoah National Park, Central District
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018