Stony Man trail is a relatively easy hike for all age groups and fitness levels. We went at the beginning of the peak season in September at around 3 pm and there were around 15 or more people at the main viewpoint. So if you don’t like crowds I would suggest you try and go a lot earlier in the morning or potentially for sunrise (always a great idea)! There are campsites very close to the north and south of the trailhead if you are interested in camping, just get there early! We got here during the day to do this hike and then camp afterward. We then woke up for sunrise and hiked Bearfence mountain trail. These two hikes were a perfect sequence for each other.
Stony Man Trail Map
Stony Man Hike Details
- Distance: Stony Man trail is 1.5 miles round trip
- Duration: It should take you around 45 minutes to 1 hour to do this hike if you’re going at a normal pace.
- Elevation: The total hike elevation is around 341 feet.
- Difficulty: Stony Man trail is a very easy hike to follow and is suitable for all ages. We had no problem hiking this at a fast pace as the elevation was minimal.
If you want more information about this hike as well as reviews, then head over to Alltrails
Where is Stony Man Trail Located?
Located in the Central District, the Stony Man trail is surrounded by and connected to many other hikes in the Shenandoah National Park.
This is a very easy hike that is suitable for all ages.
How to Get to Stony Man Hike
Stony man is one of the most popular hikes in the Shenandoah National Park, so it is relatively easy to find. The trailhead is located at milepost 41.7. These mile markers will be on your right side if you are coming from the North end of the park. The parking lot can get pretty full fast so you may have to park on the side of the road. If you are coming in the afternoon you will most likely already see others doing this.
My Suggested Hiking Gear
Below is a list of some of my favorite hiking/travel gear I bring everywhere. Everything below is something I currently use and never leave my house without.
- KEEN Durand II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots: I finally upgraded my hiking boots in 2022 and these are fantastic. They have top-notch ankle support and are super durable.
- Petzl Tikka Headlamp: A headlamp for hiking is a must if you’re like me and love sunrise hikes. This is a great price for a quality headlamp and also has a good red light to not disturb others in the morning.
- Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks: I originally got these as a present but I had to buy more because these are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever tried on.
- Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle: You will never have to rebuy plastic water bottles. This is the best water filtering device on the market. It is excellent for hikers and travelers alike.
Hiking Stony Man in the Shenandoah National Park
The starting point to the hike is right next to the parking lot and is marked by the photo above that states “trailhead” at the top of it. To start, the trail is paved out in gravel and it is extremely clear as to where it goes. During the hike, as with all trails on the Appalachian Trail, there will be trees marked in a certain color. For this hike, the first colors you will see will be light blue and white. The white is for the main AT trail and the light blue will be for the Stony Man summit.
Once you follow the path for long enough you will come to this sign. There will be a path on your left or right and one that keeps going straight. Follow that path along for about five minutes or so and you will start to see only light blue colors on certain trees. Keep following this path and it will then split into two different ways. Follow the path to the right that also has light blue colored on the tree.
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Shortly after you follow this path is when the elevation will start to go up slightly. It isn’t bad at all but the gravel starts to turn into larger stones. There is no rock scramble or anything but the ground environment does start to change. Follow this path for another five minutes or so and you will then get to a sign pointing toward Stony Man. You are practically there! Keep going straight and there will be two paths that you can go to. One will be a path that starts to go left, this is the 1st lookout. This lookout is a little lower than the main summit and has an excellent view of it. About 150 feet past that will be the opening to the main lookout or summit!