Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Spring — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
From the Stony Man Trail
parking area, head along the sidewalk to the west (away from Sklyine Drive), and go around 50 feet beyond the parking area until you reach the yellow-blazed Furnace Spring Horse Trail
. This trail is one option to get to the start of the Passamaquoddy Trail - North.
Instead of heading out on the horse trail, turn left toward the Skyland Lower Loop paved road, and turn right. Continue next to the road, keeping to the right where it forks. The Passamaquoddy Trail - South
crosses the road around two-tenths of a mile from the parking area. Turn right on the trail, heading north, and continue for about two-tenths of a mile to a dirt road, and turn right.
Pass a seldom used side road that climbs uphill to the right, and continue to a fork in the road. The right fork goes fifty yards to a no-longer-used pump house, while the left fork, with a yellow chain, is the old Skyland Road
, which provided access to Skyland before Skyline Drive was built.
The Passamaquoddy Trail - North resumes on the far side of the road, at a concrete marker post. Fifty yards from the marker, the enclosed pump house at Furnace Spring is set into the hillside on the right. This spring once provided water to a copper smelter, giving the spring its name.
The 0.8-mile section of trail between Furnace Spring and Little Stony Man is the original Passamaquoddy Trail. In 1932, George Freeman Pollock, the owner of Skyland, had a trail built between these points. A number of traces of the old trail can still be seen just a few feet up the bank. Pollock called this the Passamaquoddy Trail because, he said, Passamaquoddy is a Maine Indian word meaning "abounding in pollock" (an abundant saltwater fish on the Maine coast).
The trail continues, with some ups and downs, along the steep slope below the Stony Man cliffs. Less than half a mile beyond the spring, where the trail is wide and nearly level, look for the big overhanging rocks to the right. In wet weather they trickle, and in winter they are usually covered with icicles. The Stony Man Cliffs are immediately up the slope, towering above you. Please remain on the trail or on bare rock to protect the plantlife.
Thanks to Larry W. Brown, for sharing this trail description. If you’re interested in learning more details about great hikes, weather, camping / lodging, wildlife, and scenic drives, check out the comprehensive Guide to Shenandoah National Park