Whiteoak Canyon - Hawksbill Summit Loop
ElevationAscent: 3,652' 1,113 m
Descent: -3,649' -1,112 m
High: 4,038' 1,231 m
Low: 1,165' 355 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 48% (26°)
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“The best of Shenandoah streams, waterfalls and mountain top views while avoiding fire roads!”— TN Vol77
Cross Skyline Drive and go up the road to Skyland Stable where you turn left to join the AT (or take a side trip to Skyland resort restaurant for lunch). Take the AT south for views of mountains to the west. Pass intersections on the left with three short trails that lead to parking areas along Skyline Drive. Take a left onto Salamander Trail to climb Hawksbill Mountain. Byrd's Nest picnic shelter is just below the summit. There are awesome views from in front of the shelter and a lookout area at Hawksbill Mountain summit, the highest point in Shenandoah Mountain Park.
From the summit go back past the shelter to Lower Hawksbill Trail which descends steeply to Skyline Drive. Cross Skyline Drive to Cedar Run Trail which follows a stream down the mountain. This section is very rocky and has three stream crossings that may be wet after heavy rain. There is a swimming hole below a hidden waterfall in the narrow gorge portion of the trail and a water slide at a stream crossing on the lower section of the trail. Finally take the right at the fork to return to an intersection with Whiteoak Canyon Trail which takes you back to the parking area.
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Land Manager: NPS - Shenandoah National Park