Hawksbill Mountain

On the Summer Solstice, we hiked the Kinsmans from via Lonesome Lake Trail from Lafayette Place. It was a beautiful hike on a hot sunny day.

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Hiking Hawksbill Mountain

For National Suicide Prevention Week, we participated in the 46 Climbs initiative to raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental illness and raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This initiative was started by two people who vowed to climb all of the Adirondack 46 4,000 footers in New York when they lost a friend to suicide. Although they were not able to complete that mission the first year, it morphed into a week-long suicide prevention and mental illness awareness peakbagging initative. 

Both Kevin and I are from Virginia and were glad to be back for a wedding in Shenandoah National Park. For hikers, this wedding location was a dream! The AT ran right behind the Big Meadows Lodge we were staying and we spent much time taking in the views along Skyline Drive. It was a busy holiday weekend, so we only got one morning hike in, but it was great.

We parked at Lower Hawksbill Parking and took the Lower Hawksbill Trail up to Hawksbill Mountain, the tallest peak in Shenandoah standing at 4,050ft. Since the parking lot is right on Skyline Drive, the hike up to Hawksbill is relatively short. The majority of it was a gravelish path at a steady incline.

Gravel path
Changing trail

With a very crowded summit, we snapped a few quick pictures and decided to descend a different way to extend our hike and cover some of the Appalachian Trail!

Hawksbill summit picture
View from Hawksbill

We came down Salamander Trail, which was less gravel-y and more like a trail than our route up. Then, we flew across the AT and before we knew it, we were back at the parking lot.

Hiking down from Hawksbill
Rock jumble section
AT marker

Wanting a bit more for our day, we kept going on the AT and it was beautiful. As soon as we got to this part, the crowds from the popular Hawksbill climb dissipated and we got some real peace and quiet. The trail was well-graded and provided easy footing with only a slight, gradual incline. Compared to what we had been used to this summer in Vermont and New Hampshire, this felt like an easy walk in the woods. I can see why AT thru-hikers would love this section.

AT trail

We passed Betty’s Rock then took a longer pause at Timber Hollow Overlook. We found a nice rock in the sun to take a rest that may have turned into a quick nap.

Nothing like a little mid-hike nap!
View from Timber Hollow overlook

We made quick time on our way back enjoying the relative solitude of the AT away from the crowds gathered by the viewpoints.

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