SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.
CLICK HERE TO LAUNCH FULL SCREEN MAP

Blue Ridge Parkway: Humpback Rocks Loop

va

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 4.6 miles


Explore an 1890's mountain farm on this 4.3-mile lasso loop that tackles a 700-foot climb to craggy boulders for expansive parkway views.
  • Mountain Farm
  • Black-Eyed Susans on the Farm
  • A Backpacker's Favorite Place
  • Plunder Shed
  • View of Humpback Rocks
  • Humpback Rocks Trailhead
  • Climbing to Humpback Rocks
  • Junction with Spur Trail
  • Northern Blue Ridge from Humpback Rocks
  • Shenandoah Valley from Humpback Rocks
  • Junction with AT
  • Trailside Flora
  • Old Howardsville Turnpike
  • Butterfly on Bull Thistle
  • Black-Eyed Susans

For a bit of history with your hiking, pull into the lot at the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center at Milepost 6. The .25 mile, wheelchair-accessible Mountain Farm Trail begins just south, meandering past an 1890's log cabin and several outbuildings. Costumed re-enactors provide history in the summer. Continue south along the farm's fenceline, looking for black-eyed Susans and other wildflowers on your right. The craggy Humpback Rocks are visible on the mountain just south as you approach the Blue Ridge Parkway.

After crossing the Parkway, pick-up the blue-blazed Humpback Rocks Trail at the south end of the parking lot, then power up the tree-lined mountainside. It's a steep, 700-foot ascent, but  several wooden benches are well-placed for resting, and the path is shady in summer. After climbing a long, steep set of wooden steps, turn left at the junction at .8 miles. Swing slightly right to pick up the most climbable crags. A short scramble ends with wide views of rolling mountains, the Shenandoah and Rockfish Valleys, and a few glimpses of the parkway far below.  

From here, the blue-blazed trail continues south, soon joining the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail (AT). For the loop, follow the AT north, descending on a leisurely set of switchbacks along the mountain's eastern slope before joining the stone-walled Old Howardsville Turnpike, a major trade route in the mid 1850's. After .5 miles, leave the AT at the signed junction, following the blue-blazed trail back to the Humpback Rocks parking lot.

-Mapped by Amy Balfour

Post a comment

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:




Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions