Summary: The Appalachian Trail presents a moderate climb as it ascends North Marshall (3368 ft) and South Marshall (3212 ft). Cliffs on North Marshall and lookout points on South Marshall offer views of surrounding peaks and valleys. A hut at Gravel Springs provides a good picnic spot. (Day use only except backpackers with permits). The Bluff Trail is nearly level and passes through a splendid stand of forest. A side trip to Big Devil Stairs adds about one mile and is worth the effort.
Trailhead: Follow Rt 211 south to Rt 622 at Washington, VA. Follow Rt 622 through town along the Rush River to Rt 625. Rt 625 is unpaved, and has a small parking area at the trail head approx. 3 miles from Rt 211. Be careful not to block the driveway of local residents when parking. (Lat:38.74 Lon:-78.1924)
Trail Guides for Mt Marshall trail, Shenandoah National Park, VA:
Circuit Hikes in Shenandoah National Park
by Potomac Appalachain Trail Club (PATC)
by Potomac Appalachain Trail Club (PATC)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: US Forest Service 1-540-999-3500
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joe Cross, who has posted 56 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Michael on 9/16/2012
I agree with Dave, below, that this hike is closer to 20 miles if you follow the route on the topo map. So plane your time accordingly because you will be coming back on the east side of the mountain and it can get dark quickly in the afternoons there. Otherwise, I would NOT consider this a strenuous hike. While there is significant elevation changes, it is very gradual due to the long horizontal distances and much of the trails are wide, well worn, and fire roads. Do not expect to easily find the 'spring' mentioned on the map. The blazing is poor. So take a map.
Reviewed by Dave on 3/26/2011
Drove out this morning and discovered a bridge on 622 about 2 miles outside of Washington VA was out. Was able to walk across the construction and up 625. This added about 1.25 miles on both ends of the hike. By the way, my GPS made the whole thing at nearly 23 miles. Subtracting out the extra bit, still seems like this hike is quit a bit more than 15.8. As for the hike itself, it was a beautiful, sunny, cold day. With the leaves down had some great views at the peak of Mt Marshall. The Gravel Spring hut was a nice spot for a break before the final push back down the mountain. Only saw a half dozen other groups hiking the whole day. Definitely will do this one again.
Reviewed by Matt on 5/31/2010
I hiked this with a friend beginning at the Jenkins Gap Overlook parking and going south on the AT, crossing Skyline, North on the Bluff Trail, and back up on the Mt. Marshall trail. We back country camped near the end of the Bluff Trail. There were better camping spots on the Mt. Marshall trail (we found out in the morning). We had to venture almost all the way to the Mt. Marshall to find a spot on the bluff, and the one we found was at the 90 degree turn where the trail is blazed yellow. All in all great spot. Saw a black bear in the morning, and had a large creature lurking in the middle of the night that checked us out twice and left, either a deer or bear. Great workout and enjoyable hike.
Reviewed by The Tick on 4/20/2009
Did this hike 4/19/09. Long hike. First 3/4 of the hike were alot of fun. Not much of a view from the trail at the tops of the Mt. Marshalls unless you cut through some trees to get to the rock outcropping. Passed right by the summitt of Mt. Marshall South without knowing until I realized I was far into the descent. The Gravel Spring was fun and good for a quick drink after filtering. THe bluff trail added little to the overrall hike except distance.
Reviewed by A on 9/2/2007
I did this hike over Labor day weekend. It took us about 7 hours. If you are looking for a hike with views, I do not suggest this hike, at least not in the summer time. There were only a few spots that we were able to see any mountain views. It's a very well kept trail and a great workout! There was lots of bear droppings along the way and we saw one black bear and lots of deer. Its very pretty back country, just no views at all. I personally got a little bored.
Reviewed by Jamie on 11/29/2005
I did this hike and plan on doing it again. The hike can work a little on your legs but the views are well worth it!!Be sure you dont miss the short trail on the right to the peak . Its easy to walk by and miss . I also found it has several great camp sites at the peak which will work perfect with a future planned 3 night Old Rag hike.DONT MISS THIS HIKE!!!
Reviewed by Alan on 4/15/2005
This is a well maintained trail which alternates throughout between being strenuous and quite steep to level and very enjoyable - great for viewing the beautiful scenery at all times of the year. Deer are plentiful and bear and cubs can be seen quite readily so take care. Also watch your footing especially on descent when the acorns are dropping! You may also get a little wet at the water crossings if you're hiking just after a rain otherwise an all around fun hike.
Reviewed by Robert on 1/4/2005
I did this trail with my dogs in December and it was a challenging, but beautiful trail. Definitely worth a go!
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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