No one knows for sure how Marys Rock got its name. One story claims that Francis Thornton wed Mary Savage and brought her up the mountain to show her the lands they would own together. Another legend claims that Thornton had a daughter named Mary, who climbed the mountain and came back with a bear cub under her arm. Regardless of the name’s origin, Marys Rock is one of the few peaks in the park that offers 360° views. With the leaves gone from the trees, this is a great time for unobstructed views.
Park your car at the Meadow Spring parking area at mile 33.5. The trailhead is on the west side of Skyline Drive. You’ll hike under 1.5 miles to the summit. Enjoy the views from your 3,500 foot- high vantage point!
Winter in Shenandoah is unpredictable. Temperatures are usually 10 to 20oF cooler than in the valley and weather conditions can change quickly. What comes down as rain in the valley can be ice and snow on the mountain. Be prepared by wearing layers, bringing a flashlight, map, and extra food and water. If conditions turn icy while you are hiking, please turn back.