Located near the upper end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just south of Route I-64, the Humpback Rocks Recreation Area offers an excellent day’s adventure for casual visitors or for hikers of all proficiency levels. The attraction for which the area is named is the massive and spectacular greenstone outcrop, or hump, located on the western side of Humpback Mountain near the summit. The Humpback Rocks Recreation Area offers visitors opportunities for comfort, education, and adventure. The Visitor Center offers the comfort of water, rest rooms, information booth, a gift shop, and a picnic area; the Mountain Farm offers education about the colonial mountain culture; and the area’s well maintained trails offer the adventure of hiking and discovery.
Hiking the trail to Humpback Rocks, the summit, and the picnic area can be strenuous, but all visitors can enjoy the short walk to the Mountain Farm, which lies about one-quarter mile from the Visitor Center, and is accessible by wheelchair. The short walk is well worth the effort to see the cabin and various farm buildings that are representative of the conditions under which the old mountain farmers lived. During the summer months, costumed interpreters interact with visitors to give you a feeling of how people lived during those times.
For those for whom a bit of strenuous hiking and climbing is but a minor challenge, hiking the 45 minutes and climbing the 700-foot grade to the to the Humpback Rocks outcropping and upward to the peak is rewarded with spectacular 360 degree views of the surrounding area. For those with energy to spare, an additional trek of about two miles will bring you to a delightful picnic area.
The estimated hiking time from the Visitor Center to the picnic area is about four hours. If you’re more interested in a leisurely drive, the picnic area can also be reached by driving farther south on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The picnic area has an abundance of picnic tables and cooking grills. From the picnic area, it is only a short one-third of a mile walk along the Catoctin View Trail to experience one of the most breathtaking views of the Shenandoah Valley.
The Humpback Rocks Recreation Area is a place where many tourists stop for a momentary respite from the drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but don’t think of it as a scenic overlook. Humpback Rocks is a great place to spend an entire day, hiking, viewing, picnicking, or simply relaxing and basking in the beauty of the surrounding mountains and the spectacular Shenandoah Valley.
Humpback Rocks is located just 6 miles from the Virginia cabin rentals at Cabin Creekwood.