If you’re looking for great outdoor engagement session ideas, look no further than Stony Man Mountain! Located in the heart of Shenandoah National Park, and accessible via a short, invigorating hike, Little Stony Man Overlook provides some of the best views you could hope for when planning your mountain engagement photos.
Why Should You do Hiking Engagement Photos?
If you know you want to have outdoor engagement photos, and are looking for ideas that are unique and interesting, hiking engagement photos might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Mountain engagement photos are nothing new — even with the beautiful scenery, you often get the same static poses you see in every engagement session.
Working in a hike and making it an adventure engagement session means that not only are you going to have a great time, but you’re also going to get active, candid, exciting photos instead of just posing for the same old stale photo shoot.
Want this look without the hike? Check out the best overlooks in Shenandoah National Park for your Elopement or Engagement Photos.
Why Hike Stony Man Mountain?
Stony Man Mountain delivers serious bang for your buck.
Not only is it accessible from Skyland Resort — the perfect place to grab a nice dinner after your day of hiking, or enjoy a weekend stay in the park in one of their rental cabins — but the mountain offers three different hikes of differing lengths and difficulty, meaning that no matter your hiking experience, the breathtaking views from Stony Man Mountain are within your grasp.
The Top 3 Hiking Trails on Stony Man Mountain:
1. LITTLE STONY MAN
The first hike is called Little Stony Man and is accessible from the Little Stony Man trail head a short drive from Skyland. This is a quick, but moderately strenuous, hike along the Appalachian Trail which offers two incredible overlooks where you can soak up the expansive views of the Shenandoah Valley.
2. STONY MAN LOOP
There is also a short and easy hike right to Stony Man Summit which begins at a convenient parking lot inside Skyland Resort. This trail is definitely the biggest pay off for the least effort, which makes it very popular and sometimes quite crowded, which means you’ll probably want to visit at sunrise and/or on a weekday for your mountain engagement session.
Just a heads up: while the views from the Stony Man Mountain summit are unbelievably beautiful, this definitely isn’t the best place for you if you’re afraid of heights!
3. STONY MAN VIA THE PASSAMAQUODDY TRAIL
This approximately 3.5-mile trail is a great option for if you’re looking for a slightly longer hike and want to see all that Stony Man Mountain has to offer. The Passamaquoddy Trail goes across Stony Man Mountain, at a lower elevation than the cliffs, but that doesn’t mean it’s short on views!
Passamaquoddy connects back to the Appalachian Trail via a quick jaunt along Furnace Spring trail, and the A.T. will take you to both the Stony Man summit and Little Stony Man. This trail gives you the whole Stony Man experience in just a couple of hours and is definitely worth checking out.
Why is it called “Stony Man” Mountain?
Stony Man Mountain gets its name from the view of the mountain from the north. From Stony Man Mountain overlook along Skyline Drive, you can see the distinct profile of a man with a prominent nose and a long, distinguished beard. The cliffs of Stony Man Mountain create Stony Man’s nose, so if you can locate the rocky cliffs, you’ll see the rest of the face from there.
Sunset Engagement Photos at Little Stony Man
Sunrise and sunset are really the best times for these epic mountaintop engagement sessions.
On many of the summits in Shenandoah National Park, you get at least a 180-degree view meaning that in many cases, no matter whether the sun is rising or falling, you’re in for a light show!
Between hiking on the winding, rocky trail, climbing on the granite boulders, and just finding a comfy spot to sit and take in the sunset, Little Stony Man is the perfect place to take outdoor engagement photos that feel dynamic, relaxed, and organic.
Meet The Author
Leah is an elopement photographer and avid hiker who grew up right outside Shenandoah National Park. She loves that S.N.P. has something for everyone, regardless of their activity level or hiking ability.