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black Austin Mountain Trail


3.2 mile 5.1 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,392' 424 m
Descent: -121' -37 m
High: 2,758' 841 m
Low: 1,487' 453 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 26% (14°)


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Map Key

Trail shared by Donovan Fitzgerald

This trail begins off the Madison Run Road and steeply climbs for 3.2 miles until it reaches the Big Run Loop Trail.

Donovan Fitzgerald

Features -none-

The map displays a Parking Location at the bottom of the valley at the beginning of the Madison Run Road. Be aware that the parking spots are actually just pull offs on the side of the dirt road that leads to the park gate. Do not drive towards/past the rock wall on the left hand side, because you'll be forced to back up the entire distance from the gate.


This trail starts in on the valley floor during the beginning of the Madison Run Road. When you encounter the cement post on the left side of the trail you'll begin a steep ascent up a side valley. The trail will continue to steepen as you head back west on the way to the ridge. Prior to reaching the crest of the ridge, the trail will bend back to the east and you'll have to traverse a few "rock forests" as the trail continues just under the south side of the ridge line.

Once the trail reaches the ridge line, the going gets easier as the trail transitions from strictly an uphill affair to a somewhat gentile up and down following of the ridge. During the following of the ridge, you'll cross the beginning of the Rockytop Trail. After the trail junction, you'll continue shortly on the north side of the ridge and then switch back to the south side and top side.

After completing 3.2 miles you'll come to the junction of the Big Run Loop Trail and the Madison Run Spur Trail. If you use the spur trail, it returns you to the Madison Run Road and you can complete the 9.4 mile loop back to the parking area at the bottom of the valley.

Flora & Fauna

Typical Shenandoah National Park Flora & Fauna.

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Mar 11, 2019
Donovan Fitzgerald
Steep trail to the ridge line with a few "rock forests" to be hiked over. Smooths out once you reach the ridge. Great views to both sides.

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