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                              Last Updated: 09/28/2015


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Welcome to a web site full of information on hiking in the Mid-Atlantic Region (PA, MD, VA and WV) ... topo maps, 3-D maps, elevation profiles, GPS data, directions, trail notes, photos.... everything you need to prepare for an excursion into the wilderness. Information for 318 hikes and over 3,657 trail miles are now available. Venues such as, but not limited to, Shenandoah National Park/VA,  George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, VA and WV, the Monongahela National Forest in WV, state forests throughout PA, Green Ridge State Forest in MD and regional, state, county and federal parks throughout the Mid-Atlantic region are represented.


Please read the Terms of Use before using this website then click on the desired state on the map to the left to continue.



"Yet in the walks I take through nature in quest of truth and demonstration, I recognize a poetry in earth and sea and sky, ruled in their cycles of harmonious actions, deeper and more sublime than ever muse un- taught in science could inspire." William B. Rogers: First State Geologist of VA, First president of M.I.T. and namesake of Mt. Rogers, Va.



Latest Published Hikes

Quebec Run Backpack, PA

Three Ponds Loop, PA

Upper North River-Bald Mountain Backpack

Wild Oak National Recreation Trail-South, VA

Wild Oak National Recreation Trail-Grooms Ridge Trail, VA




Bulletin Board


07/30/15: Two years ago I had surgery on my hip as a result of a backpacking accident. Iíve recently discovered that the repair has degenerated. I find it difficult now to walk on a flat paved surface for a mile without prolonged pain and discomfort afterwards. Such being the case I have to cancel the rest of my schedule. Iím sorry if this inconveniences any of you.

Although I have yet to throw in the towel it doesnít look good for future seasons. Iíll see what the doctor says first before I make a final decision. I really donít want to have anymore surgeries. I still hope to get back to the point where I can at least lead short day hikes. I love being outdoors but Iíll have to limit myself to what my body can do without pain.

Contact my fellow outing leader, Sam Savage and sign up for his trips.

I still plan to maintain this website and forum. It gives me great joy to be able to share my knowledge and that of others with my fellow hikers. Posting Outing Critiques on the hike pages of the website is even more important now, especially making comments as to changes in the trail notes, maps, GPS data, etc or even just stating that they are still accurate. This is truly your website. It's up to you to keep it relevant.



05/03/2014:  "The Mid-Atlantic Hiker's Guide: Central Maryland" is now finished. It includes 45 day hikes from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay to Catoctin Mountain and from the Potomac River to the Mason-Dixon Line. The one hundred and eighty-four page book uses the same format as the West Virginia book (below). Orders are  being taken.







After two years of hard work my first book is finally finished - Orders are now being accepted: The Mid-Atlantic Hikers Guide: WV. I've teamed  up with Scott Adams Enterprises to produce a two hundred and eighty-nine page manuscript complete with large topo maps, elevation profiles and waypoint tables, all keyed together to totally integrate the hiking experience. There are sixty-four hikes in all, ranging from a 2 mile flip-flop walk to visit the beautiful Sandstone Falls on the New River to 25+ mile, three day, strenuous forays into the wilderness areas of the Mountain State, and all other kinds of hikes in between.




M. R. Hyker's Latest Adventure(s)






This portion of the website has been temporarily suspended.


Latest Outing Critiques

Name: Tony Van Vugt
Date(s) of Hike: 08/08/15
Hike Name: Roaring Plains Circuit
Ranking: 5

Outing Critique: This area is one of the last places that you can really call backcountry in the mid-Atlantic. Just north is the Dolly Sods, while very beautiful, it has become so popular itís hard to feel like youíre really out in the wilderness alone. Roaring Plains is Dolly Sods 15-20 years ago. But this is also for good reason. The trails are harder to follow, and good map and navigation skills are a must.  Donít take this hike's author lightly when he says this area can be unforgiving. The weather can change in minutes, and being ill prepared can make for a tough time.

But with proper planning, your reward is one of the most beautiful areas on the east coast. The Roaring Plains circuit has beautiful views, high mountain fields, plenty of excellent camping, and solitude that is hard to find in such a spectacular place.

Name:   Alice
Date(s) of Hike:12/30/2014-1/2/2015
Hike Name: Black Forest Trail - South
Ranking: 4.5

Outing Critique: Went over New Years- so very cold, quiet, and crisp.  There was little snowfall, and I was able to hear movement so audibly and clear - a true blessing of winter backpacking.  I recommend getting the trail map and guide by Chuck Dillon.  Some parts of the trail were steep gains and falls, but the vistas are beautiful.  They are not true mountains- rather, syncline(s) and anticline(s).  Beautiful geology, but I found it strange walking along trails named "gas line trail #__".

I urge you to attempt this trail as soon as possible before more aggressive natural gas drilling overtakes the area.


Name:  Allison
Date(s) of Hike: 09/23/2015
Hike Name : Bear Run Loop
Ranking: 3

Outing Critique: This was an enjoyable hike, but much of the early part (the Peninsula trail especially) was badly overgrown and COVERED in poison ivy.  At two points we lost the trail--the point where you turn off across a small bridge to cross 381 is especially easy to miss.  The pine tree trail at the end is labeled as the Tree Trail--in the last half mile of the hike, a laminated sign points you down a service road, while the trail blazes continue to the left, but both will get you back to the trailhead.

Name:    Christopher Robin
Date(s) of Hike: 08/22-24/15
Hike Name: Frosty Gap-Cowpasture Loop
Ranking: 4

Outing Critique: This was a tough one to rate. It started out as a bit of a let down, but finished with one of the best trails I have hiked!
We (Shortstack, Hard Core, Ted E. Bear and Treebeard) set out from the Nature center about 12:30 or so in fairly clear, humid weather with temps in the low 80ís.  The Pocahontas Trail rises gradually almost right away. The trail has several blowdowns which for the most part were easily navigable just annoying. The real downside of the trail was several stretches of stinging nettles, they made tough to enjoy the solitude and beauty of the forest.
And there was solitude, we only saw one group of three mountain bikers fly past all three days we were there.
Made camp a little after 4pm. Great campsite-level spots, tumbling steams, even a few logging artifacts for us cultural people.
Broke camp about 8am day 2, a partly cloudy, humid day, but the temperature stayed nice on the low 80ís. Climbed Pocahontas to the Frosty Gap trail and walked the Frosted Cat trail-oops, the Frosty Gap trail to the hunter road.
Now, this was the low point of the hike. The next 5 miles are road walk, pretty monotonous. Luckily we had butterflies and good conversation to make it seem much shorter. After the intersection with the gravel road, it becomes a nice footpath again. South Fork Trail is a nice set of switchbacks with really cool rocks and boulders to check out on the way down. Got into the campsite on Cow Pasture Trail about 2:30. Went to the elevated platform overlooking the Glades, and the sun felt great baking the humidity our of our bones! Saw my first otter in the wild there!


Day 3 was wonderful! Cow Pasture Trail is one of the best trails I have walked. Peaceful, beautiful, easy grades, just a joy to hike! One to take your time and be with the forest. And it opens up to a beautiful meadow.
Got back to the Nature Center and changed and headed over to the Falls of Hills Creek-something you donít want to miss if you are in the area!

Name:  Paul and Sheri
Date(s) of Hike: 07/11/15
Hike Name: North Fork Mountain Shuttle
Ranking: 5

Outing Critique: Thank you so much to MidAtlanticHikes.com for the great directions for this hike.  We followed them exactly and they were great! As mentioned, if you like awesome overlooks and killer rock formations, this is a great hike! Starting at Redman Run Trail and then finishing at the North End makes for a nice 9.6 mile one-day hike that is not too strenuous... and it hits some of the best features and builds as it goes. First you see a really cool overlook, then a nice rock outcropping and view at the summit. As you continue along, the Table Top overlook and then finally the Chimney Top are truly spectacular!! All the pictures in the world can't come close to what it's like. The trail itself is nice with only a few rocky sections. This is one of my favorite hikes I have ever done and is really a hidden gem. Go there and you will not be disappointed!! And the area is under 2.5 hours from DC. The local hotels are cheap too (Fort Hill Motel was clean and $60 a night!)... and Seneca Rocks is a great sister hike. We loved it so much I made a Rockumentary of our trip.

Name:  Dan Riffle
Date(s) of Hike: 09/06-7/2015
Hike Name: Overall Run/Beecher Ridge
Ranking: 3

Outing Critique: I recommend this one in spring or early summer. We went late summer--Labor Day weekend--and despite a decent rainstorm on Thursday night, there was very little water on the trail. You could hear water, but couldn't see any at the falls. The only significant source of water was near the Thompson Hollow connecter at the cascades. The water pooled there enough for a small swimming hole. If you go at this time, bring plenty of water and stock up when you find it.
The views at and shortly after the waterfall were spectacular. We started at Matthew's Arm, camped near the cascades, and came up Beecher Ridge the next day. The climb up Beecher Ridge was tough, and not particularly rewarding with little-to-no great views. We did spot a mamma bear and her two cubs dart across the trail about 125 yards in front of us (store food carefully--there are lots of black bears here). I can see how the Overall Run trail can be very rewarding in the summer.


Name:   John S.
Date(s) of Hike: 9/7/2015
Hike Name: Pinnacles Picnic Area to Mary's Rock
Ranking: 4

Outing Critique: This was a nice hike -- not too difficult, but strenuous enough to give two experienced, middle-aged hikers a pleasant workout. Several great views along the way, and the one from Mary's Rock was spectacular. The photo shows the Thornton Gap entrance to Shenandoah NP as seen from up there. Labor Day weekend is probably not the best time to do this hike if you're looking for solitude.

Name:   Dirk
Date(s) of Hike: 08/21/2015
Hike Name:  Kelly's Run-Pinnacle Overlook
Ranking: 5

Outing Critique: I went on a Friday in late August, and did not meet a single person (except for 3 car travelers at the Pinnacle). The description is very good and I enjoyed the hike very much. Thanks very much for putting this information together.




Date of Hike: 08/24/2015

Hike Name: Ketchum Ron-Scar Run Circuit

Rating: 3.5


I found the old logging road for the longer part of the hike - i.e. the Scar Run takeoff point - and followed it for about a hundred yards or so. It was non-obvious, overgrown, covered with light dead-fall and did not seem to see much traffic, if at all. I would have enjoyed tackling it, but did not do so due to time constraints. The Ketchum Run part was worth it, even though the return leg along the Loyalsock Trail suffered by comparison.

Name:   Matthew
Date(s) of Hike:  08/29/15-08/30/15
Hike Name: Chuck Keiper Trail-East Loop
Ranking: 4

Outing Critique: This was a great hike. My wife and I left the parking area and hiked counter clockwise. We saw many bear scats, but no bears. Somehow we missed the Cranberry Swamp trail, and ended up hiking all the way to the Boggs Run area on day one. The trail was well maintained, with the exception of some blowdown which is to be expected in this area. If you do this hike, wear pants! There are a lot of nettles in the Boggs Run area and a few other places as well. Lots of uphill jaunts, and very steep downhills. We didn't see many proper views, but what this hike lacked in views, it make up for in extremely pretty tall tree canopies, and solitude. We saw two hikers over our two days in the woods. Please watch out for yellow jackets in the Boggs Run area though! They are very prevalent. The campsite(s) in Boggs Run were nice, albeit damp. Very nice hike though. Can't wait to finish up the West Loop!

Name:   Mountain Stream Flood
Date(s) of Hike: 8/22/15
Hike Name: Coopers Rock State Forest Loop-1
Ranking: 4

Outing Critique: We did an abbreviated version of this hike starting from the Raven Rock Trail parking and returning via the Rock City and Roadside Trail from the C.C.C. shelter, for a total of 6.5 mi.  Overall it was an outstanding hike and we particularly enjoyed the unofficial Sunset Wall Trail; it was so much fun making our way through the maze of towering sandstone and exploring the many talus caves and passages.  It must be truly magical in early July when the rhodos are in full bloom.  We were a little upset to find the main overlook chocked with WVU students fresh off a bus (but this was to be expected as it was the first week of classes), still we had the Raven Rock overlook mostly to ourselves, which I found to be a better view anyhow.   One note about the route description: cairns no longer appear to mark unofficial paths and the unsigned trail formerly marked by a cairn off of Raven Rock Trail is not easily passable due to a thicket of saplings growing along the edge of the power line cut.  Instead one must backtrack to the McCollum Trail, bear left and follow it to the logging road. From that junction it is ca. 0.1 mi to the right to an obvious old road on the left, which in turn leads to an obvious footpath descending into the Sunset Wall area.

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