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                              Last Updated: 11/18/2014

                             

                                                        Pennsylvania Hikes Virginia Hikes West Virginia Hikes Maryland Hikes

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.

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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

 

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Bulletin Board

 

11/07/14: To those of you who remember Leena and Sam the Wonder Dog. I remember how he always sat in front of me at the park and ride, offering me his paw w/o solicitation. He passed last night. I'd like to share Leena's E-mail with you:

 

"Hi Mike,

It's been a while, and I'm writing with some very sad news - Sam the Wonder Dog passed away this morning.  He had a good, long life, living to 14, and didn't suffer in the end. His heart just finally gave out of old age.  He died at home, naturally, with me by his side.  Even so, it is still heartbreaking.

His last night was spent on the living room floor, struggling with his breathing.  I was lying beside him in my sleeping bag all night, stroking him and talking to him.  I dozed off and dreamed that Sam and I were on one of your backpacks, circa 2004, probably because we were sleeping on the living room floor in the same way we used to sleep in my tent.  Maybe he was
dreaming the same thing.  What a wonderful way to go.

All the best,

Leena "

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

07/26-27/14: Quebec Run Wild Area Overnight Backpack: Some friends and I had previously explored this area on a day hike while camping at Cooper’s Rock S.F., WV. I was so taken by the beauty of the forest that I promised myself I would return to spend the night there. I had originally schedule an arduous 3 day trip on the central part of the Laurel Highlands Trail but recent issues concerning what I’ll call trail fatigue made me reconsider the venue – downsizing to something that I was comfortable with and perhaps even prettier. Hardcore, Short Stack and Brendon met me at the West Friendship, MD park and ride and we made the 3 hour drive uneventfully except that a fawn ran out in front of my truck just 10 minutes from the trailhead. I totally ran over the poor thing but was amazed to see it run up a hill and out of sight as I looked in the rear view mirror. We met Lisa (a rookie) and Tracy exactly at 12:00 at the west parking lot on Rt 2001 – Skyline Drive. I planned the hike such that we would explore the upland hardwood forest first by following the Hess Trail to its terminus at the north parking lot. The towering maple, poplar and oak with a thick understory of ferns were something to behold.

We passed through several moist coves full of Rhododendron treating us to the last of their blooms. We took a break at about 2.5 miles (the Brocker Trail) and then another at 3.5 miles at the intersection with the Rankin Trail. We dropped our packs and explored a couple of awesome campsites buried under the Hemlocks along the upper reaches of Quebec Run. The canopy was so thick it almost seemed like it was nighttime. I imagine it would be hard to wake up a sleeping camper in the morning. Up to this point we had been hiking mostly downhill. The next mile required us to climb about 500 feet but only a couple of short sections were steep. We were in no hurry so took another break at the north parking lot before continuing on the Miller Trail which descends to Mill Run, gradually at first but then plunging steeply through a majestic Hemlock forest. We turned right onto the Mill Run Trail and soon found ourselves crossing Quebec Run on a stout bridge. The site that we wanted to camp at was already occupied but another 200 yard walk through giant Hemlocks brought us to an equally nice site complete with a fire ring and shallow swimming hole. The water level was low, revealing most of the rocks in the stream but the pool was deep enough to allow a weary hiking a chance to refresh and relax.

 

Distance: 6.8 miles

E.G.: 500 feet

 

The last weather forecast called for severe thunderstorms rolling into the Bruceton Mills area around 7:00. At a quarter til we heard the rumbling coming in from the west. We hastily finished up our dinner and hung the bear bags with about fifteen minutes to spare before all hell broke lose.

 

Let me tell you, I’ve camped out in the rain before, even thunder storms, but I’ve never experienced such a violent storm up close and personal like this. You know how you’re supposed to start counting when you see the lightning until you hear the thunder to estimate how far away the strike was? Well, many of the strikes occurred after 1000 …! I never got the “and one” out. Although it seemed longer the most intense part lasted about an hour. There was a light shower afterward but another storm hit a few hours later, not quite as intense but enough to shake the ground under us. After that episode a gentle rain fell until the wee hours of the morning. It was also amazing to just lay on my mattress and listen to the previously gurgling Quebec Run turn into a raging torrent. The next morning all of the rocks in the stream were hidden under the rapidly moving chocolate water.

 

Another bad weather event was supposed to come sometime after 12:00 so we broke camp early, wet gear and all, eating mostly snack bars and Pop Tarts for breakfast. We were on the trail a little after 8:00. Initially the hike continued to follow the west bank of Quebec Run with a few more campsites under the majestic giants before veering away from it and climbing steeply up a badly eroded road to the junction with the Tebolt Trail. There was a little bit more climbing after we turned onto it but for the next mile we enjoyed relatively flat to downhill walking through a hardwood forest as we did the day before. At the bottom of the descent we caught a glimpse of Tebolt Run (It was also raging.) but the trail soon gained a bit of elevation to follow the stream from above. We could hear it but couldn’t see it. The next mile was a roller coaster affair with short ups and downs as the trail crossed several streams that are usually considered part time but not today. We were making good time so we took a 15 minute packs off break at the Quebec Run Road crossing. As we continued the hike we were once again plunged into the world of Hemlocks and Rhododendron thickets. The trail zig-zagged as it crossed a tributary of Tebolt Run on a bridge before joining an old railroad grade. There were a few flat stretches but generally speaking we were mostly walking uphill, gradually at first but steeper near the end. We had already climbed 500 feet. Over the last 2 miles we would climb 700 more. We had to splash across the stream towards the end. The stream was running so high that part of it was flowing down the trail between the two fords, making its own shortcut. As we approached the parking lot spur the grade steepened but I pushed on to meet the rest of the crew

 

at the trail junction. We were out of the woods by 11:30. We changed our clothes and headed for the Little Sandy Truck Stop for brunch before heading home.

 

Over the last 10 years I have sampled many of the backpacking venues that the Keystone State has to offer and, as far as sheer beauty goes, this one has to be in my top 10 favorites.

 

Distance: 5.9 miles

E.G.: 1200 feet

Read More Adventures Here!

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Latest Outing Critiques

Name: WV Backpacker                                                                                    Hike: AT-Mauhar Trail Loop

Date: 11/10/14                                                                                                          Rating: 5

 

Critique: This loop was hiked over two nights, and three days as a low mileage, fun early start to the week. Approaching the AT trailhead close to sunset, day one was an approach to the Maupin Field Shelter. Nice easy beginning hike in. Being Veterans Day weekend, there were plenty of campers, surprising for a 40°F day.  

Day 2 began ascending to Bee Mountain, and on to the first ridge. I feel this is the best overlook over the entire trip, primarily overlooking the Priest Wilderness to the south. The trail continues along the Appalachian Trail, shortly ascending to the second ridge, the highest elevation of the journey. This ridge has little exposed areas for viewing. Following the ridge line, it is another easy reach to the third ridge. I found two separate areas with stunning viewpoints, both peaceful and powerful. Note: both the second and third ridges have primitive camp areas, but with NO WATER. Next comes a long descent. This time of year makes this easily the most challenging part of the hike. I highly recommend close supervision of new hikers, especially those backpacking with weight on their shoulders. Considerable amounts of leaves hide EVERY nasty rock on the trail. Lots of Oak trees here drop their acorns, and it happens to be a very sheltered, quiet area for bears to dine. Harpers Creek Shelter is also sheltered well, both from the wind and the sunshine.  

The hike out is easy going southbound on the AT, as well as the beginning of the northbound Mau-Har hike. Beyond the waterfall/swimming hole area, it becomes a hike that requires patience, and several short breaks. All uphill. Once you start seeing a few firs, you will find yourself approaching the Maupin Field shelter.

 

Name: Jake                                                                                                                 Hike: Trout Run Valley Circumnavigation

Date(s): 10/17-19/14                                                                                              Rating: 5

 

Outing Critique: Great hike, many beautiful views.  The trail notes are spot on, and easily followed the trial.  One thing to note is that the white-blazed short trial down to the vista at the first night campsite is not really blazed anymore, and we actually couldn't find the trail at first.  From the intersection with the sign, turn left and pass between the two fire rings.  Head straight  down over the hill and you will start to see a small trail.  I would also mention that there are not many good campsites on the Long Mountain Trail, other than the large field that was noted here (I couldn't find the spring it mentioned).  There are spots that could work, but didn't really see any additional developed sites.

 

 

Name: Andrew                                                                                                            Hike: Otter Creek-SE

10/24-26/14                                                                                                              Rating: 4

Critique: I organized this for the Mid-Atlantic Bacpackers meetup, and we turned it into a basecamp utlizing the big campsite 1.1 miles north of the Condon Run trailhead.  It was a big flat site next to the creek that could accomodate all 8 tents.  On Saturday we conducted as described on MrHyker's site, and it was gorgeous to say the least.  Although foliage was a little past it's peak, there was some marvelous stream scenery and beautiful mature hardwood forest.  My only warning would be that the Shaver's trail south of Mylius is a little hard to detect at times.  My guess is this section of trail is a little less trodded.  Although the wilderness area is not signed or blazed (I saw one sign at Hedrick camp, signage for Otter Creek trail at Condon has broken off) cairns still clearly mark intersections and change of direction.  Enjoy this wonderful place.

 

Name: .Com                                                                                                      Hike: White Oak Canyon-Cedar Run

Date: 01/226/14                                                                                                       Rating: 5

 

Critique: Ol' rusty bucket & i had a free day together & chose white oak canyon loop for our hike.  weather was magnificent, although that brought out the crowds.  we started at the base of the canyon, hiking up white oak trail & taking in the great views of the many waterfalls.  we decided to extend out hike a bit, so we hiked up to skyline drive, and walked about 1/4 mile south to the next overlook where we could access the AT.  we took the AT SOBO for about 1/2 mile or maybe a bit longer, to the next parking lot on skyline drive.  we crossed the road and started down cedar run trail.  less crowded than white oak trail, a bit steeper as we descended.  all in all, we think our hike was about an 11 mile loop.  it was helpful to follow the map from www.midatlantichikes.com, as well as a good map of the shenandoah park.

 

 

Name: JNK556                                                                                                            Hike: Laurel Fork Backpack

Date(s): 10/17-18/14                                                                                              Rating: 4

 

Critique: Did this hike as posted with Arfcomhkr, and one other friend.  Trails were clearly marked, and for the most part in good shape except for parts of the Bearwallow trail, which is poorly marked in spots, and narrow and rough. The small connector trail where the Locust Springs Spur, cuts from the RR grade, and connects to the forest road is hard to find, we ended up missing it, and just bushwacked the 100yds up the hill to the road.  Rest of the hike was nice, except for the high winds that kicked up our night on the fork.  Laurel Fork trail looked to have been recently blazed, and had zero trouble following it.  Two tough spots where the RR grade has been washed away, and you're trying to tiptoe through were pretty tough, but not impossible.  Crossings weren't too bad, water was up just a bit, and running fast, but nothing over knee high.  Hike out on Buck Run was long, and in some places pretty strenuous, but we've hiked worse.  All in all good trip, the bad spots on the fork give it a 4 out of 5 rating.

*No signs of rattlesnakes on this trip, this late in October, they have probably hid for the winter!*

 

 

Name: Ted E. Bear, Shortstack, Wooly Bully, .com                                             Hike: Iron Stone Loop

Date(s): 10/11-13/14                                                                                              Rating: 4.5

 

Critique: After watching the weather reports all week, it looked as if Accuweather was giving us a window of opportunity for this Columbus Day weekend hike to happen.  Leaving from two locations in fairly heavy rain (Frederick and Timonium) at 8 AM we arrived at the "Day Use" parking area about within 5 minutes of each other at 11:15 to clearing skies.   Finding our way around the lake without too much difficulty we arrived at the environmental center to screaming children having fun at a early Halloween party and were befuddled as to which way to go.  After a ranger/employee pointed out the obvious retaining wall,  we were on our way again only to miss the hard unmarked right before a residence and road.  Back tracking and making an early turn, we had to backtrack some more before we found the missed unmarked start of the trail.  (There were blue/yellow marks once you made the turn but not before.)  All in all we lost about a half hour.  The rest of day one was an uneventful nice walk in the woods with the exception of Ted E. Bear's realization that he left his much talked about (on the way up) Turkey sandwich in the car!  Making do with an energy bar and knowing it was only 5 miles to the campsite no one perished that afternoon.  As the 1st site mentioned was occupied by 6 college age folks we decided to go on and stayed at a somewhat abandoned campsite just off trail and across the stream from the hunters cabin about 3 PM.  After setting up tents, and filtering water, the gathering of loose wood from around the site and rebuilding of the fire ring really spiffyed up the site.  Other than the rocks the site was flat and soft.  A blazing campfire and s'mores with good company made a cold night warm.

Day two started by breaking camp at 8:45.  Despite the cold and "sleeping in" til about 7 we all moved pretty fast after breakfast.  The warm up mile and a half or so before the "big climb" of the day was appreciated.   Up until then, the "PA rocks" weren't too bad.  Steep as it was we all made it up without the use of ropes and after getting to the top and taking a needed break we took the hard left to the rocky and view filled Jackson trail.  (Note: the color coding of the map to the trail color changes was helpful.)  Several great vistas and two small rattlesnakes occupying our path (One rudely removed by Ted E.) later we came upon the crowds of Jo Hay's vista at Rt. 26.  We were still one week prime of autumn foliage.  (Note: none of us felt the trail was a "jeep road" prior to the obvious communication tower access road on both sides of 26.)  We didn't count but there were over a half dozen of the ugly sky scratchers.  The trail did get slightly less rocky (as advertised) as it turned back into the MST.  As we got to Indian Steps and took a break before the long decent there was a group of about 20 just starting to come to the top from a hiking club out of Altoona.  They were doing some kind of loop or shuttle thing which didn't seem well planned based on the conversation with the individual we talked to, but he was not the one in charge.  The one in charged seemed to be wanting to "hurry" the folks up the hill.  (Ha Ha)  After breaking for over 20 minutes we decided to pass the rest of this group "on the fly" as we descended the bugger.   Everyone had aches in either toes, calves, or thighs or some combination, but no one fell!  We chose the 2nd campsite on the left after the decent and road just before our nicely flowing stream water source.  Another nice evening with fire and the last of the s'mores and not quite as cold.

Day 3 started overcast with low lying clouds making it dark, but for the second morning no dew as well surprisingly.  We were on our way by 8:45 again and refreshed by the night's sleep and good breakfasts we all made it up the steep hill in 10 minutes!  The rest of the morning was pleasant with clouds getting darker but this seemed to bring out the fall colors more especially on this "jeep road" section.  All trail intersections were obvious or clearly marked and color coded.  We arrived at our cars before noon, cleaned up or took advantage of the $1.00 shower and headed to a ranger recommended BQ place not far from the park.  Unfortunately we found it was closed on Mondays.  Splitting back into the East and West group, the West group found a good lunch at Boxer's Cafe in Huntingdon, PA and the East group found lunch at a local grocery store/sandwhich shop with indoor seating about 5 minutes from the BQ on 26. (Sorry we forgot the name.) Leaving our lunch spots the rain started which bookended our near perfect trip.

All had a great time.

 

Name: Joel                                                                                                                  Hike: Loyalsock-Link Loop

Date(s): 10/04-06/14                                                                                              Rating: 5

 

Critique: Great Hike! this is the second time I have done this with my sons, and we love it here.  The directions are great. My only changes would be to note that there are plenty more campgrounds that are not shown on the map (particularly along the loyalosock creek after the bridge, and also between High Rocks and Ken's Window.  Also the point at which you leave the Loyalosock creek to go to rt 154 is a bit unclear.  If you chose to not ford the first stream crossing, you must cross two bridges on 154.  Ignore the various un-blazed paths that try to leave the road to the left.

 

 

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