.

 

Hike Schedule

Gear/Tips

Trip Archives

Flora & Fauna

Recent Critiques

Desk Tops

Hiking Links

Hall of Fame

Restaurants

Trail Blockage Report

  Contact Us  

                                                                                                                                                               

                              Last Updated: 08/26/2014

                             

                                                        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.

___________________________________________________

 

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

 

Be on the lookout for this man who has been missing since last Thursday. His family is really worried - he is not dangerous at all. He was last seen walking along the C&O Canal trail near Cumberland gap.

If anyone sees Martin "John" Rogers please call the 24 hr non emergency police hotline: (301) 279-8000.

"Rogers was driving a blue 2001 Audi A4 with Maryland tags:  1BF6739. Rogers is described as a white male, approximately 5’10″ tall, 150 pounds, with gray/white hair and blue eyes.  He wears glasses and was last seen wearing brown khaki pants and a green and tan checkered, collared shirt."


 

 

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)

 

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!

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Latest Outing Critiques

Name: Navig8tr                                                                                                Hike: Green Ridge North Circuit

Date: 08/16/14                                                                                                         Rating: 3

 

Critique: I took this circuit as an overnighter to test some new gear. I started near campsite 1. I was glad to find that the blazes were recently painted, and Pine Lick in blue, Twin Oaks in purple, unlike the description above. I ended up doing most of the circuit the first day, and camped in campsite 11. I was surprised to find all the small streams dry, and 15 Mile Creek was an occasional stagnant, muddy , shallow puddle. I took 2 liters of water and took the last gulp when I reached the car. Overall a nice walk in the woods, but maybe better for late spring when the water might still be flowing.

 

 

Name: Tim                                                                                                         Hike: Morgan Run Loop

Date: 06/17/14                                                                                                         Rating: 5

 

Critique: What day is it? Work it, work it...

 Kudo's, hat's off, a BIG right hand salute to the unknown folks that have been maintaining the Morgan Run Loop. Every weekend I am seeing something new. From bridges placed over streams to cut grass and maintained trails. If you know who these unknown folks are please pass this along.

 It has been almost a year now (4 seasons) that I have been walking the loop on the weekends and I invite anyone to join me. You'll be happy you did. Sometimes I do a repeat to max out my outing. And it is interesting to do it in reverse order as well.

 Visit Morgan Run and let me know. It's been a great asset to me as I am prepping for the BIG HIKE beginning March 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Ed S.                                                                                                                 Hike: Pond Run-White Rocks

Date: 05/18/14                                                                                                          Rating: 4

 

Critique: This was a good long hike, worthy for its good views and cascading runs.  I think the Tuscarora/Pond Run summit vista is the best vista along the loop, though White Rocks itself also gives an expansive view of the Shenandoah Valley, Massanuttens, and Blue Ridge.  Due to recent rain, the Pond Run section creek crossings were easy cold fords, with other areas of the trail becoming flood channels.  The long climb up Pond Run gave me a good workout.  The logging road section of the Tuscarora was basically a stream until the Racer Camp Hollow Trail, where the stream became a broad alluvial fan.  Pink ladyslippers were prevalent throughout the highland parts of the hike.  Waites Run was flowing very well, allowing good photographic opportunities, and it was very good the plank crossing along the Old Mail Trail was there, as fording there would be through thigh deep fast flowing water.

 

Fast flowing stream.

 

 

Name: Ed S.                                                                                                                Hike: Kings Gap

Date: 06/01/14                                                                                                          Rating: 3.8

 

Critique: I made a variant starting from the pine plantation, perhaps a mistake as that area was rather buggy.  It's a nice area, but there are plenty of better hikes in the greater Michaux area, and thus the lower rating.  Most of the overlooks, except for at the mansion and Ridge, are all somewhat grown over.  The mountain laurel was starting to bloom, and the ornamental Catawba Rhododendrons around the mansion were in full bloom; as were assorted flowers in the garden.  Its lily pond had plenty of frogs plus some blooming lilies.  The mansion was open, so I took a quick trek inside.  (The photo is the fireplace mantle.)  A bluegrass band was performing on the lawn outside, mostly Stanley Brothers covers.  With the exceptions of the mansion area and the Scenic Vista Trail, few people were out on the trails.

 

 

Name: Shortstack and Wooly Bully                                                                        Hike: Alleghenny Front trail-West

Date: 08/02-04/14                                                                                                   Rating: 4

 

Outing Critique: DAY 1: After checking in at the park office, we parked at the "upper lake lot", and proceeded north on the Shingle Mill Trail. The trail follows the Black Moshannon Creek. Even with the dark tea-colored water this creek provides for a great walk, with lots of twist and turns, some deep pools, and lots of rhododendron, Cardinal Flowers, and Joe Pye Weed along the banks. The large flat rock at around 3 miles makes for a great lunch spot. Farther along the trail we saw a dark, mucky spring with a few spots of contrasting white sand jetting out from the bottom. Moving sand this fast requires a substantial flow of water. At the end of the Shingle Mill Trail the AFT heads west, thru an active logging zone, past some overlooks of the I-80 viaduct, and then down to the bank of the Red Moshannon. We continued along the "Red Mo" to Sawdust Run, but couldn't locate the "DAY 1 campsite". No evidence of a road to the right leading down to the Red Mo. We found a pretty good tenting area around 0.1 miles past the run, on the left side of the trail, complete with a big flat rock for cooking and a conveniently located fallen log. 10.1 miles for the day. DAY 2: The day started with steady rain. At 6:30 the rain tapered off enough to let us cook breakfast and enjoy the wood thrush song , but then picked back up before we could break camp. We took advantage of the next lull to pack up our wet gear and head out along the AFT, in heavy rain at times. Six Mile Run made for a scenic section of the trail. The relatively consistent width and slope of the creek bed make it appear man-made in places, but the deep pools and fast flowing water made it very scenic. Lots of wood thrush song in the background, and some high pitched “screams” from the treetops. Possibly porcupine calls? The trail veers away from the creek, thru some pine plantations, and past Wolf Rocks. Aside from a geologist's dream of impressive scale, rounded edges, layers, slots, and overhangs at Wolf Rocks, there was an equally impressive mound of porcupine scat under one of the rocks. Upwards of 1/2 cubic yard, enough to demonstrate the angle of repose! At 13.5 miles for the day we stopped at a campsite under the hemlocks. Set up camp, waited out some more heavy rain, and turned in at 8:30. Lots of mourning doves, and a brief appearance by a whippoorwill. DAY 3: No rain! A few miles on the AFT, and then on to the Moss Hanne Trail. Great views from the extensive network of boardwalks over the marsh. Water lilies, cat tails, and blueberries! Lots of grazing along this section. Also saw some bushes that looked like blueberries but had red fruit. More wood thrush song, that same bird must be following us around the loop. Continued northward, thru more pine plantations, over a drier marsh area with expansive views, and then along the lakeshore back to the car. Blazing and signage made it pretty easy to stay on track. Over three days we saw no other backpackers on the trail. Just one trail runner, and then one family along the boardwalks. Even after factoring out the rain, the AFT-West was OK but not as nice as the other side of the loop, the AFT-East.

 

 

Name: Peter Fleszar                                                                                                  Hike: Mid State Trail-Little Pine State Par

Date: 02/01/14                                                                                                          Rating: 4

 

Critique: I hiked part of this loop after completing my quest to hike the entire Tiadaghton Trail. When referring this hike to someone in a Facebook group I noticed a couple of things. First and perhaps most important, Happy Acres Restaurant has been tested and found excellent several times since I submitted the 2011 critique. Second, Spike Buck Hollow Tr south of MST does NOT continue straight west of MST, instead it quickly turns left/south heading down the drainage almost parallel to the narrow ridge, turning again at the bottom of the intermittent stream hollow to follow along left bank of Boone Run for a bit. The trail comes out on Boone Rd at an I-beam bridge over Boone Run, about at the 820' contour.

 

 

Name: Boondoggle                                                                                                    Hike: Jeff Mitchell's Waterfall Wonderland

Date: 08/02/14                                                                                                          Rating: 4.75

 

Critique: A Great hike, very slippery, very demanding. The faster you try to go the more you get hurt... so just take your time. The bridge that had washed away has been replaced so it's much easier to get to. This is the 2nd time I've done the hike. The first time we got caught in a thunderstorm and had to take the haul road for the 2nd half of the hike all the way down. This last trip we were able to complete the entire trip. It took 7 hours total, but we did stop to look for a few geo caches and took 2 other breaks for eating and a 10 minute "let the feet dry out a little bit" break. The bugs were somewhat bad, and the plateau walk had some incredible mud pits, one which consumed my leg up to my knee...

 

 

View All Outing Critiques