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                              Last Updated: 06/09/2015

                             

                                                        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

 

02/22/15: I believe we have recovered and posted photos for all of the hikes on this website. Please contact us if you find any broken or incorrect links.

 

01/08/15: Our 2015 winter/summer hiking schedule is now posted.

 

 

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)

 

 

04/04/15 – Michaux SF, AT/Blueberry Trail/Dead Woman’s Hollow Road Circuit: This was the first “new” hike that I’ve done since last July. Up front I want to thank Aegiss III for the gpx file he sent me and his tips. I was joined by Hardcore, The Mad Hatter, Wooly Bully and Christopher Robbins.  

The AT parking lot on Shipensburg road is a large gravel affair enclosed by a corral and small pine trees. We began our hike NOBO on the AT, first through a pine forest on a wide grassy, woods road and then the more typical rocky footpath through mixed hardwood forest over rolling terrain.  In 1,1 miles we reached the junction of the Dead Woman Hollow Road (our return route). Lore has it that a local woman whose name has long been forgotten was bitten by a snake in the hollow and died there. There is a nice parking area here should a hiker prefer to shorten this 8 mile circuit by 2 miles. Shortly after passing this intersection the AT joins the access road for the Michner cabin (a PATC rental). Once again we were walking on mostly flat, smooth trail covered with pine straw. In ¾ miles the AT makes a 90 degree left turn while the access road becomes the Blueberry Trail. We reach the occupied Michner cabin in ¼ mile.  

After a short conversation we continue on the Blueberry Trail, now a nice footpath weaving through mountain laurel thickets. (To further shorten the hike one can alternately take the Dead Woman Hollow “Trail”.) We stop at a small rock pile in 0.7 miles near the edge of the eastern flank of South Mountain incorrectly thinking that we were at a vista created by recent logging activity but another couple hundred yards brings us to a rocky ledge, a much better view point. I think Christopher Robins got better shots than I as he was able to maneuver around on the rocks. 

Hardcore scouted out the continuation of the trail which was hard to pickup at this point. Over the next ½ mile the trail descended rather steeply to the point that I was reaching out to grab trees to prevent myself from falling. There were a couple of switchbacks but they did little to help. As the steepness relented we arrive at an obvious trail junction. My GPS and the Hatter’s old PATC map told us we should turn right here. But Wooly’s newer PATC map did not show the trail at all. There was a blaze but it had been blackened out – usually a sign that the trail has been abandoned. We continued following the blue blazes thinking that perhaps there had been a trail relocation but I continued to monitor my GPS. When I saw we were quickly approaching Rt 233 my original assumption proved correct. Not wanting to do a road walk on that dangerous road we retreated to the abandoned trail. After a few steps it became a woods road, an obvious extension of Dead Woman Hollow Road. It was wide and mostly grassy. After an easy 0.7 mile walk we reached the road itself. We looked for and found an unofficial trail that was on the gpx file I was using but it seemed to peter out after a 100 yards or so. At this point we didn’t feel an “adventure” was warranted, and on second thought realizing that what looked like an apparent stream crossing on the map might be a bit more than merely technical, we opted to just follow the road back up to the AT. It was a long 1.9 mile climb gaining 800 feet over that distance but there was only one or two parts that might be considered remotely steep. Otherwise it was just a long, continuous slog. We did manage to find the upper end of the stream trail a bit more than halfway up. It was just before the southern terminus of the Dead Woman Hollow “Trail”. Once we reached the AT we took a short break and then retraced our initial 1.1 miles back to the truck. At 8 miles and 1400 feet of E.G. it was the ideal hike for a sunny but blustery spring day.

Read More Adventures Here!

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Latest Outing Critiques

Name:   GB                                                                                                       Hike: Cowans Gap SP - Tuscarora Tr
Date(s) of Hike: 05/28/15                                                                                      Ranking: 4

Outing Critique:        Very good hike.  Had to cut it short so I didn't do the second climb and descent.

IMPORTANT:  As of hike date, the Geyer Trail is closed.  You would only know this from a sign on the bottom of the trail - no marking at the top.  Fortunately, my instinct told me not to go down the trail at the top, as it looked quite overgrown.  Take the Log Roll Tr instead and walk a half mile or so on the street to the next trail.

The overgrowth situation on the Tuscarora ridge (as mentioned in previous review) has not improved. There were several portions of the ridge trail that required bushwhacking through nearly completely filled in forest.  I would say it has progressed beyond nuisance to mild danger in a few short spots.  Still passable, but you are guaranteed to pick up a few ticks and scratches plus an increased risk of twisted ankles from stepping on rocks that are difficult to see.

Name:   Sean Morrison                                                                                    Hike: Brown Mountain - Rockytop Loop
Date(s) of Hike: 5/23/15 - 5/24/15                                                                     Ranking: 5

Critique: This was a great loop trail. I did the trip easily in two days by camping along the Big Portal Trail. I went over Memorial Day weekend and didn't see too many people.

The first day I added on a 1.2 mile spur to the peak of Lewis Mountain, about a half mile after Rockytop. It gave a great view of what I had been hiking so far that day.

This is a highly recommended trip to avoid some of the larger crowds.

Name:   Nole                                                                                                     Hike  Billy Goat Trail - Section A
Date(s) of Hike:05/25/2015                                                                                   Ranking : 5

Critique:  I love this trail. The views are beautiful along the Potomac river, especially early in the season when the meltwater still has the river running high and fast. The best times to go are weekdays or late afternoon on a weekend, provided you know how much time you take on the trail and how much daylight you have left. There are many places where the rocks are intimidating, especially if you are afraid of heights (like I am). In most instances though, it's easier to jump from rock to rock than it is try to climb around them. Wear good boots and it's no problem. I regularly complete this trail in less than an hour, a little more if I stop to look at everything. It's pretty much my favorite place in the entire DC area and worth the effort.

Name:   Terri V                                                                                                 Hike: Chimney Rocks (Michaux State Forest) Loop
Date(s): 05/29/15                                                                                                   Ranking: 4

Critique: There haven't been any recent reviews of this hike, so I wanted to put in my two cents.  I went on this hike today, and I really enjoyed it.  The climb up to Chimney Rocks was quite a workout, but the view was really nice.  I ended up going another couple of miles past Chimney Rocks on the AT -- relatively level ground -- and then turned around and came back via the AT instead of doing the loop hike.  I was hiking by myself and wasn't 100% confident of the trail that I was supposed to take to get over to the return route and I didn't want to walk through the (very long) grass at the pipeline throughway.  But it was a really nice out and back hike.  But the most important thing I wanted to share is that THERE IS NO BASEBALL FIELD at the Old Forge picnic area anymore!!  I was very confused about where to find the trailhead, but fortunately there were a couple of AT through hikers who came into the picnic area as I was looking around and they directed me to the trailhead.  For reference, if you are looking at the big open grassy area from where you park your car, the trailhead is to the far right hand side right near a small building that stores fresh drinking water.  Aside from that initial hiccup, it was a very enjoyable hike.

 

Name: Person                                                                                                   Hike: Red Creek/Dunkenbarger Loop
Date(s): 06/06/15                                                                                                             Ranking: 4

Outing Critique:  Good Hike.  Great hike for waterfalls. We did it in the direction of Mr. Hyker's review. Since no one has written a critique of this one in for a year or two, here's a little update.

Please please follow Mr. Hyker's directions to the letter when it comes to the first crossing/Red Creek backwater about a 1/2 mile in.  From where you approach, there is a visible carin to the right on the other side of the backwater.  However, it is not as visible as the wrong trail directly across from you. The carin is partially obscured by vegetation.  If you go straight across, as we did, you end up in a honeycomb of campsites and false trails.  We bushwhacked through, and wound up on back on red creek trail somewhere above the Little Stone Coal Trail junction.

From there, Red Creek was mostly easy to follow.  There were a few rock gardens that required some careful carin hunting,  across to the junction of Big Stone Coal and Red Creek trails.

Then three beautiful waterfalls within about 2 miles before dropping down to the red creek crossing. A right and up the creek bank about 30-50 yards and the carins on the other side are easily visible.

Rocky Point trail is loose softball to football sized ballast for about a mile in the middle.  Its annoying footing. On the red creek side there is mostly clear footpath on the right for a while. We didn't find the lion's head spur, though we did find a large carin by a log in the area described by Mr. Hyker.  When we followed that trail up we lost it in a Rhody thicket.  No matter, there is great vista from earlier on Rocky point.

The Big Stone Coal water fall is worth the trip by itself.
Dunkenbarger is mostly typical "spruce bog" similar to what you'd find on Canaan Mountain - two to four inch deep black mud with hop rocks. But it was a nice change from the hardwood forests of the lower elevations.  I think the mileage may be a little farther then described from Big Stone Coal to Dunkenbarger Run and from Dunkenbarger Run to Little Stone Coal trail.

I have a guide book that describes the little stone coal canyon as "precipitous."  That description is dead on about half-way down.  Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, the bench cut has partially washed out in a few of the really steep spots.  Use caution.  It wasn't impassable by any means, just a little nerve-wracking.

There are no carins, that I saw, on either side of the red creek crossing. We headed upstream about 15 yards and crossed on the down stream end of a nice pool.  After getting across we took a dip in the hole there which I highly recommend, if the water isn't dangerous, and the day is hot.  Little stone coal continues through a camp ground to the right.

We saw about 15 people total, most of them on Red Creek trail.  All trail junctions had in tact signage.  It took us about 7 hours, but we were in no rush and stopped several times. Thanks Mr. Hyker. Sorry if this critique is too long.

 

 

Name: Sara                                                                                                       Hike: Jones Mt-Staunton River Loop

Date(s): 05/11/15                                                                                                    Rating: 5

 

Critique: My boyfriend and I completed this outing over two days in early May.  We entered the park from Skyline Drive (warning, there's a $20 fee to enter Skyline Drive). Once you park at the Booten Gap lot, you veer left onto the AT (white blazed trail).  It's a slight uphill journey until you quickly reach a trail marker that is a concrete post and very easy to read (they are available throughout the hike, you will have no problems staying on the trail or getting lost on this hike). Here, you veer right onto the Laurel Prong Trail which is for the most part downhill on the side of the mountain, crossing various neat rocks until you reach the very bottom of the mountain and another trail marker to turn right onto Cat's Knob Trail.  This is probably one of the steepest inclines of the trip, but it doesn't last for too long and it is beautiful toward the top.  You climb beautiful rocks and level out at the top. There isn't a "view" up here, but you can see mountains all around you in the distance.  Continuing from here, you reach the Jones Mountain Trail.  From here it is up and down, nothing too steep. You pass through rock gardens and woods, and there are no good spots to camp until you reach the very tip of the mountain.  Here you will find a premade campsite on the left hand side.  There are two large rock formations on either side, a fire ring in the middle, and behind are the strange swirly trees you have seen throughout the Jones Mountain Trail.  It felt like a very safe spot to camp because it was enclosed on two sides, but it does get very windy, so be sure to secure your tent and rain fly.  After spending the night, we began to climb down, only moments after leaving our campsite ran into a little side trail that opens up to a rock facing 5 layers of mountains.  It's the most beautiful viewpoint on the trip.  Continuing down, we eventually made it to another trail marker that included the Jones Mountain Cabin, which we opted to see.  It was a downhill journey which led to a fresh spring and some log seating.  After filling up on water, we climbed back up and onto the Staunton River Trail. One of the more beautiful trails, for the most part it follows and crosses the river, plus there were more than a few spots to hop into the water to cool off.  Once you veer away from the river it is a longer trek uphill, and one of the toughest for me the entire trip.  Eventually, you reach a gravel road that leads you back to the Jones Mountain trail, through cats knob, and back up the laurel prong to the AT.  I rated this hike a 5 star because of its balance of beauty and difficulty.  It was the perfect two day hike and the campsite was beautiful in the morning (we watched the sunrise).  I might even suggest if you make it to camp soon enough, watching the sunset from the view point I mentioned that is just after the campsite, it is truly breathtaking, and if we knew about it beforehand we certainly would have watched the sunset there.  The hike was amazing and I can't wait to try another trail like this soon!

 

 

Name: Sushant                                                                                                           Hike: Conestoga Trail

Date: 05/02/15                                                                                                          Rating: 3.5

 

Critique: We parked our car near Pinnacle Overlook and went all the way to Martie Forge and then all the way back to Pinnacle Overlook.

The trail is strenuous only upto Pequea. After that the way to Martie Forge did not even feel like hiking. We were simply walking on roads for a very long time. While returning back, the last segment climbing upto Pinnacle Overlook is soul destroying. You just keep climbing up seeing that every blaze is higher than the previous one. Since this was at the end of the day, I guess I was physically battered as well making the task all the more challenging. As soon as I crossed the finish line and entered the grassy picnic spot of Pinnacle Overlook my legs gave way and I fell down with horrible cramps. Luckily that did not happen on the trail. Sat on the grass enjoying the view in pain for about 10 mins then went to the car and left.

As this is my first hiking experience I would say keeping my water salt balance was the biggest lesson. I got 2 litres water with me which was not enough by any means but luckily the other person hiking with me had a UV water filter so we were able to get ample water from the streams and drink. The real problem was that I did not eat enough. In all the sweat and grime I was in, I did not feel like eating, even though I had enough food, which was a mistake.

The blazes are quite well maintained and easy to follow. Overall it was a great first hike experience.

 

 

Name: Pete Lynch                                                                                                     Hike: Ricketts Glen Falls Hike

Date: 05/03/15                                                                                                          Rating: 5

 

Critique: I got there on a Sunday and took a look around the park. I hiked the Bear Walk/Highland/Cherry Run loop to get a feel for the place. Very crowded so I decided to come back early the next day and hike the entire Falls Trail, starting at the rt-118 trailhead.
Very nice cool temps and easy hiking for the first mile or so. When you reach the upper/lower trail split you must decide if you want to go with the easier "Moderate" upper trail or the "More Difficult" lower trail. I took the lower trail figuring I would take the easier way on my return. Turns out the difficulty is mainly from a few short sections where you need to grab the rock wall or a tree root to pass by. Plus you may need to do a small bit of scrambling to avoid getting your boots wet. Other than that, it was a bit shorter that way.
 After the first few waterfalls you reach Waters Meet where you make your second decision: to hike up the Glen Leigh trail or the Canoga Glen trail. The Canoga Glen side is the steeper of the two so I decided to take Glen Leigh trail going up so I would have an easier way up *and* down.
I took the short cut to the Highland trail and missed one fall. I passed through the rock formation known as Midway Crevasse and went up to the Lake Rose trailhead parking lot to rest a bit and refill my water bottle.
I took the Canoga Glen trail back down to Waters Meet, retracing my steps to the first waterfall where I took the afore mentioned "Upper Trail" back to my ride at the rt-118 trailhead.
The waterfalls are great but hiking trail and steps were what I liked the most.

 

 

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