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                              Last Updated: 11/29/2014


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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


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.




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 Cooperís 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 Iíll call trail fatigue made me reconsider the venue Ė 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 Ė 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, Iíve camped out in the rain before, even thunder storms, but Iíve never experienced such a violent storm up close and personal like this. You know how youíre 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 Ö! I never got the ďand oneĒ 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 couldnít 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: Jason Dashbach                                                                                  Hike: Roaring Plains Base Camp and Day Hike

Date(s): 10/4-5/14                                                                                                  Rating: 5


Critique: Four of us did this hike the first weekend of October 2014. It is a really wonderful walk with amazing views at many points along the canyon rim. We found ourselves staring the hike with snow flurries at the trail head but no real snow ever came. The temps stayed seasonably low both days but we didnít see much precipitation after that.
The trail can be difficult to follow in places and we took a couple of wrong turns, most notably while looking for the tee pee trail at the end of day 1. We took a trail that was marked with a cairn about where we thought it should be but we had turned off the rim a little too early and had to back track once we realized we were walking on the wrong heading. The tee pee trailhead is at the opposite end of a well-used campsite, so if you are looking for it and are not at a camp site you havenít found it. Even once you are within the camp site it is not obvious and it is concealed with some small pines and brush. The canyon rim trail just passed that same campsite is also the most difficult to follow section of the overall trail, at least it was for us. Prior to that section it was fairly straightforward and we didnít have any major issues finding the way. I would also recommend that you fill up on water at the streams when you pass them. The whole reason we were looking for the tee-pee trail was because the rest of the campsites along the rim were dry and we didnít have enough water left for dinner and breakfast so we were going to cut off the last horn on the rim and camp closer to water.
Our original plan for the hike had been to camp at the big site about 2 miles from the trailhead per the trail notes and then do the rim as a day hike without packs but there was a HUGE group (no joke 30-40 people doing trail maintenance) there already so we figured we would just use one of the other sites along the way and we kept pushing on to the next one and the next one and then got to a point where everything left was dry and a good ways from any water. It didnít help that we walked on what we thought was the tee pee for a good 20 minutes before realizing the mistake.
We definitely could have done a few things differently on this hike to make it a more comfortable experience but we still had a great time and the views were beautiful. We also ended up sharing the site with another group of super nice people who got a great fire going so things worked out even with some wrong turns, more weight and less water than planned. I will definitely go back as it will be much easier the second time around having some actual experience with the route.



Name: Jason Dashbach                                                                                  Hike: Allegheny Front trail -West

Date(s): 11/22-23/14                                                                                              Rating: 4


Critique: A friend and I completed this hike the weekend of 11/22/2014. We started Saturday morning and finished up Sunday. We followed the trail notes and went counter clockwise as recommended. The notes were, as always, spot on and the trail is very well maintained with wooden signs/posts at all the intersections. Navigation is definitely not an issue on the AFT with how well it is currently being maintained.
We had pretty questionable weather on Saturday with temps in the 30ís and on and off light rain. The rain put a coating of ice on a lot of the rocks that made the going slower than planned along the northern section. Due to the somewhat slow going and full darkness by 5:30 our first day mileage was lower than hoped by about 3-4 miles. To make up time on Sunday we cut off some of the Southern section of the trail by taking Clay Mine and Shirks roads instead. The detour probably cut off about 4-5 miles of the 31 miles trial and was a nice option to keep us on track. Walking along a road instead of in the woods kind of stinks but we didnít have enough time on Sunday to make up the lost time. The campsites were plentiful all along the trail and we ended up in a nice one on that wasnít listed in the trail notes but still had a fire ring and a reasonably flat spot for the tent. I believe it was about 13 miles or so from the start and probably 0.25 mile past route 504.
I wish we would have had nicer weather on Saturday but even with that the hike was great





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 40įF 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!*



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