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                              Last Updated: 07/15/2015

                             

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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.

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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

 

07/15/15: I apologize to all of the visitors to this site and especially those who have submitted Outing Critiques over the past month and a half. My efforts have been directed to other areas of my life. I'm back at the keyboard again and hope to do a better job of updating the site in the future.

 

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:   Scott
Date(s) of Hike: /11/15-7/12/15
Hike Name: Big Schloss
Ranking: 3


Outing Critique: Big Schloss is amazing, one of the best views in the Blue Ridge from what I've seen. The trail is well marked and the directions on this website work very well. There are also a number of nice campsites along the way. However, I did find 2 issues. If you're hiking this trail in the summer when the leaves are out, expect to have very few views other than Big Schloss itself. It was literally a green tunnel for the rest of the hike, other than one small overlook. This may well be different during different seasons. Second, the section of the trail between the Big Schloss cutoff trail and the Big Schloss spur trail is very, very overgrown. I am writing this 3 days after my hike and am still itching from all of the nettle and thorn pricks.

All of that being said, Big Schloss is spectacular.

 

Name:   Ruthie Franczek
Date(s) of Hike:07/05/15
Hike Name: Kelly's Run Loop
Ranking: 5


Outing Critique: For a 59 year old novice hiker this was a challenge...but worth the two hour drive to get there.  It took me 4 1/2 hours to do 6.3 miles because I stop a lot and took an hour lunch.  There is one uphill rocky part that is a 170 foot rise.  Good hiking boots and trekking sticks a must (unless you are young and foolish...I did see a couple in flipflops)  The creek is wonderful! Next time I will wear my bathing suit...there were two places deeper than my trekking stick.  I would put this ahead of the hikes I have done in the New England mountains and that's saying something!  Afterwards, I hope you packed your kayak on your truck...I paddled the Susquehanna below the Holtwood Dam.  Excellent way to cool off those tired feet.

Name:   Paul Fofonoff
Date(s) of Hike: 07/04/15
Hike Name: Otter Creek - SE Loop
Ranking (1 to 5 with 5 being the best): 4


Outing Critique:  On Jul 4-6, we did a 23-mile, 2 1/2 day backpack including the Otter Creek, Possession Camp, Otter Creek, Moore Run Trail, (by a lucky boob-boo McGowan Mtn Rd), Yellow Creek Trail, with a final stretch on Otter Creek.  This was my 7th backpack in Otter Creek.  It was beautiful, but unexpectedly challenging.  Compared to my early hikes (1996-2012), the trails were much more overgrown, with dripping rhododendrons, strewn with fallen trees, and more eroded. We were surprised to find no other hikers in the Wilderness during our trip.

The weather was close to average for summer. with a couple of long stretches of rain Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.  Flooding and stream crossings were not difficult, but the Moore Run Bog crossing was wetter and more difficult than in 2 previous crossings, with no signs of a footway on the west side.  I sank to my knees a couple of times.  About midway across (W to E, we encountered some stones marking the path, but it was still wet.

On Monday, we missed the cairn at the McGowan Mtn junction, and wound up on the road, which was OK in the pouring rain.  The road ends at Yellow Creek Trail.  Here the sun came out, so the rest of the walk was pleasant.

My main point here is to point out that the Wilderness is still beautiful, but much more difficult than in earlier years.  there seems to have been little recent foot traffic, and even less maintenance.  One exception, is that some of the dangerous eroded sections along Otter Creek have been relocated.  Overall, though hikers have to be prepared to navigate through dense rhododendrons, step over lots of logs.  This should not scare everybody away, but you allow yourselves plenty of time, and prepare the people in your group.

My pictures are at
http://www.meetup.com/AMC-DC/events/223342354/

Name:   Rick
Date(s) of Hike: 7/5/2015
Hike Name: Pocosin-South River Falls Circuit
Ranking: 3

Outing Critique: In mid summer the forest roads were very overgrown.  We missed the sharp right turn following the Pocosin cabin - the weeds were so tall it didn't look like a road, and we had to wade through several hundred meters of knee high weeds to continue - I would not call the roads a pleasure to walk on this time of year.  Also, we could barely see the cemeteries through the growth.  The falls were nice but the "sketchy" trail from the river to the base of the falls was wet and slick so care must be taken.  Regarding the climb at the end of the circuit, we thought it was not as hard as it sounds from the description.  In the end, had we known the conditions of the trails we probably would not have done the entire loop.

Name:   Adam
Date(s) of Hike: 07/03/15 - 07/05/15
Hike Name: Pinchot Trail
Ranking: 3
Photo:
 http://fs24.formsite.com/mrhyker/files/f-0-7-8714763_PkaBxLr5_Ferns.JPG

 

Outing Critique: Hiked the trail counter-clockwise beginning with the southern loop. We found the hiking to be easy and we were able to complete the entire 26 miles in two nights at a leisurely pace. It's not challenging and has no great views, but this trail makes for a nice weekend backpacking excursion.

We embarked at 3:30pm and after about 3.5 hours of pleasant hiking pitched camp at the first site after Phelps road. The camp sites on the southern loop are amazing. They're along beautiful gushing streams which provide a serene setting and convenience for re-upping water supplies and washing dishes.

The next morning it began to rain and we trudged through swampy, flooded trails, often having to slog through brush to avoid standing water.  By mid day we had reached Tannery Road and we're muddy, soaked and cold. The hiking got easier (but no less swampy) as we reached the northern loop, enabling us to make good progress through the Behler Swamp and White Line trails.

By about 5:00pm we reached the most enchanting and memorable part of the hike: Painters Creek. The trail descends into a dense, shady pine grove through which the creek rushes beautifully.  It is a magical place and it lifted our dampened spirits immeasurably. We proceeded up a steep rocky embankment and made camp at the northern-most site on the trail.

The next morning we hiked along more swampy trails which became steamy as the sun speared through the clouds. We mistakenly turned right from the trail onto Pittson Road and walked the whole way to Big Pine Road before realizing our mistake.  After backtracking and rejoining the trail (WHICH IS TO THE LEFT!) we had an easy hike back to the car, completing the trail at 1:00pm

Name:   Alex
Date(s) of Hike::  07/05/15
Hike Name: Cowans Gap SP - Tuscarora Tr
Ranking : 4

Outing Critique:        The Tuscarora trail was very overgrown, like the last few people have mentioned.  Up to Geyer Trail you're in the forest, and at times it there was so much cover it was difficult to follow the trail.  At Geyer it opens up into the jeep road, which isn't much better - easier to navigate, but covered in knee-high grass.  I went while there was still dew on the ground and my boots were soaked in minutes.  Poles and long pants are an absolute must.

I made my way down to the road on Richmond, which was fine but isn't cleared at all for the last ~50m.  At the bottom there was a sign that said it's closed for erosion control (at the top there's nothing to indicate this).  I didn't see anything at the bottom of Geyer to indicate it's still closed, so maybe check at the part office to see if it's open again.

The view at Big Mountain was spectacular, just don't expect an easy trail up.

Didn't do Knobsville or Horseshoe, kind of wished I did.  There's plenty of spigots around the lake if you want to refill water between Plessinger and Knobsville.

M.R. Hyker Note: The Geyer Tr is now open.

Name:   DanB
Date(s) of Hike: 06/29/15
Hike Name:  Lost Pond Circuit
Ranking: 4

Outing Critique: Overall a nice, not too strenuous hike.  I did this one earlier today, according to the map on this web site.

Starting from the parking lot, the trail is well-defined and pretty heavily trafficked on the route to Pot Rocks.  Passed by several groups of folks over this first half-mile.  However, once I reached the fork and took the left to head up towards the Overlook/Lost Pond, I was on my own.  This section of trail is still fairly well marked and open up to Lost Pond.  Once you get around Lost Pond, the blazing is a little more sparse, but the trail is still fairly well-defined as you decline back towards the Gunpowder.

Pay close attention at this point.  I missed the "sharp right turn" described in the description above and apparently ended up off the trail or on an older version of the trail.  I ended up walking a quarter mile or so upstream of a stream that isn't really described on this site, but apparently is "No Name Stream" according to the map on the DNR website:


http://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/pdfs/GFSP_big1.pdf

Realized I was headed off trail and turned back around following "No Name Stream" to where it outlet into the Gunpowder.

This next mile was a little rough, the trail is not well defined or blazed as it runs along the water.  Maybe I was still off the trail, it was pretty overgrown...  At one point there was a crossing where I'm assuming there used to be a trail bridge or something, as the water is several feet deep and the bank is very steep where the trail takes you.  Headed a little upstream to find a place to cross and still had a tough time getting up the opposite bank.  From there on it as you follow along the Gunpowder, the trail is quite overgrown, lots of spider webs to run face first into :)

As you continue, you eventually reach Pot Rocks from the North, and back to 'civilization'.  The trail is again well-defined and you are backtracking the way you came.  The Sawmill Trail was a worthwhile diversion, getting a little bit of elevation and some more forest trail.

Personally I enjoyed the Lost Pond Circuit, but bear in mind the trail from the parking lot to Pot Rocks is one thing, but the Lost Pond Circuit is a couple degrees of additional challenge.  Still worth it to reach the mouth of "No Name Stream".

Name:   Chris
Date(s) of Hike: 06/23/15 - 06/25/15
Hike Name:MNE- Big Run - Seneca Creek - - "Lost Meadows" Backpack
Ranking: 3

Outing Critique:  Without this site, my backpacking exploration would be limited to state parks and the ever popular well known local trails in Pennsylvania so thank you for having this site.

Bottom line of this critique is wear knee high gators, long pants, and bring a dry set of camp shoes.The trails are very well marked with newer signs labeling the trail names but not distances.

We explored the Big Run - Seneca Creek trail in late June to find that most of the side trails other than Seneca Creek Trail are very overgrown and made for more difficult than traditional trails that are well maintained. I am not sure if the overgrown trails (some areas have grasses up to our shoulders in height, 5 feet high) are normal or abnormal here.  One horseback rider mentioned briefly that the trails may be overgrown due to a limited state budget. I am not sure if that is true though. The other issue was there was continuous mucky/boggy areas that never seem to dry.  Our feet were sinking constantly and made for unsure footing as if were were walking through wet horse poo.

As we came down the beginning of Big Run, it was a nice but steep gravel trail.  As we approached the meadows, the trail got progressively overgrown and we found ourselves getting cut on our exposed lower legs with briers or stickers and worrying about gathering many ticks.  The tick situation ended up only being a few during our travels, but they were present. My yellow lab dog was leading the way down the trail by burrowing her head into the grasses and hoping for the best. We were thankful to find the north prong trail sign and gathered our breath by taking a break at the campsite just before North Prong.

North Prong trail was a bit better but the stream crossings were plentiful and higher than normal due to recent heavy rain.  Our boots and feet were soaked due to not having gaitors and the water being higher than our boot tops.  I don't think the trail is used enough to be able to rock hop and it would be absurd to take your boots off for every creek crossing. I was grateful for the uphill climb up to allegheny mtn. trail after the old wooden footbridge at the Elza Trail.  The meadow that we passed shortly after that was the biggest and best one we saw. A few deer were seen along the North Prong.

The Allegheny Mtn. Trail was flat and easier to make some miles but there is much debris and the mucky trails continued.

We cut our mileage short due to tiredness and cut down Swallow rock trail.  The campsite at this intersection was full of high grass as well and ticks would be my concern if staying there.  Swallow rock trail was just barely a trail, but was just a muddy/mucky downhill mess with no sure footing.

Once we arrived at Seneca Creek trail things got much better.  The trail was well defined and flat.  We made our way to Judy Springs campsites across the footbridge.

Day 2

We day hiked down to the main waterfalls which you suggested camping by.  We had plenty of time, but chose not to explore the high meadows area.  Looking back at it, that was a dumb decision, but I was so concerned that the trail conditions would have been just as bad as the other day. There are 3 fairly big sites down at the base of the falls. The one above the falls looks a little tight and maybe has room for one small tent.

Day 3

We took the Seneca trail back and enjoyed the creek crossing and the more well groomed trail.  We were debating to go up the Tom Lick trail and finish our trip on the Allegheny trail or just continue on the Seneca trail and just walk the road the 1.1 mile to the Big Run trailhead. We chose the Tom Lick/Allegheny route.  The Tom Lick was a fairly easy climb for a mile and we passed a campsite on the left that is an option if absolutely need be.  The rest of the Allegheny was mucky and had at least 3 down trees that crossed the trail completely.

All in all, we had a great time, but for anyone looking for a basic backpacking trip and not a high grass, mucky adventure, I would suggest simply doing an out and back backpack from the Seneca Creek trailhead.

I would love to know if these trail conditions are normal or if we just hit it at a worse time.

Name:   Ed
Date(s) of Hike: 6/20/2015
Hike Name: Reddish Knob Summit
Ranking: 3

Outing Critique:  The Reddish Knob Summit is a really remote hike that all the animal life. We saw eagles, signs of bear, 7' rattlesnake, and much more. The bear markings where intense around the mile 5-8 and also one the way down. There was a den of bears somewhere at mile 6-7 in the rocks. The trees were marked by claw marks at 6' up. Trees were pushed over, and the brush was thick you were walking through. If you were doing this alone without making noise this is not a good idea. The camp sites were remote and the only one that looked like you could somewhat pitch tent was the car camp site off the dirt road near the top. (See trail notes) The trail is marked yellow until you hit jeep road, dirt roads, and follow the trail notes with map. About two miles going down the mountain the trail is nearly impossible to go through. We were wearing gaters to our knees and hiking boots. Our arms and knees had some major scratches. The trail is so thick you think you lost it, and then you see yellow. You will go 15 minutes to 30 minutes until you see another yellow marking. The trail notes refer to open field for camping the grass is about 2-3 feet tall. Rattlesnakes we saw were in it. We saw a 7' rattlesnake, that would not leave us alone when we stopped for lunch. We moved one. He was too friendly. You will need to drop water at the top. The best idea ever from the trail notes and website. Oh have fun driving up the mountain road to the top. You will learn to pray very quickly. Amazing views, and they are so worth it when you hike to the top. We hiked the whole loop in one day 12 hours with 40 lbs in the backpack. We were planning on camping on the mountain. We did not find any camp sites that we want to camp at, and the bear activity made us rethink it. I enjoyed the hike, my wife did not like the bear activity and rattlesnake.

Name:   Bob Handelsman
Date(s) of Hike: June 7-10, 2015
Hike  Otter creek SW
Ranking : 3.5


Outing Critique: Hiked from south entrance of Otter Creek Wilderness to the campsite just before the second crossing of the Creek.

I'm 67 years old with COPD and a bad back and I often hike by myself. Therefore, I hike in 4-5 miles and set up a base camp for 2-3 days.
This trip I stayed 3 days. Can't carry any more food.

One day, I hiked up the Moore Run Trail to the junction with the Turkey Run Trail. I didn't go further because the rhododendron was very thick and the scenery was very unimpressive. The second day I hiked up to where the Otter Creek Trail crosses Moore Run. I didn't go further because Moore Run was deep enough to require me to change to water shoes which I didn't feel like doing again. The best views of Otter Creek are north of the second crossing.

Otter Creek Trail in from the south entrance was unimpressive. It was primarily one big jungle of rhododendron. There are few views of Otter Creek between the south entrance and the first crossing of Otter Creek.

There are 4 campsites with water access between the first and second crossings of Otter Creek. Two are on either side of the Creek at the first crossing and have easy access to water. The third is several hundred yards north of the first crossing and access to water may be difficult. The fourth is just south of the second crossing and has easy access to water. This is the campsite I was at for the 3 nights. I hiked in on a Sunday and saw 12-15 people hiking out. I did not see another hiker for the 3 days I was in.

There is a very nice campsite with easy access to water where the Otter Creek Trail crosses Moore Run. This site should be approximately half way between the north and south entrances.

The day before I hiked in, I hiked about a mile of the trail from the south entrance and was underwhelmed by the scenery. I decided to look for the north entrance on W Va 72. It is about 4 miles south of the junction of W Va 72 and U.S. 219. Watch carefully for the parking area because its easy to miss.

To find the south access, drive east of Elkins on U.S. 33 for about 10 miles. FR 91 is at the top of a hill opposite a sign saying "Shavers Mountain Elevation 3026 feet." There are 2 roads taking off from here so be sure you're on FR 91. It is the one to the west.

I didn't bring fishing tackle. About halfway between the first and second crossing is a deep pool which should harbor some nice brook trout. There are other deep pools downstream of the second crossing but access for casting is difficult.

Name:   Ed D.
Date(s) of Hike:6/17/2015
Hike Name : Dolly Sods Circumnavigation
Ranking : 3

Outing Critique: The Dolly Sods has nice over night camping sites for backpackers. You will need to make sure to follow the trail notes, as there are no trail makers. There are trail signs at intersections. There are enough people hiking the trail that you should be able to follow tracks. We ran into a deer (eight feet away), which was not afraid of people. The trails were wet and had multiple stream crossings. The mud is at times up to you ankles. This was one of the muddiest hikes we have completed. The trails were cleared. Our gators that go up to our knees were covered in mud the both days we hiked.

Name:   Fy
Date(s) of Hike: 06/12/2015
Hike Name :   tuscarora trail
Ranking : 2

Outing Critique:  My wife an I took a hike on Friday 06/12/2015. The first part of the trail was ok, you need to be in good shape to climb the trail to the top.  It has twists and turns and is very rocky.  Once at the top we took a brief rest on one of the overlook areas. As we continued the trail was rather dangerous as the path was overgrown with greenery and foliage  we almost fell several times twisted our ankle on a rock and cut my leg on a tree stump sticking out. The  reason for this is because it was so overgrown we could not see our feet and where we were stepping. It felt like we were in the middle of a jungle. We did not want to get lost so we had to turn around and come back. never made it to the Geyser trail, because we could not find it .

Name:   Greg S
Date(s) of Hike: 6/9-6/10/15
Hike Name: Trout Run Valley Circumnavigation
Ranking (1 to 5 with 5 being the best): 4+
Photo:
8672739_wLi6tu4Z_18504713429_98074ee3a1_z.jpg


Outing Critique: I did a slight twist on this trip, parking at Trout Pond Recreation Area in West Virginia. The idea was that by coming at it from this corner I could hike counterclockwise halfway and camp at the intersection of Tuscarora Trail and Pond Run Trail with guaranteed water. Because I got out there late though I went clockwise instead with the first day being my short day, and I ended up camping at the spring below Sugar Knob. The next morning I hiked down to Big Schloss, over to Tibbet Knob and completed the loop using 691 and Long Mt Trail. You can connect back to Trout Pond using their Purple and then Orange-blazed Trails.

All in all this was a pleasant trip. I knew it would be hot, but the coolness of the evening helped to balance that. Every spring and creek described in Mr. Hyker's description was flowing well, and all tasted great (Sandstone wasn't chalky by my reckoning). If you go anytime in early June, it's probably safe to assume abundant water. From the time I left Trout Pond until I got to Big Schloss (about 24 hours) I didn't see another person - helps to do trips in the middle of the week! I only got turned around once...as I headed in from the loop and connected to the Trout Pond trails I turned off the Purple too soon, missing the Orange and catching a short White/Blue tape-blazed trail that dumped me back on to the Long Mt Trail. I realized my mistake when I hit the campsite below Ben's Ridge - luckily only slowed me down by a few minutes. For what it's worth, I was focused on hitting my goal and getting home by a certain time so I skipped a few overlooks. If I was doing this slower, or with other people, I may have hit every single one.

My only reason for not giving a 5/5 is that I found 3 sections to be quite boring - the Long Mt Trail, the Middle Mountain Trail above Big Schloss and 691. Long Mt Trail was at least shaded, the other two were pretty hot and Middle Mountain Trail was lined with awful thistles.

My chief goal in doing this trip was to see if I could do the loop over one night, and accomplishing that felt really good. 28 miles, 28 hours. Despite the 4/5 I still HIGHLY recommend this trip, it's one of the few areas within 2 hours of DC that allows you to hike a loop and feel a bit removed from civilization. Also, of course, Big Schloss and Tibbet Knob are two of my favorite overlooks in the GWNF.

Thanks to Mr. Hiker for these excellent directions!

 

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