Last Updated: 08/14/2015
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.
"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
Three Ponds Loop, PA
Two years ago I had surgery on my hip as a result of a backpacking
accident. I’ve recently discovered that the repair has degenerated. I
find it difficult now to walk on a flat paved surface for a mile without
prolonged pain and discomfort afterwards. Such being the case I have to
cancel the rest of my schedule. I’m sorry if this inconveniences any of
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)
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.
Latest Outing Critiques
Critique:Beautiful area of SNP, among the best in the park.
Relatively underused trails; during the three day weekend I saw
Outing Critique: Great hike with diverse scenery! The only strenuous part was the descent starting at High Meadows - it's the last leg of the first day and was difficult. The directions, as stated in other comments, are a bit off, though it's pretty straightforward.. Once you hit High Meadows Trail (which was our favorite part), you'll keep going through three large meadows. After the third meadow, you'll come to a creek crossing - it's a small waterfall with water running over smooth rocks and then falls down some small levels. Be careful crossing - it's an easy one to slip on and seriously hurt yourself. After this crossing, the trail winds for a half mile down hill, with campsites on your right as you defend. There's no clear signs, but once you get to the bottom and the creek is right in front of you, you have two options. Go left, you'll immediately come to a creek crossing that's at least 20 feet long. Go right, and you'll follow the creek and pass by the falls and a lot of camp sites. If you camp, you'll need to cross the stream (this is the start of the Seneca Creek trail). There's also a few campsites on this side of the stream. We came out on the Seneca creek trail as we didn't want to do all the uphill and re-hike the huckleberry (but also had a car parked there...you wouldn't be able to walk back to your car at Huckleberry trailhead from Seneca trailhead without a ride). There are at least 4 creek crossings on the full Seneca Trail which vary, but you should be ready to take off your boots at least once or twice.
Outing Critique: We did most of this hike last weekend, just did it a bit differently. We started out at Spruce Knob on Saturday morning in beautiful clear weather with temps in the 70's. Hiked down Huckleberry Trail and took Horton Trail after the 4-way with Lumberjack Trail. Huckleberry is a very nice trail, mostly in spruce, but with a few clearings that probably had great views 10-15 years ago. Took a quick left off Horton onto Judy Springs Trail, which opens up to some awesome meadow views. Soon you are back in the woods and cross the bridge at the intersection with Seneca Creek Trail. Seneca Creek is a very nice trail along the creek, with many great campsites. We found one we liked and spent our first night there. Sunday we headed to the falls and then up Horton to High Meadows trail. I would suggest watering up at the creek at the start of High Meadows, its the best on that trail and for the rest of the day the way we went. High Meadows is a nice trail through the meadows up to the top of the ridge, it does get steeper as you go though. We found Lost Meadows at the top of High Meadows, then took Lumberjack Trail back to Huckleberry Trail. Our last push was Huckleberry to the closest nice campsite near Spruce Knob. There we set up our camp, got water for dinner that we had stashed in the car and relaxed and watched the beautiful sunset. Since we had no walk out on Monday,we had time to visit Seneca Rocks! This is a great hike!
Outing Critique: For the past year or so I have been coming to this trail and running it a couple times a week, all 4 seasons. It is great exercise and makes trail running more interesting/fun with the intermittent rock scrambles. During the summer remember your Camelbak, etc. Also, the trail is nearly always busy (unless you're running it at 7AM in January!!), but folks are pretty relaxed when you politely say "excuse me" and pass them. One thing I will say is that the trail is not nearly as "difficult" as the NPS warning, so even if you're nervous about going or haven't done any hiking, don't let it stop you. Just go for it! It is really beautiful and fun, whether you're taking it slowly as a beginner or running it regularly. Wear trail shoes or athletic shoes with good grip and you will be totally fine!
We brought our youngest group of Boy Scouts for a one-night
introduction to backpacking. Properly fitting packs are difficult
to find for 60-70 pound 11-12 year olds! I know good ones in youth
sizes are out there, but it is difficult to justify the expense for
a pack that could be 6 months and a good growth spurt away from
being too small. Nevertheless, the trails are easy and ideal for