Frosty Gap - Pocahontas Loop

Description: As stated elsewhere on this site The Cranberry Backcountry is host to several miles of underutilized hiking trails. While the area might not be high on vistas and waterfalls it ranks very high in solitude. The mixture of forest types and rock formations adds to it’s upside. Throughout the venue one can see how the Red Spruce, once logged to near extinction on these mountains, is fighting to assert itself as a primary forest type. Described here is a fairly moderate 15.5 mile loop. Although we did it as a day hike the availability of a good campsite on a reliable water source would make this a good candidate for a quick overnight backpacking trip. 

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The hike starts at the “No Camping” sign in the Kennison Mountain Trailhead parking lot.





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Trail Notes: All trail junctions are signed. All trails are blazed with blue plastic diamonds. Proceed up the Kennison Mountain Trail. In o.49 miles pass the South Fork Trail on the right. Begin climbing. In another 0.75 miles the Kennison Mountain trail turns right. You want to stay straight on the Frosty Gap Trail. In 0.52 miles reach a gravel forest road. Turn left for just a few steps and then right onto a gated hunter’s road and the continuation of the Frosty Gap Trail. Follow this nearly flat, forest lined road for 5.0 miles. (At 2.98 miles from the gravel road you’ll pass a “window” vista of Fork Mt.) The Frosty Gap Trail continues straight ahead as a footpath for another 0.77 miles. Turn left onto the Pocahontas Trail. In 1.45 miles the Eagles Camp Trail comes in sharply from the right. In another 0.17 miles arrive at a small campsite and two streams crossed by bridges. If you are backpacking this is the best place to camp along the entire route.


Continuing on the Pocahontas Trail cross Darnell Run 1n another 1.23 miles and Rt 39 in another 1.03 miles. As you walk between Rt 39 and Hills Creek note some potential campsites to the right in Spruce Groves. Pass a spur trail to a parking lot on the left and cross Hills Creek on a bridge and begin a gradual climb. In 1.05 miles from the parking lot the Fork Mountain Trail comes in sharply from the right. Bear left staying on the Pocahontas Trail. As the trail flattens out it becomes a grassy jeep road. In 1.32 miles from the Fork Mountain Trail cross another old, grassy jeep road. In 0.49 miles turn sharply to the left onto the Kennison Mountain Trail. In 0.55 miles pass the Blue Knob Trail on the right and in another 0.53 miles arrive back at Rt 39 and your vehicle.

Critique This Outing



Outing Critiques

Name: Jack B                                                                                                                                       Hike: Frosty Gap - Pocahontas Loop
Date: 05/18/12                                                                                                                                   Rating: 2.5

Critique: A nice enough intro hike for me and Cranberry, but it really didn't rate terribly high. Five or so miles of this loop are actually on a forest road. The rest (minus the western end of Pocahontas) were just so-so in terms of beauty. All trails are well signed at junctions, though the trails were often overgrown. Would skip over this one and hit one with a proper mountain stream.


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