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 Last Updated: 06/06/06     

 .... 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, references, photos.... everything you need to prepare for an excursion into the wilderness. Information for 110 hikes is now available. Venues such as, but not limited to, the GWNF-Great North Mt. (North-east and South-west areas), the northern and  central sections of the Shenandoah National Park/VA,  Massanutten Mt, VA, the Michaux State Forest in PA, the Monongahela National Forest in WV and Green Ridge State Forest in MD are represented.

Bulletin Board


For those of you who have hiked the Great North Mountain in the past or plan to do so in the future take note that the all volunteer Stonewall Brigade Trail Crew of the PATC has installed some new signs at the following trail junctions:

Mill Mountain/Tuscarora intersection
Tuscarora/Halfmoon intersection
Halfmoon/Halfmoon Lookout intersection

Check out more photos of their good work at their website.


It has been brought to our attention that not all Outing Critiques are reaching us. It took a while to figure out the problem but we think the issue is now resolved. For those who have submitted critiques and never had them posted we apologize. Please consider resubmitting them. If you do not see your submission posted within 48 hours please notify us.


We have recently received 24 of these stunning brushed cotton caps. We will be placing them along our route as we hike (one per hike). They won't be hidden so should be rather easy to find. We will also provide waypoints for you folks that are into geocaching. As we "plant" our presents to you we will add the hat photo to the appropriate hike link and a link with a list of hikes with  "active" hats. If you find the hat send us an e-mail telling us when and where you found it. Send us a photo and we'll post your story on this site. Please don't forget to notify us so we can take it off of the "active" list.

Dion Stemfley found a hat while hiking in the Shennandoah National Park. Read his story here.


Have you ever wondered who maintains the trails we use? If you guessed government employees funded by our tax dollars you are mostly incorrect. While some trail maintenance is performed by the park and forest services at the state and federal level the amount of funding they receive would not permit the amount of work required to keep our trails open. The majority of this work is done by volunteer organizations. Thousands of man hours of hard labor per year is involved in this effort. Have you ever wanted to help them but did not know how to report trail conditions? There is a way and it takes no money, no labor and only minutes of time by you. If you want to help read on>>>


Latest published hike(s):   Apple Orchard Falls/Cornelius Creek Loop, VA,  Devil's Marbleyard/Gunter Ridge Loop, VA, Knob Mt/Jeremy's Run. VA, Orange Grove Loop, MD


M. R. Hyker's Latest Adventure(s)


               More Photos


05-13-06: Knob Mt/Jeremy’s Run Loop - This was a scheduled Sierra Club outing. I was joined by Hardcore, Sixteen Penny, Water Bug, Indiana Moser, Ping, Eying and her daughter, Fafa (spl?). At the trailhead we added Irene who had missed the step off with her hiking group but was still determined to complete the loop. 

For the last 2 years we have hiked the Neighbor Mt/Jeremy’s Run Loop, which is a longer and more strenuous sister of this hike. This time we did the easier loop. Initially I thought it might end of being more challenging as the climb to the ridge was pretty difficult. Once at the top we took a short break and “watered up”. The rest of the ridge walk was a virtual romp with only minor climbs. There was Star Chickweed everywhere with clumps of Wild Geranium, Wild Oats, Columbine, Cow Vetch, Canada Violets and other flowers all along the trail. 

The descent to the run provided several rewarding views of both Massanutten Mt to the west and The Three Sisters on Neighbor Mountain to the east. About halfway down we passed some Pinxter Flower (Wild Azaleas) and Mountain Laurel in bloom. Betty finally located the cluster of Pink Lady Slippers she had discovered while leading a venture Scout trip several years ago. She had lost the film and on subsequent trips either couldn’t find them or they weren’t in bloom. 

When we reached the bottom we forded the stream (one of about 16 times for the day) and took a refreshing lunch break. From there we proceeded to hike up the stream back to the car. We passed even more different wildflowers: Green and Golds, Small-Flowered Phacelia, Golden Alexander, Herb Robert, Lyre-leaf Sage and more. 

With about 2.5 miles to go some clouds rolled in and we had to endure a light shower for all of 15 minutes. We broke down into 2 groups with the faster group getting back to the cars about 10 minutes ahead of the rest of us. There was no more rain until after we freshened up and got in our vehicles. Although not quite as challenging as its big sister this is still a great hike, one worth repeating.




Driving Tour Photos

Devil's Marbleyard/Gunter Ridge Photos

Apple Orchard Falls/Cornelius Creek Photos


05-20 to 23-06: Jefferson National Forest Mini-vacation. A couple of times a year Janet and I try to get away to do some car camping. This time we chose Cave Mountain Lake in the middle of this forest we've never visited before. The weather was great. The campground was clean and quiet. We had a very large and shady site that backed up to a creek. After we set up camp we took a driving tour, mostly to find trailheads for the hikes I was going to do and for future information. We also visited some vistas along the Blue Ridge Parkway and along the James River.

The next day Tony from joined me for a 14 mile jaunt through the James River Face. Our base route was the Devil's Marbleyard/Gunter Ridge Loop described here. We scouted an additional 3 miles of the AT so I could check out a camping area and water source for a possible backpacking trip in '07. The air was slightly crisp (in the 70s w/low humidity). This made for exceptional viewing at the vistas. The Devil's Marbleyard was something to behold with rocks ranging in size from that of a basketball to ones larger than a Volkswagon Beetle. The added mileage along the AT proved to be a big plus with outstanding views in nearly every direction from "The Helicopter Landing Pad". The views along the Gunter Ridge would also have been equally exceptional except that the views were the result of a massive  fire in 2002 that burned 1500 - 2000 acres of forest. Nearly every tree in the area was destroyed. The skeletons of many remain as grim reminders.

Monday was a " hike just for Mike" day. I left a copy of my route with Janet in case of an emergency and headed off to hike the Apple Orchard Falls/Cornelius Creek Loop alone. I knew the first half of the hike involved about a 2000 foot gain in elevation so proceeded purposely at a slow pace.  I was alone on the trail and took my time as I investigated each little grotto-esque water work. The falls was pretty impressive. The bridge and viewing platform even more so. After the falls the solitude was interrupted as I began meeting groups of hikers descending from the Parkway to view the falls. Once I turned off onto the AT I was again alone and had the feeling of having the woods all to myself.

The descent along Cornelius Creek seemed even more serene, more tranquil. It was here on a gradual downward railroad grade that I thought I would pickup the pace and finish with my typical average speed. Instead I found myself dawdling even more. There was no rush to finish. I eventually made it back to the car and then back to camp where Janet and I relaxed over some simple camping fare.

The next day we broke camp and returned once again to reality. It looks like we've  found another venue to explore. I'm sure we'll be back.


Latest Outing Critiques

Name: WVwanderer                                                                                   Hike: Otter Creek Wilderness SE Loop
Date: June 3-4, 2006                                                                                                  Rating: 5

Critique: Great route! My critique can be found at


Name: Cham Green                                                                                   Hike: Pond Run White Rocks
Date: 6/3-6/4/2006                                                                                                 Rating: 4

Critique: I used this hike description off this site for the hike.  The hike was relatively easy for a two day backpack. I had no issues with the hike description which was very succinct, however, I had two issues with the hike.   1) If you have a side trail called "White Rocks" then I would suggest NOT using white as a trail marker as the white paint cannot be seen against the WHITE rocks.  I only found half the trail. 2) The northern half of the pink blazed mail trail at the Racer Camp Hollow junction is completely obscured by overgrowth in June.  I walked about 5 miles out of my way completely confused as to where the trail was.  It was there, but lost in the woods.  Read my entire hike report at if you wish to be bored to tears, go the entry for June 5th 2006.


Name: WVwanderer                                                                                                   Hike: Cranberry Wilderness Backpack

Date: 05/27/06 to 05/29/06                                                                                   Rating: 5

Critique: Hey Mike. My critique can be found on my Blog at It was a great hike! Thanks for posting it!


Name: Tony                                                                                                 Hike: Devil's Marbleyard/Gunter Ridge Loop
Date: 5/21/2006                                                                                                         Rating: 4

Critique: Did this hike with MRHyker here at He talked me into doing a scouting trip out to a spring along the Appalachian Trail, and I'm glad he did. The view we got from the clear section along the AT was a panoramic 360 degrees, and with the 40+ mile visibility it was one of the best vistas I've seen in Virginia. The Devil's Marbleyard bolder slide was a fun side rock hop, but ran into a local hiker on the Mount Pleasant hike this weekend and he told me that the copper heads are in the rock crevices in high numbers during the summer months. Overall an excellent hike with multiple views.


Melissa                                                                                                      Hike: Otter Creek Backpack
Date: May 27-28 - 06                                                                                                     Rating: 4

Critique: Great info!  We just got back from the same hike- although we hiked it in reverse order. I wish I had read this site before going.  We spent quite a bit of time looking for the turn off to Shaver's Mountain Trail(from Green Mtn. Trail) only to realize we were already on Shaver's.  Adding to our confusion was the "missing" Adirondack shelter. If you go on this hike, make sure to bring at least a good topo and compass.

I noticed you didn't mention the great overlook (and small camp spot) at the beginning of the descent to Otter Creek from the Green Mountain trail.  After crossing through a meadow, look for a trail on the right marked with a cairn.  It's a little bit out of the way, but well worth it.   (I forgot to mark it on the GPS- sorry!)


Name: Ryan Alford                                                                                  Hike: Chuck Keiper Tr - East
Date: 5/28 to 5/29/06                                                                                           Rating: 5

Critique: This is my first time doing a loop trail (I got tired of backtracking on hikes that I do alone).  The maps and trail notes were both very useful.  The trail notes matched up with the trail the entire way.  The beginning of the notes are key to finding the trailhead.  I don't consider myself to be "extreme", but was able to the hike in one night.  I started 11:00am and finished 11:00am the next day.  Actually saw a bobcat in the Renovo watershed, but not any other wildlife.   This trail has so many different landscapes.  What a great hike!


Name: Craig                                                                                                              Hike:  AT-Sunset Rocks Circuit
Date: 4/30/2006                                                                                                     Rating: 5

Critique: Excellent hike!  I'd recommend taking a short spur to see the springs off of the "old woods road" (maybe called Halfway Springs?).  There is a sign and apparently a trail after the point I ventured through the woods.  And, the "100 yard" rock scramble is a fun and challenging way to end the loop, although it felt like it was a mile long!


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