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Last Updated: 08/04/08  


 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 168 hikes and over 1983 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.


"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Two separate MD Hiker Rescues in one day: 06-23-08 - Read about it and see video here.






Latest Published Hikes


Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, VA

Austin Mountain-Furnace Mountain Loop, VA

Berma Road - C&O Canal Towpath, MD

Billy Goat Tr - Section C & B, MD

G. Richard Thompson WMA, VA




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


Treebeard's Photos
Hard Core's Photos


07-12 to 13-2008 – Dolly Sods North Backpack: This was supposed to be a three day circumnavigation of Dolly Sods North and the Wilderness Area but due to several  health reasons I won’t discuss here we had to limit our trek to a two day circumnavigation of Dolly Sods North. It ended up being a good move.

I was joined by Hard Core, Treebeard IM, Doc and Bubbles. The skies were pretty clear both days although it was a bit cooler with a slight breeze on the second day. We took several breaks to take in the views along Raven Ridge and Rocky Ridge before descending on the Harmon Knob and Blackbird Knob Trails to our secret camp in the Red Spruce grove along the Left Fork of Red Run. Treebeard was in the lead for most of the trip and surprised a pretty long Milk Snake sunning itself on the trail. We had the best campsite all to ourselves but another crew of backpackers came in at dusk and set up camp across the creek from us. We all went to bed by 9:30.

The decision to cut the trip short was made the next morning after everyone had eaten breakfast. From that point back to the cars was a relative easy route compared to what remained of the original itinerary. We were on the trail by 8:30 determined to “beat the heat” and to out-run a line of thunderstorms that were scheduled to roll through that afternoon.

As was stated earlier we had substantially cooler temps than the previous day and a pretty constant breeze to keep us cool except for the few times we found ourselves in hollows below the wind. The portions of the Blackbird Knob Trail that went through meadows were lined with Dogbane, a delicate pink flower. In about an hour we hooked up with what was to be the final four miles of the third day of the original trip. We took our time getting back to the cars as we enjoyed the views from the Upper Red Creek, the lower part of Raven Ridge and the unofficial Dobbin Grade By-pass Trails. As we rejoined the Bear Rocks Trail we could hear thunder off to our west. We still had clear skies above us and a bit more than a mile to go. We were off of the trail by 1:00 o’clock. As we drove through Petersburg we looked back at the Allegheny Front and could tell the Sods were catching hell big time! Cutting the trip short ended up being the right decision.


Latest Outing Critiques

Notice: will not publish any Outing Critique that mentions the breaking of any Park/Forest/Conservancy/Local/State or Federal regulations and/or laws. This includes, but is not limited to, trespassing, ignoring fire bands and breaking pet rules (prohibition or leash).

Name: Natasha                                                                                           Hike: WORNT-North River Gorge
Date: 8/02-03/08                                                                                                       Rating: 4

Critique: Due to time constraints we did this hike in reverse, so we had the first day along the river and the second day on the ridge. The water level was low and many times didn't seem to be moving, which made the stream crossings very easy. We found the campsites under the pines and fortunately found plenty of water nearby, with a nice pool to freshen up in. There were some good sized fish in there that were very interested in us. With the exception of a few loud passing cars on FR95, it was very quiet. We had a couple camp nearby that night, otherwise we hadn't seen anyone that first day. The second day we headed up the ridge and saw a lot more people (mountain bikers, horseback riders, and fellow hikers). The climb to the ridge was definitely a workout and required a few stops to catch our breaths. We only wished there was a really nice view at the very top to reward us for the grueling climb. The descent was nice though a bit cumbersome with a few blowdowns. By the time we made it to the car our legs felt like Jello. We finished the day with ice cream at the Tastee Freeze outside Churchville. Yum! Not sure this hike would have been any less grueling in the other direction. Either way, one needs to climb about 1000 ft.




Name: Faye                                                                                                                  Hike: Old Rag
Date: 7-29-2008                                                                                                          Rating: 5

Critique: Loved this hike...but very strenuous. I would not advise for a person out of shape. The rock scramble was a great challenge. There are some nice shady areas to enjoy your lunch. A lot of different areas to look out over. Once you get to the summit its all worth it. It was very breathtaking.

On our way down it was nice to stop at the two shelters to take a breather. It does seem to take a while to get back to the parking lot... It was the easier way to go but a little longer.

We did see one bear cub on the side of the fire road. So so cute. We were sure the mother was close so we kept a steady pace.

I'm happy to say I hiked the Old Rag.



Name: Richmond Hiker                                                                                               Hike: Big Run Loop Trail
Date: 7/ 27/08                                                                                                            Rating: 3

Critique: This is a nice short day hike. The uphill portions were not bad at all. The only reason I did not give this hike a 5 would be a lack of a lot of nice vistas or waterfalls, although there were tons of wild blueberries to eat. The biggest problem I had with this trail was the large number of black bears I encountered. Within 20 minutes of leaving the overlook, I stumbled upon a black bear 20 yards away. 30 minutes after that I came across a much larger bear who stood up on its hind legs. That absolutely terrified me. Would make a great winter hike with the leaves off the trees and bears hibernating.



Name: Dave Watts                                                                                                      Hike: Cranberry Backcountry backpack
Date: 7-19 to 20-2008                                                                                               Rating: 4.9

Critique: This hike is exactly as described and just incredible for a mid-summer venture. The temperatures were quite comfortable for a mid-July hike. I am not sure I have ever seen a prettier hike than the Kennison mountain trail. Numerous blow downs made for some extra work but it is worth it. My only nit and reason for not giving a perfect rating is the stinging nettles are quite bothersome on the South Fork trail this time of year. Overall I would rate this hike a MUST DO. I plan to repeat it with friends.



Name: Faye                                                                                                                  Hike: Big Schloss
Date: 7/12 - 7/13 2008                                                                                             Rating: 4.5

Critique: Overall a very good hike. We arrived around 11am. Steady incline. Rock hopping at times. 1st stream very low but still able to get water. Very buggie at times. We came across a very nice grassy campsite.. thinking about staying there but were pretty far away from water. We decided to go on and stay at one of the three campsites by the 2nd stream. It was a great place to soak your feet after a long hike. Came across 5 other hikers passing through. We arrived at the campsite around 4pm. Some bad flies there. Mt. drainage was low, caused some stagnant water around. Nice and open. There was a calming breeze at night very peaceful.

We did come across some bear droppings but didn't run into any bears or any wildlife for that matter.

Nice and easy hike once initial incline out of the way. Beautiful views from top of the mountain... be sure to go out its worth it.

Would do it again.


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