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Halfmoon Lookout-Bucktail Loop temp
Hikes in VA, WV, MD and PA

Directions to Bucktail Trail from I-81 Copy and past into Word or Wordpad for printable form): 

  1. Take  US 55 West .
  2. Travel approximately 19.1 miles.  Pass convenience store/gas station (Shell, True Value, Car Quest AutoParts).  Continue straight and turn left at junction of Rt259, remaining on US 55.
  3. Pass graveyard on right, Cacapon Restaurant, antique store on left.
  4. Turn left onto Trout Run Road In 2 miles pass Trout Run Cutoff Road on the right.
  5. In about 3.5 more miles pass Trout Pond Road on the right.
  6. In about 0.3 more miles come to Forest service road on the left with 521 painted on the back of its stop sign. There will be yellow blazes on trees going along the right side of Trout Run Road and Orange blazes on trees going up the forest service road. Park on the right shoulder of Trout Run Road. You have arrived.

Description: 9.7 mile, moderate circuit hike to an outstanding view of Trout Run Valley, Mill Mountain w/Big Schloss, Tibet's Knob, the Great North Mountain and Long Mountain. One very steep but short climb (See elevation profile.).


References: PATC Great North Mountain Map F, 2001 edition

Halfmoon Look out as seen from Mill Mt.

Trail Notes (Copy and paste into Word or Wordpad for printable form.):
From the intersection walk up the service road following the orange blazes through the gate on the right to the official trailhead of the Bucktail Trail. As you climb, the forest road will bear to the left and soon pass pink-blazed Bucktail Connector Trail (your return route) on the right. As you reach the crest of the hill, Rocky ridge to your left and the hills surrounding Waite's Run at your front will come into view. Descend quickly to a bridge crossing Halfmoon Run. (This marks the terminus of purple-blazed Capon Furnace Trail.) DO NOT CROSS THE BRIDGE!!! Turn right, remaining on Bucktail trail, crossing the stream several times before leaving it and reaching its terminus ( yellow forest gate).
Turn right on to a forest road,  passing through another gate and on to purple-blazed German-Wilson Trail. In a short distance the forest road splits. Bear left and almost immediately turn left off of the road onto a steep and rocky foot path. This is the steepest and hardest part of the hike and is littered with blow-downs but it is short- lived .This marks the last of the major elevation gains. Reach the intersection with white-blazed Halfmoon Lookout spur trail.
Turn right on Halfmoon Lookout trail. There will be a pink-blazed trail to your left. Pass it and soon climb steeply to the ruins of and old forest tower for a grand view.
Return along the Halfmoon Lokout spur trail, passing the German-Wilson Trail on your left. Turn right onto yellow-blazed Halfmoon Trail and descend to a stream crossing. DO NOT CROSS!!! Turn right and follow pink-blazed Bucktail Connector trail for about 3 miles as it weaves in and out, up and over the coves at the end of Halfmoon Mountain.
Turn left at the intersection of the orange-blazed Bucktail Trail and return back to your car.