Bearpen Trail is a 3.2 mile point-to-point trail located near Troutdale, Virginia and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Bearpen Trail starts from the Scales trail and crosses the Appalachian Trail and ends at First Peak trail. 2 miles of this trail is within the Little Wilson creek Wilderness Area. This trail is very muddy for walking but seems to be used quite frequently by horseback riders. There are parts of the trail that are bog like. You will do some rock hopping just to stay out of the mud.
I did part of the Bearpen Trail from Big Wilson Creek Trail leading to first Peak trail, 1.9 miles in total. This was a muddy, rocky horse trail. It seemed as if there was water flowing into to it almost the entire length of the trail. I added some pictures but they are not pretty. If you want to follow a track it is part of the track called Little Wilson Creek Wilderness Up. I was completing a 10 mile wilderness hike and took this trail to get to Third Peak as it was the shortest route but on the way back I took Kabel Trail to get back to Big Wilson Creek trail and this proved to be an easier and much dryer way to go even though it was a bit longer. If you want to follow my track its called Little Wilson Creek Wilderness Up.
Bearpen trail has two sides. It has the awesome view side and the Wilderness mud side. This trail was nice at the views. Nice views with fog and marsh made the trail eerie. It was not well marked. It was a true adventure as there were no people at all. Once I entered the wilderness though, the trail condition deteriorated. Past Big Wilson Creek Trail, it was very muddy from years of horse use. After 1.5 miles of hiking in the mud, I finally reached 1st peak trail. My advice... I would bring a horse when entering Little Wilson Creek Wilderness. Anyway, this trail was part of my 20-mile day hike that I really enjoyed. What an adventure.
Out doing a 20-mile hike on Aug 10, and my circuit took me to Little Wilson Creek Wilderness. I started at Grayson highlands and hiked up to the Bearpen Trail. Easy enough. Then, my plan was to take Bearpen to pickup First Peak and on to Scales. I implemented it, but to a few surprises. After experiencing Bearpen's awesome views, I entered the wilderness. Beyond Big Wilson Creek Trail, Bearpen got muddy. I faced a mud bog 2 miles long where at times I had to bushwhack around the trail to prevent my ankles from getting muddied. After what seemed like eternity, I reached 1st Peak trail. I took it NW to Scales. It was in worse shape than Bearpen. The never-ending mud bog continued, getting me for another 2 miles! When I finally left the wilderness for 3rd peak and Stone Mountain, I made it through an adventure. The shoes and socks were finally dried out after I finally reached scales. IF YOU DO THIS WILDERNESS, KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU WILL GET WET AND MUDDY. HORSEBACK IS THE BEST WAY OF TRAVEL AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED!!! After my 20-mile hike, someone asked me as to why I didn't stick to the Appalachian Trail. Well, I wanted an adventure, and this was one adverse hike I will never forget.