North Fork Mountain Trail is a 17.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Riverton, West Virginia and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.
We were lucky enough to get some trail magic (in the form of a water refill). Not a lot of water up there, but the beauty of the ridge makes up for it!
Beautiful vistas and really great camp sites! No water makes things a bit more difficult. A really great hike!
Hiked south to north, the first 12 miles was pretty easy going with only one major climb and some incredible vistas. Camped just before the cell tower to avoid the car traffic at the top of public road 79, where we also had stashed water. The last 12 miles was much rockier and had a few steep climbs leading up to chimney rocks, after that it was all down hill and very rocky. Well worth it for the views though and had a great time.
I've done this hike several times and have become familiar with the area over the years. I usually stash some water and food along the logging road between miles 10-12 when headed northbound. Takes an hour or so to drive the road up past the campsites at the midway point, continue to the top of the power lines, drop off supplies and drive back down. Cutting back on my water supply, food and gear made this hike so much more enjoyable. The entire hike is filled with trail spurs and awesome overlooks which I've taken advantage of with the lighter pack and preparation. Sections North of the midway campsites are still recovering from a fire a couple years back so I haven't seen the spring there useful.
We hiked this trail from South to North. I consider this a medium to difficult trail with a few steep ascents and a brutal descent at the end. You will want to carry some water. The only water to be found is a spring at the mid point. If you don't want to try to scoop water out of the deep, leaf filled box, go down the hill about 40 ft. and get water from the pipe sticking out from the hill side. The water was running fast and cold on this trip. The camp site at the mid point is awful. It is along the side of a road that gets some traffic from the local bear hunters with their dogs and others going to the top of the hill to leave there beer cans and bottles behind. You can avoid this site by filling up on water at the spring then getting back on the trail for about another .5 to .75 of a mile to a small site on the left. It is big enough for a small tent and a few hammocks. The views make it well worth the trip.
wonderful and difficult trip to do. Water is a problem but there is a source If you bring a filter. The views are breathtaking and well worth the trip. I would highly recommend this trail, but for people who have experience with hiking and backpacking. Make sure to pack lots of water though. I would bring 6 or 7 liters just fire drinking water
Great trip but the rationing of water along with the extra weight of the water made for a grueling pack weight and slight dehydration the whole time. Learned my lesson on the trip to do my future trips close to water. Was able to see the milky way along with satellites at night though first time for that.