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Excellent trail. Gorgeous views. Challenging, but by no means brutal.

My self and two of my friends did this trail from north terminus to south. my plan to do it this way was so that i could begin the hike at 0400 and be waiting on top of chimney rock for the sunrise. My god was it worth it. I sat on that rock brewing coffee and enjoying the perfect scenery until 9am.

This was my favorite spot on the entire hike. I will be going back just to spend a weekend here. You must see it.

the trail has countless overlooks, some with beaten paths, others you can just walk west to the ridgeline. plenty of campsites premade around and the trail was pretty well kept even after all of our recent storms.

to the east is private land lines in and out of the hike. so be cautious of hunters/hunting dogs.

THE ONLY WATER SOURCE IS A SPRING AT THE 12MI MARK. this is crucial for correct planning. its very easy to walk by as i did.

from south to north the trail will continue blue blaze onto a fire road (nice well packed black gravel) down and over pipeline clearings, then downhill to campsites where the trail begins into the woods again. It is at THIS point, a grass fire road to the left of the trailhead. walk roughly 30y down that road and the spring is on the left with rocks holding down some chickenwire to prevent leaf n debris from entering it. (It looks like a rectangle stone storm drain with chicken wire ontop)

when i was hiking this i had spent a long time trying to find it and i wanted to make a point to give a very deffinitive location of this "spring" its yeild will depend on rainfall but all 3 of us got 6 litres and it didnt budge. plenty of water for us in october.

in total, this hike is beautiful, quiet, relatively easy, short distance from town, and offers alot more than you will put into it.

I will be going back.

NOTE: North Fork Mountain trail is roughly 24.3 miles long. From One Terminus to the next. One water source at 12mi. And a shuttle service is offered at the north terminus for the 25-30min drive back to where you started.

hiking
19 days ago

Love this trail. Spots are muddy, some hills and part of the path you walk over lots of rocks. Lots of things to see, definitely not a boring trail. Love the view from Wolf Rocks. Spots can be a little overgrown with thorn bushes and some spots you have to walk through mud so wear good boots.

Did this trail as a day hike starting from Rt. 56 and going counterclockwise, saving Mar Har for last.

I consider myself in pretty good physical shape and hoo-boy, did I get my money’s worth. Those with knee issues descending should consider doing Mar Har first (going clockwise from Rt. 56). There a significant evaluation climb and limited descending. Going down was just brutal. My middle aged knees are feeling their oats. Also, this clocked in at 14.3 miles.

If you’re looking for sunny vista views along the AT, make sure you watch the weather and arrive when the weather is best. I did the vista in the morning when it was overcast and then the weather cleared. It was still terrific, but was looking for sunny views.

Overall, this trail is definitely worth the work. Start early and make sure you celebrate appropriately when you’re done.

Holy moly - what a hard trail - so fun though! Great hike into the shelter area, camp overnight, and hike back out the next morning. THERE IS NO DRINKING WATER AVAILABLE AT SHELTERS! There is a nice stream very close by though, lots of water available just make sure you bring tablets or a filter and you’ll be good to go :)

hiking
1 month ago

Very clear and well kept trail. Incredible views from the top!

Gorgeous! but you get what you feel for. Very Rocky and steep up hill climbs. But the climb is worth it. Not a lot water after the water falls or Harper's Creek shelter. PACK LIGHT! carry water and a water filter.

wanted to hike in to Wallace Peak from Scotchtown Draft Rd and then return. the first two miles the trail was in good condition at two miles we went through some pricker bushes on the trail but it was just a nuisance. once we hit three miles we entered some serious brambles that got worse and worse. After fighting through them for a quarter mile we gave up when they looked to continue along the ridge top. Judging by how bad they were I would say it has been awhile since anyone traversed this end of the trail. If the brambles were cut back it would have been a nice quiet hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Wolf rocks is a great place for a 2-3 hour loop trail hike and looking for a great view at the end of it! It’s perfect for a mild to moderate hike. Just be prepared to climb around on the large rocks at the end. Wear good footwear and be sure to have good footing! Nothing to catch you if you fall!

I just did this trail yesterday and it was definitely a challenge! Felt like a bada** mountain hiker. And the overlook at around 2.2 miles in was sooo worth it! Stopped there on the way back for a few mins to rest & recharge before finishing the last leg. Met some cool people along the way and made for a fun day trip at Ohiopyle.

great hike going counter clockwise from rt 56. finished the loop in about 8 hrs with stops to eat and enjoy the scenery. very challenging with excellent views. used this as a training hike for a more difficult climb coming up and definitely got my money's worth. my only gripe if i had to find one is the distance signage is a little off. mau hur section is closer to 4 miles than 3 and total rt56 loop is closer to 16 miles.

enjoyed the loop last month starting at rt.56, camping at Maupin. going tomorrow for the loop in opposite direction. Beautiful section of Virginia and enough ups and downs to feel it.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun trail

Excellent trail! Definitely difficult and I would not have packed my own water because there are plenty of water spots along the trail if you are camping. Beautiful views and a really awesome camping site at about the halfway mark.

Me and my husband did this as a day hike on July 27th and fully expected it to be challenging and long based on the reviews we read here, and it was that! We started at Reeds Gap and went clockwise, leaving Mau Har for the end and were happy with that decision as the scenery of the falls made you forget about all the climbing. My Garmin also came in over 16 miles for this loop but I believe that is because in “hiking” mode the miles keep adding even when you’re standing still, I noticed this when we stopped to eat. Regardless, the entire hike took us just under 8 hours to complete. The scenery was beautiful with a couple of gorgeous lookouts and the wildlife a bit scarce; worms, butterflies, squirrels and a snake. I would definitely recommend this trail to others but probably wouldn’t do it again as I’d prefer to see other sections of the AT.

Did this hike July 13th with great weather for a rigorous hike. I followed the AT Trail up and then looped back down following the Mau-Har Trail. Took me about 9 hours to complete- stopped for breaks to enjoy the scenery frequently at the stunning lookouts this trail has. It’s predominantly canopied, thickly wooded forest- but has a surprising amount of biodiversity on the ground. This loop definitely earns its “hard” rating- long sections of uphill hiking with 4 distinctly difficult 1/4 mile stretches. But the views on top of the ridges makes for a very rewarding experience. Will have to come back soon and do the opposite direction.

trail running
4 months ago

10/10 trail run. 100% runnable. Rooty and craggy, be careful. Fell 1x and tripped 6x. Beautiful fern forest, diverse and well marked / cleared trail. Top views and rocks at the end. Be careful timber rattlers here at the rocks overlook please check your surroundings before taking in the views. If you choose to scramble on the rocks check hand and foot placements carefully. 4.4 miles minimal elevation change. Perfect perfect perfect.

backpacking
4 months ago

Did the whole trail with some friends, made for a great backpacking trip with fairly easy trails. Some steep climbs here and there but they were always worth it. The views are breathtaking. Defiantly gonna go back to run it sometime.

Started at Pine Grove to Juniata River. My 1st solo back pack experience. It was quite challenging on the first day but add some heavy rain and the rocky terrain slowed the pace quite a bit on day 2.

Be warned: If you zoom in closely, you will find several portions of this "loop" that look as if someone handed a crayon to a four-year-old. These are points where the author of this trail got lost, and guess what? That gets to be a part of your experience too! That's because this isn't actually a designated trail at all. Rather, it is a patchwork of various smaller trails that someone tried to string together with only marginal success. Even with phone in hand, when you come to a fork in the path, it can be very difficult to discern which way you are supposed to go next. So be wary!

In addition, several portions of the trail are either not well-maintained, or so sparsely trafficked that you can expect to be walking through almost knee-high brush.

Unfortunately, all of this takes away from what would otherwise be a very fun hike that takes you past multiple lookouts with views that do not disappoint, numerous rock formations, and even a handful of stream crossings.

So, if you want to enjoy this hike I would seriously recommend stopping at the visitors center and picking up a map of the local trail system and only using this as a loose template!

Started at the North Terminus on Smoke Hole Rd and hiked to chimney tops. Would love to come back and hike the full trail. Great views and well-marked, well-maintained trails (at least the section we did). There were Carens (spelling?) marking where to get off the trail and head up to chimney tops.

I did this hike out to Mile 0 after starting at 70 the week prior. The hills are rough, but some beautiful views. The coming down to the shelter from mile 7 is brutal!
An awesome hike! These last 6.5 miles, in my opinion, aren’t as a beautiful walk as the rest of the trail but still beautiful. Be sure to wear good shoes and carry water!

5 months ago

beautiful overlook. watch for Timber rattlesnakes. can get muddy but still a favorite.

trails were poorly marked, down trees, swamp like mud, poison ivy everywhere, over grown in spots, i would not go on this trail unless it has been dry in the area for a consideranle amouny of time

We make this hike yearly to picnic on the rocks. Gorgeous hike.

Steep climb - breathtaking views

backpacking
5 months ago

Moderately hard trail with a good amount of elevation changes. Spectacular views from the overlooks. Spring at half way point.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike. Took about two hours at moderate pace. Make sure you have some water and hiking shoes preferable but sneakers are ok. Take a left at the loop to do more difficult section first. View worth the trip!

I would consider this hike easier than Seneca Rocks Trail any day. We did this with a 4 year old & she hiked the whole way by herself. Gorgeous views!

Great Day hike if staying at the Wintergreen Resort as TH is only .5 miles from entrance. Drive down to Devil's Backbone brewery for a nice finish. Trip took me 5.5 hours total with just a few short breaks for water, food and change of clothes as it was very humid. Nice views and running along the river with waterfalls was nice. Typical canopy hiking on the AT.

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