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As other reviewers stated, this trail is nice, but alltrails' map is a total mess. the trail DOES NOT COMPLETE THE LOOP. Dont make the mistake we did of following the map expecting it to loop back around. the trail will end and you will be forced to go back. We almost didn't make it out of the woods before the sun finished setting.

You can clearly see if you compare this map to others, such as Google maps, this one has a whole section labeled as the Appalachian trail that is, in fact, not part of the trail at all (and some of it has not trail whatsoever).

Hikers beware! check other maps before going. the view from white rocks is nice, and the hike is otherwise pleasant.

We had a great walk today on this trail nice mix of uphill on the front end and some flat and rolling hills halfway through. This is if you start from South Ridge Trail. Great views from Piedmont overlook! Definitely get a map beforehand. we were glad we saw that in the previous reviews.

We parked on the side of Raven Rock Rd. Quick climb (<0.75mile) , then the trail levels off. Nice stroll through the forest. High rock is accessible by car. Lots of neat graffiti. Awesome view. Police did a drive-by while we were at high rock.

Well marked and wide. Nice views and I would say moderately trafficked for a Saturday. Parking lot was almost filled

did this trail mixed with the ambassador trail and the old trail to make about 8-9 miles. nice views and easy paths

Started a little late in the day and hauled butt and got back before dark. Took exactly 3 hours. Now I know why they call it the roller coaster! Make sure you bring water and a snack. Awesome hike!!

Experienced hiker review: Visited this trail for the first time on 7-28. Read reviews before going. Took approximately 70 minutes one way to reach the overlook. Agree with other reviews that this trail is VERY rocky. So much so that I found it difficult to get a decent workout. The terrain is what makes this trail "hard," not the climb itself. There are two steep inclines; one rockier than the other. Arrived at 8:45am and the parking lot was already packed. Passed a lot of people of all ages and a lot of unleashed dogs. If you prefer more privacy, arrive between 6-7am (DST). If you don't mind the rockiness, it's a good quick hike before going to check out a winery or restaurant. If you are looking for a rapid trail workout, I would look elsewhere.

Did this hike with the husband and 9y/o son. It was tough and worth it! Wear boots! My hiking poles were a life saver! It’s very rocky! Definitely get there early we got there at 7am and there were already two cars in the lot by the time we came back down (4 hours later) it was getting crowded.
The view at the top is beautiful - you will cross over the Virginia/W. Virginia line on your way up which was neat! We saw some incredible wildlife and amazing sites! We will do it again in the fall for sure. Enjoy!

I love this trail. It has decent views, rugged terrain, and decent elevation gain. I highly recommend doing this hike clockwise, as AllTrails suggests. A clockwise attack is not only easier, but you save most of the views for the end which is a good pay-off. The fire road portion is boring, but you only have to endure it for about a mile right in the middle of the loop. If you are super anti-fire road walking, you can always skip it via the Meneka Peak Trail that makes the loop a little shorter by cutting through right at the ridge line (also avoiding a 500 ft elevation loss/gain right in the middle of the hike).

Definitely a fun and challenging trail to get back into hiking with. While almost all of the trail was rocks it still wasn't too difficult in regular running shoes but I definitely recommend trekking poles or better footwear.

The whole hike took the two of us about 4 hours and some change, that's with detours off trail, exploring, and enjoying the scenery.

I definitely felt that the view was lackluster. However there is a small path to the right where if you are careful and experienced enough you can actually climb down to the base of the cliffside and see a very large and interesting "cave-like" cutout that's eroded away.

Lots of incline/decline both ways and very rocky. Trekking poles are very useful. Make sure to bring enough water on hot days. The view is worth it.

Beautiful trail!! Steady incline all the way up , only steep in a couple spots! Great trail saw deer and a rat snake !! Mason Dixon line was awesome! Views from the top so worth the effort 4 miles up and 4 miles down took about 4 hours all together we stopped a lot to take photos!!

Nice hike--climbing two peaks (both ways) on this out-and-back hike. Very, very rocky--need sturdy soles. I made the mistake of wearing running shoes, and my soles were so sore after 10 miles. My hiking partner had sturdy hiking shoes and fared much better. Two big road crossings. Two stream crossings. Mostly shaded/wooded trail, a few open grass crossings. Lots of muddy areas on first .5mile of trail. Wonderful ATC stewards working on the first section. By the time I had returned, it looked spectacular!

I would definitely do this hike again. There are a few things that you might want to know, and some of the other reviews back me up on these:
Get there early, especially on weekends. We got there at 6:30 am and there were already a two cars there.
I recommend not parking in the back of the parking lot, just because it gets crowded in the small space soon.
Since the elevation rises and drops, the temperature varies kind of quickly. Also, it isn’t just up one way and down another, like the elevation chart shows. It was challenging because the steepness was intense at points.
It’s completely under trees, except for the overlook.
There are many rocks on the trail, so trail boots help; I don’t have any, I wear tennis shoes, and I could feel the ridges of the rocks through my shoes.
I rated it 4 stars only because the overlook was pretty, but not exactly breathtaking (I’m spoiled on overlooks). However, the trail is challenging, fun, and I would definitely do it again.

Stick with it to the end. It is worth the trek

I saw a bear at clay furnace.

Fun hike with great view! Always fun to hike across state lines. Fairly rocky trail. Trail head parking lot full on weekend (Sunday).

Great day hike

Nice hike. Take the time to stop at annapolis rocks as well, the view will make the trip worth while!

Important information before hiking this trail, first, the trail is very rocky the entire way, you will be required to rock hop over two running creeks along the way, and the has three inclines over the ridges before reaching the top. Once you see the WV - VA state line the lookout is only five minutes or so. It is a nice hike, and I would only rate it difficult because of the rocky trail, otherwise it's not too bad.

Note: This trail is moderate; not hard. It’s a good option for a sunny summer day as the entire trail is under tree canopy. The rocky and uneven path deserves sturdy-soled hiking boots with good traction; 90% of the trail is akin to a dry creek bed. It’s called the “roller coaster” section for good reason. Lotsa ups and downs with a satisfying elevation gain/loss for the area. The overlook is 2.8 miles in, but you can continue on to add mileage and gain some solitude (I actually preferred the trail after the overlook!). My favorite part was sharing the trail with AT hikers, who were the happiest and most friendly people on the trail! You also get to cross the VA/WV state line, which is fun. Parking is limited and can be congested on weekends, but with a lot of comings and goings patience should earn you a spot.

This hike is absolutely wonderful when the mountain laurel is in full bloom. We didnt care that it was too foggy to see anything at the overlook today. The flowers made up for it.

The initial ascent is very rocky. After you get up to the top, it's fine. Once you hit the Tuscarora, it was not rocky at all.

Just dont go to the overlook as an out and back.

This is a nice hike from Gathland to White Rocks, however BEWARE: this is not a loop as shown on this map. The western portion of the trail is abandoned and marked “not the AT”.

Good trail a little bit up and down. Outlook view is super!

2 months ago

We really enjoyed this hike. Fortunately, another reviewer suggested getting a map from a park ranger. We wouldn’t have been able to follow the series of trails without it. Lucked into a strawberry festival in the park at the end. Nothing like a cold lemonade after a hike!

Great hike. Good challenge. Get there early on the weekends, but the hike is long enough to space everyone out. The views at the top are as good as it gets.

This is probably skewed because I had to carry two children the last mile but I just didn't enjoy it. There weren't really that many great views and it was so brutal on the feet with all the rocks. When I say rocks it's not fun bouldering or anything, just uneven and hard terrain that even really good boots can only stand up to for so long.

Love this hike. A regular for my wife and I. Be prepared for steep hill climbs and descents on rocky trail. Beautiful views from Raven Rocks and easy access from Rte. 7. Trailhead parking can be very crowded on weekends.

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