Explore To Do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

To Do Map

Love this trail! Have done both ascend and descend. Prefer the ascend. Trail is covered in snow (roughly 12”) but pretty packed down along the traveled trail.

Blowdown reported earlier has been cleared. Nice hike, not really difficult but not a novice hike either. Great views when hardwood leaves have dropped. Fire tower has been removed. Opportunity exists for some exploring off trail up some of the coves or further along the ridge. While a wilderness area, it is not old growth.

BEAUTIFUL place!!! Just a little tough but well worth it. Bring plenty of water!! There are plenty of places to rest and really beautiful over looks. There is also the remains of a plane crash about a half mile from mcdill point on the pinhoti side.

Pretty intense in the snow

Great views; beautiful hike!

So after reading all of the mixed reviews on the length of the trail, I was determined to track it. My fiancé and I both used our Fitbit verse and Fitbit iconic and logged the hike. From the absolute beginning arch, the trail is 7.89 miles. We started around 12:30 and got back about 4:00. Some parts of the trail are ruined from falling trees from the rain we’ve had for several days but, after walking through thick leaves and branches, it’s pretty easy to find the trail again, we even had a couple help us find it because they came from the opposite direction of us. The trail is a little strenuous at some points for dogs and humans but it’s only a short stretch. Otherwise, the views were absolutely phenomenal.

It was 14.1 miles when we finished on Jan. 3, a perfectly overcast, 40° day. The distance included a couple short detours to rocky overlooks and .25 miles back to the parking lot. The wildlife consisted of a singular squirrel. It’s definitely a lightly traveled route, so go with a pal and prepare accordingly, since you may not see anyone else out there.

Fun trail, but felt more like 2 miles. The first half had cool cliff/rock views and small waterfalls. The second half followed the river - due to the recent rain there were several fun jumps over the creeks adjoining the river

Beautiful and challenging hike upstream and then easy walk down through very quiet and spooky forrest. Early January late afternoon.

My wife and I hiked the entire loop and it took us about 4.5 hours including stopping to take in the views at the various overlooks and filling up our water at some of the various streams and waterfalls. The trail is longer than the 6.7 miles listed on here and we ended up hiking into the late evening. Had to pull out our headlamps because of the darkness but even with that the trail was still mostly visible and the blue markings on the trees were easy to find. The cave creek part of the trail is very easy and the path is clearly visible. The Pinhoti side of the trail is where the trail gets more challenging, especially for new hikers. There are a few rock formations/boulders to go over and hiking shoes are recommended for sure footing. Previous reviewer mentioned doing it in minimalist shoes, I wouldn't recommend this unless you are an experienced hiker. A small day pack with water and snacks is also advisable, there are some great areas to stop and take in the views and enjoy some trail mix. There was a portion of the trail with several downed trees that has not been cleared yet, it did completely block the trail and couldn't go over or under the trees but hiking up the mountain a little to clear the trees and back down to the trail wasn't too hard. Overall, it's a very fun trail and beautiful views. Just make sure you're prepared for it.

trail running
19 days ago

I started from the north end of the trail at Bull Run. The trail was still quite flooded from all the rains. I went the first couple miles and the silt and mud made the trail so slippery as to be not run-able. The area will need a couple weeks to dry out before it is enjoyable again.

Delightful hike end of December. The hike is technical, especially toward summit. We did this with 2 active 40somethings, 3 young adults, and a 6 year old. All loved it.

As you climb the mountain you’ll cross over the stream multiple times. If you have waterproof boots I recommend wearing. If not bring a spare pair of dry socks (we needed ours).

The fire road down was lovely, very pretty forest.

As usual the Alltrails app took me right to the trailhead. The parking lot was paved and just off the road. This trail was will maintained. No drastic elevation changes so the "moderate rating" rings true. There are several overlooks and a few small waterfalls. One thing I did not know before setting out, is about the plane that crashed at McDill's overlook years ago. The wreckage is strewn throughout a small area just past the "McDill Overlook" sign. I did notice several good camping sites. Overall a great hike.

Great trail and very much a surprise as there isn’t a lot of wilderness around here. Measured out a little longer than advertised but we found the trail quite easy on the cave creek side and moderately difficult on the pinhoti side so all in all a pretty easy day hike.

A couple of reviewers voiced concern about the trail markers but the pinhoti side is marked pretty well and the cave creek side is a very clear trail regardless of markings. The only spot needing some care is the rock field near the junction of the trails. You can always spot the next marker but you have to look for it a bit. If you are the person who second guesses yourself without trail markings, just download the all trails map. It is spot on the entire way (except for the total mileage).


25 days ago

Great hike for my kids (11, 10, 8) at least the first first few mails out of the Fountainhead trailhead, and for our Labrador. The trail is wide and well kept. It rolls up and down but the footing is flat and easy.

Nice for a day hike and could be extended for a nice weekend trip. Clocked in just under 8 miles. Pretty rocky going down via (green trail). Nice elevation gains (1,577 total for me). Not a lot of water on the trail once you’re off the yellow trail. Otherwise well maintained trail. Entry fee to the park is $5 PER adult (Dec 2018).

awesome area, well maintained trails and a ton of cute activity areas for kids. Not too bad of a walk up to the overlook, but a little muddy today! bring some good boots:)

Finally did the full loop.
Started at NTH
Went white to Blue
Very nice walk.
The day after a rain, all the streams were
lovely and falls were roaring.

Will do again.

TONS of water and high water crossings on Nov 25th. Had to take our shoes off and wade knee deep in ice cold water. Make sure you take poles and water shoes for water crossings on this hike! Lots of climbing up front which was awesome. We added another loop to make it a 9.5 mile hike. Took our large group 5.5 hours to complete.

trail running
1 month ago

I really enjoy this portion of the trail area in Prince William Forest Park. Going either direction you can keep up some speed most of the way when running, however there are some areas that you’ll need to slow down for and pick your way over some rocks. I included this trail in a portion of a long run recently. Currently a lot of leaves are covering the trail and it can be difficult to see the rocks and roots that are trying to roll your ankles. Enjoy!

This is a great trail. Was tenting in backcountry site #4 which has easy access to pitch your tent and get set up then head out on the trails. Started on yellow/white then took white. Did a red on Boulder Ridge which was amazing. Don’t know how bikes can do that one so kudos to anyone whose done it. Not a very well marked trail and almost missed the connecting trails. The white takes you along the ridge and had rough terrain and great views. I took the yellow down to Tranquility Lake. Hiked a total of 9 miles with the last 2.5 in the dark using a flashlight. No moonlight as it was cloudy. Tranquility Lake in the dark of night was breathtaking and peaceful. Took time to just sit and enjoy the night sounds with the glow of the cabins across the lake. I hate that I missed the scenery following the trail along the lake so guess I’ll have to just do it again. Picked up on the Orange trail back to my tent. Highly recommend spending a few nights tenting in backcountry. Tent site #2 looked like a great spot and was close to the lake. It is a bit of a hike to that location but plan on renting that site next time.

Outstanding hike on a cool November day! It took us three and a half hours to make the loop. Very fun hike with great views!

So I’m not opposed to fire road trails and this one is about half and half pretty rocky with lots of stream crossings. Be aware the All Trails map calls the entrance fire road Jinny Gray Road, but the trail markers and signs call it Kayseri Run Fire Road.

Ran this for the first time yesterday, headed clockwise. The trails themselves weren't too strenuous, but are quite technical with various rocks and roots along a majority of this section. I wore minimalist shoes and made it through, but thicker soles are almost obligatory.

I downloaded the map after reading some reviews, but it wasn't really necessary. Cave creek was very easy to follow. The trail does disappear for a bit in a gnarly boulder garden where it meets up with Pinhoti, but there are blue blazes to find if you keep your head on a swivel.

Overall, very nice, technical trail with some decent climbs.

Challenging, but fun.

pick this trail up during the eureka mine trail.

Great day hike for any age that can do 7 miles. great views, good camping options.

Great climb. Hiked up from little devil stairs parking lot. Glad I had poles, water crossings a bit dicey at times. Nice walk down with some views!

I hiked the trail today . Lots of boulders,rock formations and outcroppings. The last third of the trail goes along the creek. Really good surprise for the area .

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