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Watch out for the stinging nettles in summer. They got very dense under two miles when hiking west to east.

hiking
5 days ago

Overall it was a nice trail, nothing spectacular when we went but could see the views being better in early spring or late fall. Typical PA trail with lots of "rocks" embedded in the trail which makes taking your eyes off the trail in order to appreciate the surroundings harder. Some spots it was easy to get off trail but nothing you can't easily double back on to correct the situation. There's a really nice clearing about 1.5 miles in with great wind. This section takes you to the camping site around mile 65 which allows you to stop and eat/drink before doubling back to the trail head.

This trail has everything. Cool views, awesome ridgelines, open meadows, rock cliffs, wooded pine forests, jungley forests, gushing rivers, huge waterfalls, and much more.
This was our groups first backpacking experience it took us 3 days and 2 nights to do the whole loop. On our way in we probably passed 40 or so people on their way out. Everything was a little muddy because of recent rain and it even rained the first day out. Overall everything was great any trail names with the word rocky in them are just that super rocky. Pack plenty of socks. Water is easy to find and if it’s wet dry wood is hard to come by. I also hiked in teva sandals and although it wasn’t terrible I’d definitely bring another option next time.

If you like walking in hardwoods this is a really nice hike. There are plenty of streams for water. Took my dog who had a great time. I definitely agree with reviewer that this should be rated as hard, at least clockwise mainly d/t distance and one wicked climb up a stream in a couloir. CCW is more gradual but that 900+foot ascent in a stream bed is a hike going CW. I’ll definitely do it again. There are scenic parts with big views best seen once leaves off. The trail is very well marked and clean. It’s doable on a mountain bike if you’re fit with only 2-3 hike a bike sections (definitely bike it CCW). Unfortunately heavy rainfall has washed out a portion of trail near the bridge but it’s still easily recognizable. All in all it will be one I do with my dog often because it’s easy enough to get around while kids in school and get back to pick them up in Winchester, 45 min away.

great hike with amazing views. have done it twice so far with plans to do it more. it is a bit of a challenge if you are not used to elevation but a great way to stay in shape if you are. there are also some great camp sites along the ridge if you can make it up with a heavier pack. I don't find many hikes in Virginia very challenging (I do a lot of higher altitude and tougher north east terrain stuff) but this one I break more of a sweat on.

Great Hike

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 trail with a beautiful view!

very fun and challenging hike. has a lot of great views. Dobbin Grade was extremely marshy but it does have a nice camp site just south of Beaver Dam intersection. I would not recommended this trail for someone that is just starting.

The Northern part of the hike was really easy going and open. As you descend down to the southern part of the trail you lose a lot of the views but the forest is very cool. the scenery is quite interesting. I will Say this Rocky Ridge Trail is almost 2 miles of no fun, hard on your feet, and at times will make you want to quit. We did 15 miles in one day and I was glad to have knocked out the southern part before making camp. All in all the blue berries, views, and toughness were what we signed up for. I was a little disappointed in not seeing much wildlife but I did get to see the Sage Grouse so that was something.

backpacking
27 days ago

Very Beautiful Wilderness. But it is very Rugged and disappointing that there is not some trail maintenance. Trails are not marked but have rock cairns sometimes to far apart. The trail can be very difficult to follow at times due to blow downs and Mountain Laurel overtaking the trail. I would recommend bringing Machete to blaze some new trails. Be prepared to get muddy and I would be careful after heavy rain because otter creek can become to swift to cross. I do not recommend this trail to Novice Hikers and someone that does not have a topo map and or GPS in addition to Wilderness survival Skills because It is real possible to get into a very bad Situation out there if you are not prepared.

Steady incline with some interesting sections to figure out lines down/back up rocky face. Mason Dixon line marker was cool and a monument date stamped. Great view at the summit. Varied terrain to keep focused on.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a pleasant hike. A lot of stream crossings, and use of (very) old fire roads with a lack of erosion control makes for some rugged terrain in spots. Didn’t see anyone else on the trail, which was quite nice.

mountain biking
1 month ago

I'd give this a better rating because I use to love riding my mountain bike and horses here but some dipstick decided to make it off limits to anyone other than hikers. Now it's all overgrown.

As others have said, this loop offers a diverse selection of terrain. The trail is evenly split between forest and open fields, which is exactly what we had hoped for. We opted to stretch this hike into three days/two nights, which was easy as there were plenty of campsites to choose from along the way. We had hiked after a period of much rain for the area so the ground was thoroughly wet in some parts, but dry in most. The muddier areas were not too challenging to pass through. We did however struggle to find good firewood due to the wet conditions.

Unfortunately we were not able to reach Lions Head as the trail is unmarked and even with direction of a written trail guide we still were not able to find it. (We bumped into a couple on the trail who mentioned they were able to reach it without problems, so perhaps we just didn't look hard enough!)

Overall we enjoyed our hike, it was not too strenuous and our division of 9/6/6 miles made for a leisurely weekend.

backpacking
1 month ago

love this trail easy hike , beautiful views not super busy. Great fly-fishing in otter creek , lots if native trout. mostly single track . I have been here many times.

Nice trail - parts are very rocky - great view at the Mason-Dixon Line.

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).

backpacking
2 months ago

Lots a different terrain. Had to be careful a few times to not get lost, but plenty of people hiking in July to ask for directions. I would not go if it's supposed to rain as most trails get extremely muddy fast. Lots of blueberries blooming in the higher elevations/open plains. Definitely recommend for an overnight backpacking trip!

backpacking
2 months ago

This is my first review, so forgive me if it's too much: The plotted trail includes 4 trails. 3 of the 4 trails need heavy maintenance/rerouting to be enjoyable. You start off on Mylius Trail (the only trail that doesn't need maintenance currently), then take a right at intersection to continue onto Shavers Mountain Trail. This trail was hard to follow due to the overgrown vegetation and lack of blazes. From there you hit the intersection of Green Mountain Trail which continues to be overgrown with Rhododendrons which make following the trail a huge challenge. We camped just past the intersection of Green Mtn Trail and Possession trail. Great camp site with water source nearby. The next day we continued on Green Mtn Trail. This was a little better vegetation wise, but still some areas were hard to follow the trail. If it had not been for muddy footprints, I am sure we would have been off the trail for quite some time. You then run into Otter Creek Trail. This was a nice open trail for a ways, it winds along the creekside and crosses many times (5, if i remember correctly NOTE: The book we had said 4 crossings) The Ford crossings on the upper part of the trail were clearly marked with cairns, the water was swift and refreshing. There were many areas where the trail had been completely washed out. Areas, where you literally had to hold onto the roots of the trees above you so you did not fall 20ft into the creek bed below. The lower part of Otter Creek Trail is very boggy. There was one part where we opted to walk through knee high vegetation to the right of the trail and discovered what Stinging Nettles were... oops. You then turn left onto Mylius trail again, which is comprised of following mostly dried up and boggy areas until you head up in elevation again to the Intersection of Shaver Mountain trail and Mylius, where you continue down Mylius to the trailhead. I would suggest rethinking this trail if you are looking for an easy trail. If you are up for the challenge and have a GPS and some sort of non-cellular mobile communication device for emergencies, then I would say go for it. I will try to upload some photos from the trail at a later time.

My 5 year old and I did the red loop on 7/82018. I was going to do a completely different trail but at the last minute figured we could get on it early and just take our time. About 1/2 way thru the trail just kind of disappeared. Being that I had my mini me in tow, I really wasn't paying attention to the numbered posts more that I was just following the arrows. Totally my mistake. I ended up using one of the maps that I grabbed at the the trail head and a compass and ended up back up, after maneuvering thru some tricking terrain, in the middle of "a" trail. Unfortunately, it was the black trail. This time I paid attention to the numbers and realized i where I was in the loop and and headed back to link back up to the red trail. Once I was back on the trail it was smooth sailing from there. We were out there for about 6-7 hours (stopping at the rivers, big rocks and anything else a 5 year old wants to stop for) and only saw a grand total of 5 people and a dog. 1 was a runner, 2 + the dog lived near by, and a man and his son were doing some fishing. All in all, this is not for kids (the description doesn't say kid-friendly) and is off the beaten path. The markings could have been better (in lieu of some official signs, there were pink ribbons tied to the trees...when they stopped is when we ended in no mans land) but for a more experienced hiker this was pretty good. Just a few streams but no major waterfalls/rivers. If nothing else from this reviews, like others said, grab a map or else it will be some tough sledding.

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!!

Easygoing walk
Huge rock formations

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!

This is a very challenging, rocky and steep trail. The views at Strickler Knob are beautiful and rewarding, but unless you are seeking a major fitness experience (which is great!), there are other routes that yield the same payoff. We skipped the return trip all the way on Massanutten in favor of an extra two miles on Crisman Rd — not because of the workout but because we encountered not one, but two!, rattlesnakes on the way. Be very careful and stay alert! These snakes were large, loud and angry — and right on the trail.

5/30/18 - Awesome trails, very well marked. I really wanted to hit one of the longer trails but, with storms in the forecast for the afternoon I decided to keep it short. The first thing I witnessed was the pollen blowing off the trees in the parking lot. Fortunately I took allergy medicine. Unfortunately my dog suffered, coughing for the first mile or so. Quite the variety of terrain and foliage. Heard an owl and scared some deer away, probably from my dog's bear bell. I would consider this trail lightly moderate.

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.

On May 28, 2018, I did the black loop which my GPS calculated at about 12.5 miles. The trail was overgrown in parts, was very rocky in parts, was wet and muddy in parts, and had downed trees in parts that blocked the trail. Given this, I was not able to hike at the pace I hoped to keep. Also note that the last portion of the black trail was on a service road. However, the majority of the trail was in good shape, fairly well marked, and overall was an enjoyable experience.

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