Explore the most popular birding trails in George Washington National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This was a fun day hike! It was a little too crowded for my liking but overall an awesome experience. It is quite a climb up all of the stairs but worth the views and it is nice and easy on the way down.

hiking
3 days ago

This trail is great, and the view at the top certainly doesn't disappoint. I love it so much I've gone up four times in the space of two weeks. I definitely recommend this hike.

3 days ago

The trail is full of very sharp rocks. It seems not supposed to be too hard but very tired because of rocks.
Buzzard Rock was great, has nice view and plenty of space to take a break to enjoy view.
But after Buzzard Rock there was not much to enjoy. The forest is somehow very damp. There were so many mushrooms but also so many BUGS were following whole trail. Some thorns and all other kinds of vegetation were across the trail, that scratch pants, arms and face. They hold on my poles, annoying on the trail.
Moss has formed on almost every rocks with spiders which made us to hesitate to sit on.
Plus, there was no real view from Buzzard Rock to summit. So we ended up back and out at 3 miles(total 6 miles).

It's nice trail overall but if I try it again, I will try to buzzard rock and enjoy sunset and come down.

It’s a nice uphill hike that follows the creek with nice lookouts onto the waterfall. The first part of the hike has nicely built stairs. It does get crowded but there’s a nice vista at the end onto the valley.

off road driving
9 days ago

Definitely fun, bumpy, and challenging! This was a lot tougher than I anticipated however. Some puddles and rock structures seemed very intimidating. About 2-3 puddles actually came all the way up to my half doors. I drive a TJ with a 2.5" lift on 285/75r16's for height reference. (Also I went about a day after harsh rain) I would be very hesitant to bring a bone stock vehicle up this trail. From deep puddles, deep ruts, and some helacious rocks to conquer, this would be quite the impossible task. At the bare minimum you NEED upgraded/stronger tires. This trail will devour stock tires. Also a trail buddy is advised, as always. This trail is very secluded and lightly trafficked so if you get stuck or injured, you're pretty much beat. I was fortunate to never get stuck or hung up, but take the extra precaution... So in summary, *If you're looking for an aggressive challenge and have upgraded your jeep's suspension and tires, this is for you*. (Also beware the GPS, it took me down several private driveways where I had no business being, I drove 1.5 hours to get to this trail)

Great trail. It was really crowded. It has paid parking. I would've given it 5 stars without the huge crowds.

Beautiful views from the top! Highly trafficked but it was a holiday weekend when we went. The trail was also wet when we went which made the rocks extremely slick. We saw many people slipping and falling. The trail was a very steep incline the entire way up! We would made rated it difficult at some points as would many people we spoke to on the trail.

hiking
17 days ago

We started at Reid’s Gap and hiked clockwise. The first hill is rather challenging but not too bad. Then there is a slight descent for just over a mile. Next, there is a intersection between the AT and Mau-Har. We went left and hiked another three miles up a constant, challenging incline. Once you reach the overlook near the summit, the views are amazing!!!
We camped just below the summit at a beautiful overlook about 5.5 miles in. The next 5 miles were fairly easy - although the steep descent was challenging to go through quickly. Harper’s Creek was the first water source we came upon and we made sure to fill up. However, the trail is not clearly marked there and we took about a three mile detour. (It was a beautiful trail, however, and a great side trip if you have the time and energy!)
Once we got back on track, the hike to the intersection of the AT and Mau-Har trail was moderately difficult. Then we hit the Mau-Har trail. Water is plentiful and the scenery is beautiful but the trail is incredibly difficult. (We hiked this in the afternoon with 25lb packs and averaged just under a mile an hour with stops.) Take a left back onto the AT and back to Reid’s Gap.
My advice - take plenty of water as you’ll go about 10.5 miles before coming across a water source. If you do go clockwise, camp near Harper’s Creek or Campbell’s Creek to get most of the mileage done before tackling the Mau-Har the next day. It’s best done when you’re fresh and it’s still relatively cool. Also, don’t underestimate this hike. It’s all steep uphill or downhill and very little flat trail.

Great hike! There is a $3 fee per vehicle and it was totally worth more than that! I'd definitely say it's a moderate level hike. there are also plenty of beautiful spots with benches to stop and catch your breath or give the kiddos a rest.

It was really fun but also difficult. The rating is off I'd say it's a moderate hike.

backpacking
19 days ago

So this is a great challenging hike. The trail loop is about 13-14 miles total starting out at the Reeds Gap parking stop. I did the loop and started clockwise heading south on the Mau-Har trail then north onto the Appalachian Trail. The Mau-Har was a nice slightly challenging hike with water stops and places to camp. The south portion on the AT trail was a difficult up hill with a rock scramble and tight trails the higher you go. There are places to camp but i would wait until you get to the locations at the top if you are hammock camping. The north half of the AT portion is slightly challenging and wider trails. There is no water on the AT portion of the trail so you will need to pack in what you need. There are also 2 shelters in this loop. One at each end of the Mau-Har trail. I did run across a rattle snake so just watch your step and watch the ground. Trekking poles will be your friends on this trail. The views are great take time to stop and take them in.

Took a bunch of kids under 10, all enjoyed and slept well that night. Trail was steeper than I expected.

didn't complete the trail today, it's a hot sunny day and came across a rattlesnake right before the boulder yard and decided that the risk wasn't worth it. I'll come back in the fall. everyone else just be aware

great veiw, the trailhead is up a 4wheel drive road, and there is camping at the trailhead.

Highlight was to see a timber rattler between switchbacks - great climbs and views, nice to see a lot of upgrades being done to walkways and viewing decks.

It's a great easy hike to go on with kids or pets. At the end there's a nice view.

Great trail! Great views!

hiking
26 days ago

Super rewarding short hike. The incline on the way is enough to get the blood pumping and the ridge leading the the rock is beautiful. Camping there looks excellent. My favorite part was the rock itself, it required some poking around, but we found a low-difficulty scramble up to the top. Must be a great view, but we just arrived as a cloud engulfed the rock, making for a truly other-worldly experience.

hiking
27 days ago

I love this hike. The falls are gorgeous and the view at the top is so worth it.

camping
28 days ago

Amazing trail with an even greater view, it has a small camping spot at the bottom of the mountain that is a good place a for multiple tents, at the top of the mountain you can find several places to set up hammocks and wake up with a picture perfect morning. 10/10

the view at the top is well worth the hike

Hiked this with my wife, 10yo daughter, 9yo daughter, and 7yo son. Great trail and very popular. There were more people on the trail than I expected for a Friday morning. This trail was a return to hiking for me, and I managed fine. My wife is new to hiking, and this trail was a little taxing for her. My kids had a blast, but were ready to get back to the truck by the time we logged a 4.2 mile round trip. It was pretty humid and a great lesson about packing enough water and having a cooler waiting in the truck for the finish. Also, I was happy that I outfitted everyone with proper hiking boots or shoes. The trail was rockier than I imagined. Of course I saw some hiking in tennis shoes, but I’m super glad I wasn’t one of them. All in all, great family outing and we all slept well that night!!!

1 month ago

Easy hike. Down and back in about 2.5 hours. Worth it at the top

Horse nettle is straight up hill. Had to walk that section, very challenging.

Trail is a steep incline but the relatively short distance to walk for a great view make this a great trail

hiking
1 month ago

Great family hike! My wife and I took our three kids (14, 11, and 7) and our Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and really enjoyed the day. Additional info: I maneuvered our Town and Country van up Meadows Lane from Crabtree Falls Hwy and it was a little rough but not too difficult. It has been dry, and I am sure the road gets slick and challenging when wet. If you follow this app's map, you will arrive at a hairpin curve in Meadows Lane. There is an obvious camping spot (meadow) right there....that's where we parked the van. There is a road just to the left as you look at the camping spot from Meadows Lane. Follow that uphill past the Road Closed gate until the road forks to the left and right. You will notice trees on the left fork with the white AT mark. Look sharply to the RIGHT (even right of the right fork in the road,) up the mountain, and you will see additional white AT marks. That's your path. It's moderately steep uphill at first but not terrible. Plan on about 2.9 miles to the large meadow at the base of Spy Rock. The AT cuts off to the right as you enter the meadow. Go straight to the base of Spy Rock (past several campfires) and circle around the left side. You will find a path. It takes some scrambling but the whole fam plus doggo made it, no worries. Enjoy the view!

trail is okay but what's the difference between this and big levels

Not as easy as some state. I am 29 and in good shape but saw many trying the trail and turning around. its not ling but the climb in elecation is fairly quick. It is 100% worth it if you can make it up!

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