Explore the most popular camping 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.

Just hiked from Wintergreen Dr via AT to humpback rocks,(had rocks all to myself, thanks to gov shutdown) camped overnight off AT trail on east facing side. Rare warm temp. day/night in Jan....
Moderate to Hard trail, but worth the effort. Had about 20lbs of camping gear and water. Take water!!!

Great views from the top, not terribly difficult

Very nice hike with great winter views!

hiking
11 days ago

Very nice hike with awesome views on Spy Rock. Reminds me of a mini version of Old Rag, but not as difficult. Views along the trail (AT most of the way) are best during winter months.

Hiked this loop on 12-30–18, starting with Kennedy peak and looping back up from the west. Great views along the ridge and up and down Kennedy peak. The trail was in good condition for the most part. Took two of us and a dog about 4.5 hours with about 15 minutes on Kennedy Peak. It was a Sunday before New Years so there were a lot of people (with dogs) at the peak and on the trail. We passed one group of about 10 people, several families, and a dude on a horse.

The only trouble we had was the transition from the orange to yellow blazed trail along the ridge. The intersection is now marked with a stack of three stones as the path was hard to recognize with the fallen leaves. This hike is worth doing once, but if your looking for solitude, check it out on a weekday.

camping
17 days ago

Beautiful view. Much like hawks bill.

Did this trail as a day hike just before Christmas. I agree with previous reviewers that starting the loop with the Forest Road (FR 92) is a much better choice. Big Schloss clocked in right around mile 6 of the hike, with the rest of the Mill Mountain Trail being pretty flat with a relative gentle ascent/descent. The exception is the final 1.8 miles - rocky and leaf covered, making footing a little adventurous.

I don’t love that vehicles can share the trail with hikers at the end of the Mill Mountain Trail (back half of the Loop if you’re going clockwise). Had to move off the trail to make way for a truck.

For those in for a full day, you could get an early start (8am), hike the entire loop (staying at a pretty good pace) and be done between 4-5pm then find your way to a favorite local winery. Pretty good access off I-81 and not far at all from cell coverage. You’d very much enjoy that glass of wine.

off road driving
27 days ago

Join our club on Facebook, NVA Jeep Brigade

great trail to spend 3 hrs on. I drive from richmond area, this is my second time here which I go solo. if your stock and you plan on going, go at least 4-5 days after a rain pour or you risk getting stuck in the pools at the top.

On my last run, I found an f150 stuck in the puddle, he was stuck there for 3 hours before I arrived. after pulling him out, his truck started having problems and it eventually stopped working. I had to pull him out for several miles back down to blue ridge.

Always be prepared, have food/water/warmth if you plan on being adventurous and you go out there on your own, never know when your going to get stuck, that trail doesnt see a lot of traffic so youd be stuck for at least a day.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike up will definitely get your heart pumping. The view from the top is fantastic. Worth the hike!

Great views at the end. A really tough last mile/mile and a half back to vehicle.

on Wild Oak Loop

backpacking
1 month ago

Spent 3 days and 2 nights mid-November. Water sources weren’t abundant, but Camp Todd and North River Campground worked out well. The 7-mile hike to Little Bald is a good day 1 hike. The climb at Dowell’s is a doozy (go right not up). North River Gorge has 8 river crossings. Get ready to get your feet wet. Didn’t see any other hikers, but did pass five mountain bikers and a truckload of hunters. If you’re interested in more info check out https://y2kemo.com/2018/11/backpacking-wild-oak-steep-ascents-and-river-crossings/

Great loop! There are a number of natural springs that were running in November when we hiked this. But you typically had to look for them when you saw a little bit of running water on the ground. Otherwise there were three stagnant ponds that I’m sure you could filter from even if it is a little gross. Otherwise, be prepared to carry a bit of water just to be safe.

A little rocky, but overall a great hike for people and pups alike!

Loved this hike! A bit icy in some spots, so careful foot placement was a must. Took me 2 and a half hours, and I’m a beginner hiker. Would definitely do this hike again, and try the loop in the other direction.

It was a bit icy this weekend. View at the top was beautiful! Did the full loop took about 2.5 hours.

Icy spots on the way up made AT loop descent a better choice. So windy! Layers are a must. Stunning view and fun little rock scramble at the summit.

First hike like that and I loved it!!!!!! will go again soon.

Beautiful trail with great views. Go all the to the end to see the huge rock and views.

2 months ago

The downsides are that some sections of the trail are basically a fire road. The top is so amazing though; it’s really worth the so-so scenery beforehand. Camping at the top just before the rock is great fun too. The you can get a view of the sunset when the crowds have died down.

I ran a 3 mile section out and back starting at Rockfish gap. It was a great run. There is a lot of elevation change to the trail. So it is not a long climb one way. There are a number of creek crossings that keep it interesting.

walking
2 months ago

Great hike with an amazing view!! Tough start, but totally worth it. So much fun climbing the rock to get to the end!

hiking
2 months ago

Does anyone know if the Fish Hatchery Route is open or if you can hike up the private road?

nice trail thru the forest after getting to the rocks would reccommend doing the loop if the trail coming up is wet with the traffic coming up and the slick rocks it makes a difficult return down

We went up to humpback rocks and then followed the loop back to the lot. It was super crowded on the way up and while at HR- the loop back down wasn’t busy at all but thought it was a fairly unremarkable hike through the woods. Still a pleasant day and any day hiking is better than not hiking at all - just didn’t love this hike. Also, there was a good amount of water on the trail throughout so wear good boots!

If you’re going to climb it’s sweet

Very fun and challenging hike!

Lots of rocks after flat top rock. Other than that it was a beautiful hike and pretty eazy. Did it with my Boy Scout Troop who had limited hicking experience and we were able to goto harpers creek shelter in 7 hours to camp.

off road driving
3 months ago

Took 200% stock 2018 tacoma trd offroad to this trail.
Awesome trail, mix of lots of lose rocks, rock crawling, water crossing and at the end (BRP side) its just nice relaxed, smoother road with nice view. Mostly easy with few tricky spots (big drop with good size rocks etc) where my passenger had to spot me from outside.

I got stuck in deeper water where one of my wheel got completely submerged, but thankfully I got myself out with crawl control. But there was a jeep that also got stuck in water and flooded engine, but there was heavy rain couple days ago. Hopefully this give you some idea of risk.

Good amount of camping sites, couple of them w/ really nice views.

There is nothing super hard about this trail. It’s long but not hard.

The Crabtree falls part is especially easy and people were doing it with young kids.

If it’s a foggy day you might not be able to easily see the priest shelter- the AT connects to another trail called priest’s wilderness so if you wanted to go longer than 8 miles as stated here you could.

Plenty of places to camp along the AT as well.

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