Explore the most popular walking 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.

we loved this but our dog was way more excited to get to the top and splash around

An extraordinary ascent alongside cascading waterfalls the entire 1.5 miles each way. Ideal hike. Waterfalls with a bit of a workout .

hiking
2 days ago

Got a little lost at one point and there was one place of some fairly serious rock scrambling, but the view was amazing and a picnic at the top just fantastic.

The biggest thing to note on this is the one way part of the loop to and from the shelter. Once at the shelter it was not clear to us to retrace our steps, so we ended up another mile out at a family cemetery (certainly worth visiting) but that put us off our timing and we lost out on completing the loop. So remember when you leave the loop for the shelter (a good place for lunch) that you will retrace your steps to get back to the loop to continue.

I took my mother on this hike for Mother’s Day. It was more technical in spots than I was expecting but definitively manageable. The views were beautiful. We hiked to the second overlook for a total of 2.7 miles.

6 days ago

Very good hike, just decent views. The views are on the way up. The end is just where a few trails come together.

hiking
7 days ago

Only did the 4 mile( 2 in, 2 out) fairly simple. lots of trees to provide shade

Not a easy hike, it is steep! Very very steep!

Gorgeous views the entire way. Steep, but not too much to handle.

Worth?
Sure..

We did this coming up from the fish hatchery. Pretty blah hike up. Spy Rock almost 360° view pretty cool. Ran into GM and Chef for Devil Backbone brewery on trail. Went and checked DB out after it got 5 stars.

Great loop trail. After coming off Hump back rocks ( incredible views), going clockwise, take AT north...I don't know why we got confused.

Walked in to the camp site and back. Was a difficult walk with the rocky trail but got better along the way. Crowed parking area, but people spread out enough to make a friendly trail but not crowded. Will do it again soon as an overnighter.

hiking
13 days ago

I love this hike! Our family has gone numerous times over the years, but this time I went with 2 friends who had never been. Everyone loved it! I would rate it moderate—the trail is well-marked, well-maintained, strenuous at times but certainly doable and plenty of interesting rest stops (5 waterfalls, a cave, stacked hikers’ rocks). We had a few muddy spots, but it had rained the night before so that was expected. Saw lots of families with dogs. We continued onto the Crabtree Meadows parking lot (Decent Bathroom stop there), then turned around to come back down. Apple Watch said 6 miles total.

Great hike close to wintergreen. When parking, be sure to use the trail entrance on the other side of the road. View point is .5 miles in. We did the full 2.5 but didn’t see another view point after the initial one. Would do it again!

hiking
14 days ago

we hiked this trail for the first time the other day. we went to see the falls. but got a bonus when we got the top in tine to see the sunset. i highly recommend this hike. will be going agin very soon!

hiking
16 days ago

The parking area is about 1 miles in on an unmarked gravel road (Forest Service right-of-way, but unmarked) so it's not at all obvious. Coordinates for the parking area are N37.91345, W80.00401. The gravel road leading in leaves Morris Hill Road about 100 yds SSW of Laurel Mtn Rd (private). The trail is through mixed hardwoods-pine forest with a heath understory and is easy to follow until you connect with Oliver Mtn Trail the next section of which is a little obscure heading west.

Somewhat difficult to run, but a very nice trail. Missed the turn to Glass Hollow Overlook, so be on the look for the turn. Going all the way to the shelter is really nice and well worth it.
I missed having a detailed description of the trail on AllTrails, but I found one online here - https://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/DobieMountain/

backpacking
26 days ago

I would rate this hike as difficult. Some of the steepest terrain I have hiked on the AT. Made it an overnighter at Harpers Creek. Very crowded...but enjoyable! The only downside to me were the rocky trails. Really have to watch the ankles. Gorgeous views and some of the prettiest Forrest scenery around!

Breathtaking hike! It is technical enough to keep your focus but not so much that you can’t enjoy yourself. They are working to add more railings and improve safety, which is encouraging to see. I can’t wait to visit again!

hiking
27 days ago

The trail head for this is not well marked. Park at the boat ramp near the information kiosk and walk back up the road a few yards. The trail head is marked with a little sign on the other side of the guard rail on your right. The trail itself is not well maintained but it is passible. Good views, great exercise, peaceful.

on Story Book Trail

27 days ago

Short easy walk to a very beautiful overlook with lots of sandstone, limestone and shale and white pine trees. One of the most beautiful places we visited

My son and I did this loop 10 years ago. This time it seemed a lot more challenging than last time. This is not a trip for beginners. The uphill climb to Little bald Knob took a bit longer than anticipated and experienced a sleet storm while we ascended. Yes, crazy Virginia weather. When we got to the stream we had had to cross, the current was stronger than we anticipated so we made a decision to backtrack and cut our trip short instead crossing the stream with our dog. On a positive note, the views and the hike were excellent. It was colder than anticipated and we saw very little wildlife. Still not bad hiking if you like a challenge.

hiking
1 month ago

I like this hike. It’s less than two hours drive from Richmond. If you’re a strong hiker you can do it in a day (7-9 hours), it has vistas, climbs, streams, waterfalls, rock scrambles, App Trail hikers to say hi to, a little bit of everything. And then at the end you can drive an AT through hiker to down to Devil’s Backbone at the base of the hill in exchange for him buying you a beer :)

I would call it difficult not moderate though.

camping
1 month ago

Myself and 5 of my students did the longer version of this hike. We parked off the parkway at mile post 23 and hiked down mine bank creek trail, then to st Mary’s river trail, then to st Mary’s fall trail. The hike was amazing, exploring the old mine was fun too. It’s very easy to find, the trail runs right through it. We had the first 2 trails to ourselves, but in the falls trail we ran into ~10 other people. All these people came in from the st Mary’s fall trail parking. After exploring the falls we hiked back and camped on the st Mary’s river trail. The next morning we hiked back out, which is a pretty rough, steep hike. However it follows a creek, so plenty of views and water. In total it was probably around 13 miles, but most of it was easy walking. The trail is not marked, but it was easy to find your way. Hiking to the falls up the falls trail is fun with all the creek crossings, but the campsites take away from it beauty. There’s many of them , large, trees smacked with machetes, and toilet paper. I would recommend camping on the river trail, far more secluded. I would do this trail again and look forward to doing it when it’s a bit warmer so we can swim!

Hiked on a hot (83F) early spring day before the trees had sprouted leaves. I bet this would get 5 stars from me with improved shade or a slightly cooler temp. Views at the peak are wonderful, plus there's a number of camping spots complete with fire pit and log benches.

The hike to the top goes by quickly. With frequent breaks (every 7-10 minutes), we reached the top in about 75 minutes. Plan to hang out at the peak for a while.

hiking
1 month ago

Moderate ascent to first view of valley to north. As progress to Buzzard Rock, trail rocky and narrows. Great mountain views to both east and west when no foliage; otherwise west side has the views. Easy access to trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful Hike with a Waterfall and Mountain View

This hike is one of my favorites in the area, but think maybe it should be marked as hard. Great views at the end but also cool waterfalls on the way up. Trail is a bit confusing after the waterfalls and before the AT. Follow the signs to the trail head for a quarter mile up the hill. Great breweries on the way back to C’ville as a reward

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