Explore the most popular wildlife 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

Great hike! Very rocky and steep inclines. Lots of wildlife including deer, squirrel, toads, newts, corn snakes, and even a box turtle!! Signal Knob's view is amazing too as well as the TV tower up top Mt Massanutten.

Great climb... Breathtaking views!!

8 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.

Great view at the end for a relatively short hike.

hiking
8 days ago

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

horseback riding
8 days ago

Beautiful trail! love going up by the reservoir, and all the creek crossings♡

Great trail. Lots of rocks, but they make for great unintentional walking squats.

80% rocky but great views and a great workout . went counter clockwise , saw many nice and recently used primitive campsites but there is a sign in the parking lot stating no camping so I am confused but worth while trail nonetheless

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
17 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/

very steep but worth it with that view!!

backpacking
28 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!

Fantastic panoramic views from the top. Very many hikers on a Sunday and parking lot was overflowing. Totally dog friendly!

hiking
29 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.

Nice trail for a first time hiker. Not too long but still challenges you with the steep ascent and offers a very rewarding view and interesting rock face at the top. Watch out for mud and ice on colder days in winter/ early spring.

Two amazing views, a mostly uphill experience.. Spent 8 hours on the whole trail including time for pictures.

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.

Love this trail. Great for the dogs. Some river crossing but enjoyable.

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.

We camped at the campsite and enjoyed this hike the climb up was a challenge in a good way. There was a few trees on the trail but nothing that hindered the experience. I will say the trail markings are all the same color and it appears to be off shoots of the main trail, we didn’t go down any of them but could be very confusing.

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.

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

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great hike, with fantastic views on the second ridge. But not sure why this is marked as moderate—unless you break it into two days. For one day, it is difficult

hiking
1 month ago

Was a decent trail. Follow the orange trail markers and make a left where the blue markers are. Nice view at the top and a few places to backpack on the way.

First 2.5 miles are great. Last 1.5 miles of the out and back were nothing special in terms of views, but a great workout. Really beautiful forest and rock formations throughout. Not my favorite hike in the area, but not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon. About 3 hours (with stops) round trip. As others have mentioned the trail is very rocky. Wear some sturdy shoes!

Great hike! Heavily trafficked but the view at the top of the rocks make the trip on a crowded trail worth it.

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