Explore the most popular trails in Three Ridges Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This is definitely one of the hardest trails I have ever done. Very rocky with quite a few scrambles. The views are incredible. We saved the Mau Har trail for last and somehow got off the trail and could never get back to it. We didn’t think there were enough clear markings for the trail, but maybe that is just us. We were definitely lost and it was getting dark. Thankfully, we had our head lamps and decided to follow the river. We found a road and decided to walk it hoping to come to a house that had someone in it! In the mean time we were mentally making plans to stay overnight in the woods. No cell signal, so no way to contact anyone. We were fortunate to find a kind gentleman who offered to drive us back to our car in the parking lot. He made us feel better when he told us we weren’t the first to get lost and that he had driven others back to the parking lot. We are grateful for kind souls. I know my friend will not do this trail again, but I probably will just to see where in the world we missed the trail! Be ready for a very challenging hike!

Excellent trail. Gorgeous views. Challenging, but by no means brutal.

Did this trail as a day hike starting from Rt. 56 and going counterclockwise, saving Mar Har for last.

I consider myself in pretty good physical shape and hoo-boy, did I get my money’s worth. Those with knee issues descending should consider doing Mar Har first (going clockwise from Rt. 56). There a significant evaluation climb and limited descending. Going down was just brutal. My middle aged knees are feeling their oats. Also, this clocked in at 14.3 miles.

If you’re looking for sunny vista views along the AT, make sure you watch the weather and arrive when the weather is best. I did the vista in the morning when it was overcast and then the weather cleared. It was still terrific, but was looking for sunny views.

Overall, this trail is definitely worth the work. Start early and make sure you celebrate appropriately when you’re done.

Gorgeous! but you get what you feel for. Very Rocky and steep up hill climbs. But the climb is worth it. Not a lot water after the water falls or Harper's Creek shelter. PACK LIGHT! carry water and a water filter.

great hike going counter clockwise from rt 56. finished the loop in about 8 hrs with stops to eat and enjoy the scenery. very challenging with excellent views. used this as a training hike for a more difficult climb coming up and definitely got my money's worth. my only gripe if i had to find one is the distance signage is a little off. mau hur section is closer to 4 miles than 3 and total rt56 loop is closer to 16 miles.

enjoyed the loop last month starting at rt.56, camping at Maupin. going tomorrow for the loop in opposite direction. Beautiful section of Virginia and enough ups and downs to feel it.

Excellent trail! Definitely difficult and I would not have packed my own water because there are plenty of water spots along the trail if you are camping. Beautiful views and a really awesome camping site at about the halfway mark.

Me and my husband did this as a day hike on July 27th and fully expected it to be challenging and long based on the reviews we read here, and it was that! We started at Reeds Gap and went clockwise, leaving Mau Har for the end and were happy with that decision as the scenery of the falls made you forget about all the climbing. My Garmin also came in over 16 miles for this loop but I believe that is because in “hiking” mode the miles keep adding even when you’re standing still, I noticed this when we stopped to eat. Regardless, the entire hike took us just under 8 hours to complete. The scenery was beautiful with a couple of gorgeous lookouts and the wildlife a bit scarce; worms, butterflies, squirrels and a snake. I would definitely recommend this trail to others but probably wouldn’t do it again as I’d prefer to see other sections of the AT.

Did this hike July 13th with great weather for a rigorous hike. I followed the AT Trail up and then looped back down following the Mau-Har Trail. Took me about 9 hours to complete- stopped for breaks to enjoy the scenery frequently at the stunning lookouts this trail has. It’s predominantly canopied, thickly wooded forest- but has a surprising amount of biodiversity on the ground. This loop definitely earns its “hard” rating- long sections of uphill hiking with 4 distinctly difficult 1/4 mile stretches. But the views on top of the ridges makes for a very rewarding experience. Will have to come back soon and do the opposite direction.

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked most of the trail one way as a connection from Torrey Ridge trail back to Sherando Lake where we were camping last year. Nice trail. There are a few spots where you cross some streams, it is easy enough to walk across them if you are wearing boots.

Great Day hike if staying at the Wintergreen Resort as TH is only .5 miles from entrance. Drive down to Devil's Backbone brewery for a nice finish. Trip took me 5.5 hours total with just a few short breaks for water, food and change of clothes as it was very humid. Nice views and running along the river with waterfalls was nice. Typical canopy hiking on the AT.

My first backpacking experience... not sure I would have picked this trail for a first timer, but I survived. The scenery definitely made all the hard work seem worth it. Trails are very clearly marked and everything looks pristine despite the many hikers. It might be a little while, but I would definitely do this again. The rangers were very helpful and friendly.

My son and I started at Reeds gap and hiked in to the Harper’s Creek Shelter. Due to some slight rain and all of the boulders on the AT side it was extremely slippery, but a beautiful hike. Even if it did take eight hours to hike in. On the second day we hiked back to the car by completing the loop. The waterfalls were absolutely wonderful. This was the first backpacking trip for my 18-year-old son and I. I now understand the labeling of difficult as this trail was. It will make you sore, but the views are very much worth it. We had a great time.

We started our hike Friday March 30th from Reid’s Gap and hiked the top of the first peak where we set up camp. It has a beautiful view and great site for setting up. The temperature was around mid 60’s during the day; however, the temperature dropped drastically getting down to right above 30 at night. The next morning we began our loop beginning at Maupin Shelter and going clockwise towards three ridges. The hike was difficult with steep inclines. One you hit the peak of three ridges you descend over several areas of boulders, not easy on the knees. After a couple of miles we landed at our second camp site Harpers Creek Shelter. The camp site is great with a great water source. The next day you start off by doing a pretty hefty incline followed by steep descending trails to end up by some fantastic waterfalls. Take you time and rest because the next mile was grueling. Maybe not as hard but just as challenging . Ascending in short but steep inclines combined with rocks along the river was definitely challenging but very rewarding. We finished our hike and headed to devils backbone for much needed meal with beverage.

Hiked this loop twice now and loved it both times! Went with a couple buddies and split it up over 2 nights for fun. All I can say is be prepared if you are doing the loop counter-clockwise, that elevation gain is no joke. Doing it clockwise is much easier.

Did this as a day hike and its very hard...there is very little water to he found on the AT section..plenty if water in Campbell creek on the Mau Har part...some steep inclines and lots of rock fields to hike across...very nice views along the top and very dense forest in the bottom...be prepared for some tough hiking if you do it in a day..split overnight it shouldnt be too bad

Great loop, extremely hard, not much water on the Appalachian side but tons of water on the Mau-har side. Stared at Route56 and followed Appalachian trail to the start of Mau-har, spent the night at the shelter then finished the next day. about 10 miles first day 5.5 second. Great hike.

I really enjoyed this hike! Both trails require about the same amount of effort, but I recommend heading to the top first. There are a couple vistas you can hang out on, they're worth a few moments to soak it all in. Have fun!

We backpacked this weekend. Since there has been no rain, there was no water resupply sources at creeks that were dry. Also, no waterfalls. We had to camp back by Tye river to ensure we had necessary water. I'll go back in the spring or fall when water conditions improve.

Ran the loop with my dog. Very challenging, but the views and waterfall are worth it. Very few flat stretches of trail so if you're not going up, you're going down.

Fantastic views throughout the trail. Lots of incline so be prepared to be very tired.

wanted to see how fast I could finish the loop. Completed the whole loop in 6 hours and 30 minutes. I kept a consistent pace throughout only stopping for some brief scenic breaks which I also used as my snack/Water intake. Booked it down the mountain side, and took long strides coming back up Mau-Har.

For me liquid calories were essential to stay steady climbing back up Mau-Har. Over all ending at meadow mountain to wrap things up felt amazing and it was well worth the pace and effort. i plan on doing this loop again very soon.

really enjoyed the incline. great views.

Very challenging but just as rewarding. We took the AT down to the bottom of Mau-Har then came the Mau-Har to link back up with the AT and head back to the cars. We split this up as an overnighter although, it could be done in a single day. That's, if you've got the legs for it. This hike should not be taken lightly. I wouldn't attempt the Mau-Har in the dark so, I'd say, make sure you have plenty of daylight if you want to hike the loop in a single day.

Difficult, some of the best views in the state, super pretty and refreshing streams to waterfalls to bathing pools.
I completed 13.6 miles via AT to Mau Haur to AT and returned to start point.
Time with lunch and three or four brief rests and fairly brisk moving we completed this in about 6.5hrs. I highly recommend taking more time to take in the sites, enjoy resting, digesting lunch, and enjoying it all as the elevation changes are difficult.
I consider the loop I did harder than the Priest, as it was quite longer and similar in terrain and ascending elevation change over distance
Difficult, beautiful, rewarding

Hard but only one view and water in one spot.

I didn't have time to do even half of this trail so will have to come back, but the part I did do was great.

From Rt. 56 to the Harper's Creek campground was not very hard. A gradual upward climb to a ridge, then down to the campground. The section after the campground was steeper and much rockier, but doable.

Once you reach the ridge that runs up to the summit there are endless views on both sides. This ridge has several knobs, with the last one covered in large boulders, and the steepest part I climbed.

Parking lot was not crowded, and I saw maybe 10 people at the campground, but nobody along the trail.

This trail was great! However, I found the trail to be very difficult, but that's because I'm overweight. There are several inclines that are steep and rocky but the view at the top is absolutely gorgeous. So glad I went!

hiking
Wednesday, August 03, 2016

even with no "big attractions" so to speak of, it's still a beautiful trail and a great spot to hike sections of when you have the time.

Load More