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

hiking
blowdown
rocky
scramble
12 days ago

Did this one solo, on a Sunday in mid November. This trail is not manicured at all. But it was lovely and a great aerobic workout. Incline pretty much the whole way up. Took me about 1.5-2 hours, the scramble down from the top eating a few minutes. The views are spectacular. DO THE SCRAMBLE. I'm not experienced in this sort of thing, yet I did it alone and I was fine. It felt like a challenge but I was cautious and careful. I did go down in a different direction than I went up, and was disoriented for like 2 minutes. No wildlife except some deer scat. Lots of leaves so I relied on purple trail markers. Plenty of parking across from the trailhead which was nice. Had the whole trail to myself the entire way. Note: hiking boots with ankle support are necessary. And under no circumstances would I want to do this trail if conditions were wet.

hiking
13 days ago

This was a very solid moderate hike. The trail is a bit rocky and covered in leaves (November). I recommend sturdy hiking boots. The trail provides obstructed views along the way. To get the full view follow the purple blazes and eventually you will come to an unmarked section that leads to the rock scramble. The view from the top is A+.

really great hike but very poorly marked. unblazed and unnamed trails are required. Easily doable with gps from alltrailsPro though.

hiking
20 days ago

Enjoyed this trail on a crisp autumn day, was a pleasant surprise, and should be rated as moderate. Rocky, though well maintained. Enjoyed the views.

hiking
rocky
washed out
24 days ago

Very steep and overgrown in parts. Not for a beginner. No point in going past the pipeline clearing

Great trail clear and a nice easy hike. We didn’t make it the entire way because of our 2 year old (forgot his hiking pack)

hiking
rocky
scramble
28 days ago

Sturdy boots and trekking poles a definite plus on this very rocky and sometimes steep trail, especially the 70 ft. rock scramble near the summit, where you leave the poles behind. The scramble is not for the faint hearted, but rewards with gorgeous panoramic views all around. We had it to ourselves on a beautiful late October day with leaf color at its peak.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike to the Virginia-West Virginia border. In total it's about 4 hours start to finish. Begins at about 1,200 feet and at summit is 2,900 feet. Great views of the local valleys.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

One day, 3 loops. 41 miles, 12,500ft VA I would strongly recommend mountain runners and hikers training for elevation to give this challenge a shot. Leave in darkness, return in darkness - used my car at the trailhead as a base camp. This was the only way doing this challenge was feasible for me, and I still ran out of water on the third loop. The route is technical, so from the start, watch your foot placement. Plenty of biting ankle-breakers on this trail, both in ascent and descent. Some good spots for running, esp. downhill (maximize these opportunities). Have some familiarity with the trail for this challenge, because speed is crucial. This was my first time on this trail, so my first loop was slow. Will return soon to try for four.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Wooh. All up hill if you go counterclockwise. Ran out of daylight so stopped after 6 miles. Didn’t have enough time on Sunday AM to complete loop (3?hour drive home) so I retraced my steps and came back down the AT south. Tough hike. Not too well trafficked in September.

Overall great trail. Definitely diffcult. Hardest trail I’ve done up to this point, but in terms of views there are only a few and none at the actual peak. Most of the views are blocked by trees even though you can tell there is something beautiful behind it. So be prepared to be happy with just beautiful forest views and general nature with 2 or 3 real viewpoints over the entire loop. Its very tiring especially with a backpack so pack as light as you can and there aren’t any really hard scrambles, just some really steep hills. Lastly, if you plan on getting water from rivers and such around the trail, the ONLY part of thisbloop with a river following it is the Mau Har portion of it. So if you go counterclockwise, do not expect a water source until around 7-8 miles in. I hope this helps knowing all this when you go in as it is everything I wish I knew. Hope you have a good trip!!

Great backpacking trail great views and plenty of campsites. Not too much water besides the shelters.

great hike shelter is a really nice one, the spring just below was a but dried up. great scenery the whole way

Hiked it counter clockwise. The AT sections were in great condition and despite it being cool and perfect conditions in August, I saw a total of 5 other hikers. The suspension bridge alone is worth the trip. So cool! The descent down Mau Har was a disappoint for me. Maybe its dry summer, but didn't see a waterfall, just a low stream with a trail that kinda petered out a bit here and there and some scrambling through sections of biting flies or stinging nettles or maybe both. Plus my trail shoes kept wiping out on the hard packed downhill sloping trail. The final climb back up for the 3rd peak will test your mettle for sure! 6:30 round trip. 3 liters of water

This was my first ever backpacking trip, back in 2009. At the time, we weren't really sure whether it was that we were woefully under-prepared physically, or if this was really just that difficult! We STRUGGLED. 10 years later and I'm now a moderately accomplished backpacker. I now know it's both! We didn't quite understand just how difficult backpacking is yet, and we were definitely carrying too much stuff; but I also now know that this trail IS tough. Don't underestimate it, but it's also worth the long climbs! Beautiful views and beautiful waterfall. Enjoy!

I did it on June 30 . Great trai and beautiful, quiet Lake . Only me with the Lake . I loved it ❤️

The trail is definitely difficult. It starts off seeming like no big deal, but the elevation gains start to take a toll. It’s 1.7 miles of significant elevation gain to get to the start of the loop; from there, it’s about 8 miles to the mid point shelter (if you take the Appalachian trail). Those roughly ten miles took us about eight hours (it was myself a nine year old and two fourteen year old girls.). The mau-har portion was a steep descent and about a mile of elevation gain, but it was only about four miles. We completed everything in 14 hours of trail time (not counting the sleeping time at maupin). Anyone can do this hike as long as you take your time and don’t give up!

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Everyone has said it already. Well maintained, but steep in parts at the end. your best view is about 2 miles in when you come out on a gas pipeline easement.

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

As has been stated by others, this trail is by no means easy. The majority of it is quite steep and most of it has lots of rocks. I would not want to try this hike with anything less than hiking boots. We hiked to the very top to where All Trails GPS map showed we were at the end. There is no overlook there at all. But lower down, the clearing made for the gas pipeline gives a good view. This is a beautiful, peaceful, and well-maintained moderate to difficult trail.

Incredibly dog friendly and a challenging yet rewarding hike. Lots of inclines but the shelter at midpoint is two thumbs up!!! Met lots of AT THRU hikers and was cool to connect with them and hear about their experiences!!

hiking
6 months ago

The views from the top are marvelous!!! Don't let earlier reviews fool you with "obstructed views." These previous hikers did not go all the way to the summit/top of the rock cropping. You can see for miles once up there in all directions. Here's a tip to get to the views...close to the top, the trail will come to a fork (not marked), At the fork go left and follow. You will come to a massive rock/boulder scramble.I did not see any trail markers so I just found my way across. Then once across, head up (again, no trail markers) Once at the top go through some brush to the view.

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