Appalachian Trail and Wilson Creek Trail Loop

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Grayson Highlands State Park

Appalachian Trail and Wilson Creek Trail Loop is a 9.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Mouth of Wilson, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length9.2 miElevation gain1,771 ftRoute typeLoop
BackpackingFishingHikingHorseback ridingBird watchingRunningDog friendlyForestViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeMuddyRocky
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Reviews (16)
Photos (328)
Recordings (12)
Completed (54)
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Gautam Naik
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Hiking

Nope

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Mark Watkins
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Hiking

To call this a loop is a misrepresentation. Yes, you can technically get back to your starting point without back tracking, but it requires you to go off trail. The think you need to know is that Big Wilson Creek Trail ends at Wilson Creek and doesn’t connect to other trails. You have to cross the river and bushwack to get to the horse trail. We parked at Missy Gap because the Backpacker lot was closed. We walked to the lot and caught the AT Spur Trail to the AT. The first 2-3 miles of this hike was incredible view and very diverse. It was very beautiful. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any bears or ponies or longhorns. We did see one deer. We stayed on the AT until we intersected the Bearpen Trail, which we took to the Big Wilson Creek Trail. This trail was clearly a waterway down the mountain to the creek. It was muddy, rocky and difficult to traverse. Once we got to the creek, we knew we would have to cross and scramble up to the Horse Trail, so we just made the best of it and rock hopping for a good way to a portion of the creek that was closest to the Horse Trail. Fortunately the water was low and we could hop and jump along. We even took a break for a dip in a big water hole. Once we made it up to the Horse Trail, we connected with Wilson Creek trail to the Campground. From there would could take the Horse Trail, but we done with the rocky, muddy trail so just took the road back to the car. It was probably around 10 miles total. Very diverse biosphere and lots to do and see. I’d love a more defined loop on a next visit. Plenty of water, difficult trail, NO Service.

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Belinda Lamm
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HikingMuddyRocky

Started the loop at the campgrounds. Trail was a downward trek to begin with, crossing Upchurch Rd to continue on the trail on Wilson Creek Trail to the left at the junction (part of this is an equestrian trail as well. Beautiful trail that went past several waterfalls. The water levels were fierce since there'd been quite a bit of rain. As the trail left & moved upward where there was an intersection with Seed Orchard Rd...followed that until reaching Quebec Branch....good thing the weather was good since I had to lose the shoes to get across it...continued on until there was another DEEP water crossing at Big Wilson Creek. You WILL get wet. Proceeded on the trail until coming to a 3 way intersection & took the Scales trail & had to cross yet another water crossing at Wilson Creek....after the crossing, hit the AT (it was actually closed) but was only on it until entering the LIttle Wilson Creek Wilderness.... approached the ascent to South Mountain but by then, particularly with some bear warnings & a threat of rain, turned around & retraced the route back to the campgrounds which, on leaving the Seed Orchard Rd was a steep upward climg to finish the day....total mileage around 10 miles. There are some great campgrounds in the Wilderness area but on this day, the route was really muddy & rocky & the watercrossings were raging...pay attention before doing this after any kind of rain. But all in an interesting hike & one a bit off the radar for the area. Didn't see a soul which was the point!!!

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Robert Parker
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Hiking

I accessed Big Wilson Creek Trail # 4607 by driving up Briar Run Lane. I parked the car here and followed the trail on private property until it crossed Wilson Creek and went west into Grayson Highlands Park. Right before the creek crossing you can see the Wilderness boundary sign to the right where the trail head of Little Wilson Creek Trail # 4594 starts. I followed Wilson Creek upstream until I crossed ti again, 1.1 miles from where I parked my car at the end of Briar Run Lane. There was a very pretty 15 foot waterfall in this section of the hike. I crossed the creek and the trail started right at the wilderness boundary marker on a tree. This trail was not blazed but it was easy to follow all the horse tracks. within the wilderness boundary there were signs marking the beginning and ends of the trail as well as the intersection with Kabel trail # 4606. This was a muddy, rocky climb from Wilson Creek all the way up to Bearpen trail # 4525. I passed no other person on the way up or back down but it looked as if dozens of folks have taken this trail y horseback recently. This on isn't for rookies and had I known how muddy and rocky this uphill climb would be I might have chosen a different path for my 10 mile wilderness hike. Perhaps this is actually a horse trail and not a hiking trail. If you want to follow my track its called Little Wilson Creek Wilderness Up.

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Navigator B
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Hiking
First to Review

This is a nice hiking trail. Big Wilson Creek is in Grayson Highlands state park, and it was raging due to the recent rains when I hiked it. On Aug. 10, I hiked the Wilson trail, seeing the waterfalls along Big Wilson Creek. On Aug. 11, I trail ran Wilburn Branch, seeing a more mellow side to this creek. I did not fish, but I explored the trails. I did not do the Big Wilson Creek Horse trail because I feared the river crossing and the mud. Anyway, this is a nice river, with good waterfalls and rapids.

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Jen Black
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Hiking
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Rebecca Geipe
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Hiking
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Mark Watkins
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Running
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Rob Barnhart
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Hiking
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Josh Beckworth
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Hiking
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Mark Hudome
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Tashi C
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Hiking
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Katherine Miller
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Hiking
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Donnie Dale
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Hiking
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Lawrence Stanton
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Hiking
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Taylor Calloway
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Fishing