Kepler Overlook via Tuscarora Trail

MODERATE 25 reviews

Kepler Overlook via Tuscarora Trail is a 5.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Maurertown, Virginia that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,128 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

over grown

rocky

Moderately easy hike in the George Washington National Forest. Nice views of Shenandoah Valley and points West. The trail follows several old forest/fire roads. Then the trail connects to the Tuscarora Trail to the overlook. There is one creek crossing and parks of trail can be muddy, depending on time of year and any heavy rains. Take exit for Tom's Brooks off of 81. Go right once at exit to Mt. Olivet. Follow 603 and 600 to end. Start point is at 38.97137, -78.56316.

backpacking
21 days ago

This is a great campsite for backpacking! We hiked this trail a couple of weeks ago, with 6 backpackers. There are 2 huge campsites on the top. We were lucky and we got the one with a nice view. There were a lot of dry dead trees around for fire wood. There is also a natural stream a mile before the top, that you can drink from with a filter. There are also a couple of campsites at the trailhead

hiking
rocky
23 days ago

Awesome trail! Of course hiking it during peak foliage season on a perfect day doesn’t hurt. Finding the trail to Kepler Overlook May be difficult to find because there is no mention of it when you arrive to the designated trailhead. But there is an overlook and this is how you get there. Follow the fire road and yellow blazes to the intersection with blue blazes then go left (south) toward Fetzer Gap. This is the Tuscarora trail. Follow this enjoyable and well-marked trail 2.8 miles and look for the path to the overlook on your right. The blowdown mentioned in previous reviews has been eliminated. However, be aware that there is no sign to guide you to the overlook, unlike another previous viewpoint. There are some rocks/stones on the trail but not nearly as many as other trails in the valley; regardless always wear proper footwear. Enjoy the great view of the Valley!

backpacking
blowdown
3 months ago

Hiked and camped at the peak. Awesome view. There is a blowdown maybe 3/4 of a mile in that you have to squeeze under. Some of the creeks were dry but there is a spring that is constantly flowing just before the "switchbacks". Two campsites at the top with the furthest one having a rock ledge with a view straight from the campsite. Entrance is up the road and to the left a ways.

hiking
muddy
rocky
7 months ago

Hiked this trail last week, a little muddy on the lower portion due to rains. Great solitude didn’t see anyone the whole way up and back. Nice change of pace from the busy trails in Shenandoah.

hiking
muddy
snow
9 months ago

Camped with two buddies 2/2/19. The newer signs were great and the trail is well marked. The trail was a bit soggy and half frozen on the lower part. Once you gained elevation it was fine. The streams were low and we were able to cross on rocks with no problems. We camped at the overlook and enjoyed amazing views during the day and night.

Mon Apr 16 2018

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
Sat Apr 14 2018

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.

hiking
Tue Apr 03 2018

Could not find the start of this trail either. No markers anywhere. Found three different National Forest map signs and the trail is not marked officially. I'm sure its in the area but I was traveling with a group of 7 so we just took a stroll through Cedar Springs Road. It was still a nice hike but not what we came for.

hiking
Sat Dec 23 2017

Could not find starting point of this trail. Got to point where three gates were all open and no signage of where this trail started. Maps provided on post were very large in scope, but not small enough to show this trail. Hiked a mile or so south on cedar creek trail 1725/FDR 88 turned around and returned to three road split point.

Sat Oct 21 2017

This trail was an overgrown mess. It took us a good 20 minutes to navigate maybe 50 feet of thorny bushes, maybe if I had been alone and not with a 6 year old it would have been ok. Maybe. But only if I was willing to go way off trail to bypass the hot mess thorn bushes that start about 2 miles in and just get worse and worse.

hiking
Sat Jul 20 2013

Nice, moderate hike to overlook of Shenandoah Valley. Trail begins at camp site where road is closed. Go straight and pass two road closures. After a few hundred years past the second, hang a left and follow the blue Tuscarora trail blazes. Trail starts the moderate incline here. Cross a creek and follow the trail, parts of which can be muddy at times. Once closer to he top you'll see a cairn on the right to get to the overlook.

hiking
6 months ago

Fri Nov 02 2018

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Sat Mar 31 2018

Mon Oct 16 2017

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Fri Dec 09 2016

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Sat Aug 29 2015

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Sun May 18 2014

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Thu Apr 25 2013

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