Three Ridges Trail

MODERATE 53 reviews

Three Ridges Trail is a 13 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Lyndhurst, Virginia that features a waterfall 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
13.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3841 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Situated in Central Virginia, just 30 miles southwest of Charlottesville, the hike has vista after vista along the Appalachian Trail, and many small waterfalls and pools on the Mau-Har Trail on Campbell Creek.

This is a fun hike. It has a couple of good views and a nice long water feature. I knocked it out in 5:45 including rest stops. It's not the hardest hike I've done in the area, but it is pretty long. Definitely recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

Good if you’re looking for a challenge! There’s one vista that’s absolutely incredible. Tons of primitive tent sites. Water was low at Harpers Creek when we went. (Sept 2017)

backpacking
3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

Excellent hike. The main overlook is spectacular and the water along Mar-Hau trail is really beautiful. WARNING: When we hiked this August 27-28 there was no water at Harper's Creek. We had planned to camp/refill there but ended up hiking the extra two miles to Campbell's Creek in the dark (we got a late start). Just be prepared that this water source might not be available year-round!

hiking
3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

The views are great! We got there at about 8 am and started the walk we planed on sleeping at Harpers creek but it was only 3 when we got there so we filled up our water and got to moving again down Mau-Har which was not an easy one but we made it to Maupin shelter by about 8 pm and stayed for the night,, it was a great time!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

First time doing any hiking in Virginia and was not disappointed. I was able to complete the loop in 6 hours and 15 minutes with only 5 minute stops at the three vistas and about 15 minutes for food. The trail is challenging (as I was soaked with sweat from head to toe) but not undoable by any means. I believe anybody could complete the loop on an overnight trip. It's steep either way, but I went up AT first then back down Mau-Har. Was able to see a beautiful black bear while hiking down the Mau-Har, granted that was close to the time the sun was setting. Highly recommend and will come back

hiking
5 months ago

5 months ago

Very beautiful hike in the fall, many great views as foliage is down. This is a serious hike, as in difficult. I went ccwise going down the mau haur side trail. Steep cutbacks, short scramble sections, waterfalls and streams (mau haur), great distant views, multiple forest types, and a few good picnic spots. If your healthy and prepared the hike could be done in as little as 5-6hrs, plan on 7+ if stopping to eat a meal, breaks, pictures, and nature observing.

5 months ago

came in from skyline drive total hike ended up over 15 miles. Great hike but its a difficult one!

backpacking
6 months ago

We started from Reeds gap and went to the right, down Mau-Har trail first.. Don't do it that way.. that is the hard way. Everyone we passed told us we were going the hard way and said they would pray for us. But I loved it!

backpacking
6 months ago

wow. very hard. I would recommend to hike counter clockwise

backpacking
7 months ago

We just did this hike in 2 days, one overnight. We did 10 miles first day then 4 next. It was really difficult and im pretty physically fit. Very very steep inclines especially difficult with packs on back. Bring trekking sticks!!

backpacking
7 months ago

Great hike. Did it as a two day hike and stayed at the Harper Creek Shelter, which is just over half way if you do the AT leg first and the Mau-Har Trail second. This is defiantly not a moderate hike; I would rate it as difficult. At least my 50+ year old body does.

Overall, a great loop, more people on the trail than expected, but lots of scenery, nice vistas on the AT side and great water views on the Mau-Mar side. I was in a group of 3 sets of fathers & sons; ran into many similar father/son, father/daughter, mother/daughter groups. Also, ran into several groups from Ohio. I take for granted what awesome outdoor experiences we have here in Virginia.

7 months ago

backpacking
8 months ago

This was an amazing hike, and definitely one of the most difficult hikes I've ever done. You could probably finish this hike in one day if you started really early in the morning (and are an experienced and fit hiker), but if you plan on backpacking you can break it up into 5-6 hour days and stay overnight. There are many campsites set up for anyone to use (no permits required!). We used the main campsite on the Appalachian Trail portion next to Harpers Creek at about the midway point that has a privy, shelter, and plenty of places to pitch a tent and start a campfire.

The altitude on AllTrails is deceiving, because the hike is constantly up and down. In total, you will ascend 6,800 feet over the course of the hike and probably descend about the same amount. There are few flat areas, so you will have to take breaks often and bring lots of water. There is a mixture of steep switchbacks and direct inclines/declines, so you will be kept on your toes (or heels!). The reward includes some really amazing views of the Appalachian mountains in Shenandoah National Park and a long, winding creek that includes a large waterfall and has a few spots that feel like a hidden oasis. Very beautiful and worth the challenge!

8 months ago

We completed this hike in 8.5 hours and we took just few short breaks during this time. We are decenty fit and we hike on a regular basis, but we found this trail extremely challenging. You constantly climbing up or going down - only about 10% of the trail is flat. This is a beautiful trail and it would be great for two days/one night backpacking trip. However, it is way too challenging for a one day hike unless you are in a superb shape. Someone mentioned here that it can be done in 6 hours - I believe there are very few among us who could do it so fast. If you do decide to do the whole trail in one day, make sure to get there very early in the morning to have enough time. Also, special hiking shoes would make your hike much more pleasant! The trail itself is absolutely beautiful and there is a decent number of freshwater sources along the way.