North Fork Mountain Trail

HARD 46 reviews

North Fork Mountain Trail is a 17.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Riverton, West Virginia that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 17.7 miles Elevation Gain: 2,414 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

river

views

wildlife

snow

hiking
private property
2 months ago

Parking is difficult on the south terminus. There actually isn’t any and you have to find a book for your vehicle. I parked on the knoll across the street. The water is actually from south to north about 3 miles in. When you cross the power lines there is a small tab path on the right. I bumped into the property owner while told me the spring which is about 30yds down the atv path under the power lines, was likely dry. And it was. He told me I could continue down to a bridge over a creek and there would be water. I continued for a while but didn’t want to descend the whole mountain. I had lost my water about 4 miles in when I jumped a fallen oak tree and my cnoc vecto came open. Hence the 4 miles in and out.

backpacking
3 months ago

Entered from the north trailhead. Loved the trail- packed way too heavy though (73lbs) and it was brutal. I stayed over night at Chimney top and the views were breathtaking. Plan on going back with a much lighter pack so I can go further past Chimney too.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome trail! Numerous overlooks!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

This a great place to backpack! We started on the south end of the trail. The trail is relatively flat, nothing steep. There are many overlooks. We parked across the street from the tower, up on a little knoll. We backpacked about 3.4 miles (just before the power line) and made our own campsite there

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

backpacking
over grown
7 months ago

Gorgeous hike! The spring had plenty of water and was pretty easy to find (its about 15 feet to the left of the fire road and counted 100 steps from the main road to the point you turn off and there was a small cairn). It was a bit overgrown so recommend pants, particularly on the second day. Pretty much had the trail to ourselves the whole time and loved the views!

hiking
bugs
rocky
8 months ago

backpacking
8 months ago

For people looking for the spring at about the halfway point.. If hiking North to South.. You'll be coming down into a low gap on the ridge to the forest service road at this point there will be a parking spot for 2 to 3 vehicles and a camping spot with a fire ring on the right/west side of the road ..But just before the camping/parking spot there will be a old faint looking grassy road leading down hill to the right/west .. Head down this road about 50 yards or so and keep looking of to the left the spring will be laid up with stones with wire across the top ..

backpacking
rocky
9 months ago

vary scenic trail views off both sides, easy at the start. after the hand glider ramp it's easy until last ridge is a little challenging

hiking
Wed Oct 31 2018

My self and two of my friends did this trail from north terminus to south. my plan to do it this way was so that i could begin the hike at 0400 and be waiting on top of chimney rock for the sunrise. My god was it worth it. I sat on that rock brewing coffee and enjoying the perfect scenery until 9am. This was my favorite spot on the entire hike. I will be going back just to spend a weekend here. You must see it. the trail has countless overlooks, some with beaten paths, others you can just walk west to the ridgeline. plenty of campsites premade around and the trail was pretty well kept even after all of our recent storms. to the east is private land lines in and out of the hike. so be cautious of hunters/hunting dogs. THE ONLY WATER SOURCE IS A SPRING AT THE 12MI MARK. this is crucial for correct planning. its very easy to walk by as i did. from south to north the trail will continue blue blaze onto a fire road (nice well packed black gravel) down and over pipeline clearings, then downhill to campsites where the trail begins into the woods again. It is at THIS point, a grass fire road to the left of the trailhead. walk roughly 30y down that road and the spring is on the left with rocks holding down some chickenwire to prevent leaf n debris from entering it. (It looks like a rectangle stone storm drain with chicken wire ontop) when i was hiking this i had spent a long time trying to find it and i wanted to make a point to give a very deffinitive location of this "spring" its yeild will depend on rainfall but all 3 of us got 6 litres and it didnt budge. plenty of water for us in october. in total, this hike is beautiful, quiet, relatively easy, short distance from town, and offers alot more than you will put into it. I will be going back. NOTE: North Fork Mountain trail is roughly 24.3 miles long. From One Terminus to the next. One water source at 12mi. And a shuttle service is offered at the north terminus for the 25-30min drive back to where you started.

backpacking
Tue Jul 17 2018

Did the whole trail with some friends, made for a great backpacking trip with fairly easy trails. Some steep climbs here and there but they were always worth it. The views are breathtaking. Defiantly gonna go back to run it sometime.

Mon Jul 09 2018

Started at the North Terminus on Smoke Hole Rd and hiked to chimney tops. Would love to come back and hike the full trail. Great views and well-marked, well-maintained trails (at least the section we did). There were Carens (spelling?) marking where to get off the trail and head up to chimney tops.

Fri Jun 15 2018

trails were poorly marked, down trees, swamp like mud, poison ivy everywhere, over grown in spots, i would not go on this trail unless it has been dry in the area for a consideranle amouny of time

Fri Jun 08 2018

Steep climb - breathtaking views

backpacking
Tue May 29 2018

Moderately hard trail with a good amount of elevation changes. Spectacular views from the overlooks. Spring at half way point.

Mon May 21 2018

I would consider this hike easier than Seneca Rocks Trail any day. We did this with a 4 year old & she hiked the whole way by herself. Gorgeous views!

Mon Apr 23 2018

The south terminus trail head is at a radio tower. There’s only room for 2 cars to park along the road. Don’t block the tower service entrance. Once on the trail, it’s gentle up to the ridge and while on the ridge. There are dozens of scenic overlooks. It’s absolutely breathtaking. Leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy the views afforded by this hike. It’s a challenging hike but not too difficult.

Thu Jan 25 2018

It was snowing up there it was cold but a good hike.

hiking
Fri Jan 05 2018

Just did an hour out-and-back at the southern terminus along 33. Parking was not fun- just a narrow strip along the road with ambiguous no-trespassing signs. Coming in from the north/west side (out of Germany Valley) requires a hairpin u-turn on a blind corner. However, once on the trail assuming you haven’t been run over it’s awesome. Big cliffs of Tuscarora quartzite and views of Germany Valley the whole way to Spruce Knob. Bring a good camera! Also read up on the local geology-makes the landscape even more amazing.

hiking
Mon Aug 21 2017

Some of the best views on the eastern seaboard. It's about a 2 hour walk up from Smoke Hole. Once you reach the top, the trail runs along the ridge and offers spectacular views. Be sure to bring enough water.

hiking
Sat Jul 08 2017

Very steep hike going up but fantastic views at the top!

Sun Jul 02 2017

This is one of the best hikes in the state as far as amazing views go. Roughly 25 miles and a full two days...3 days would probably be more enjoyable. No water on the trail so slip in on the fire road half way and stash some water. Great hike! Enjoy!

hiking
Tue Jun 20 2017

Are Dogs allowed on this trail or has anyone seen Hikers with them?

backpacking
Mon Jun 05 2017

This trail was more than 17 miles are watches tracked 30 miles with some taking off the beaten path to see the views. We did the trail in 2 days which was hard would recommend 3 days. Had some steep hills and a long downhill at the very end. It was worth the views of the backside of Seneca Rocks and amazing views seeing into Maryland from Chimney Rock. Make sure you have enough water, we stashed water halfway through off the fire road. There’s no water source.

Sun Apr 16 2017

The trail is 25 miles and hiked it three weeks ago south to north. One of the best backpacking trips in the South. There is one source of water halfway. Not 17 miles.

backpacking
Fri Aug 12 2016

We were lucky enough to get some trail magic (in the form of a water refill). Not a lot of water up there, but the beauty of the ridge makes up for it!

Thu Jun 02 2016

Beautiful vistas and really great camp sites! No water makes things a bit more difficult. A really great hike!

hiking
Tue Nov 10 2015

Hiked south to north, the first 12 miles was pretty easy going with only one major climb and some incredible vistas. Camped just before the cell tower to avoid the car traffic at the top of public road 79, where we also had stashed water. The last 12 miles was much rockier and had a few steep climbs leading up to chimney rocks, after that it was all down hill and very rocky. Well worth it for the views though and had a great time.

hiking
Sat Nov 07 2015

I've done this hike several times and have become familiar with the area over the years. I usually stash some water and food along the logging road between miles 10-12 when headed northbound. Takes an hour or so to drive the road up past the campsites at the midway point, continue to the top of the power lines, drop off supplies and drive back down. Cutting back on my water supply, food and gear made this hike so much more enjoyable. The entire hike is filled with trail spurs and awesome overlooks which I've taken advantage of with the lighter pack and preparation. Sections North of the midway campsites are still recovering from a fire a couple years back so I haven't seen the spring there useful.

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