Explore the most popular backpacking trails in West Virginia with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

lots of fun

Did this in 2 days on mountain bike with backpacks. Tough! The woods looked like something from TheLord of the Rings!

Walked many miles on this trail.

Loved the hike beautiful scenery and very nice camping area. I would definitely go back every chance I get to.

hiking
1 month ago

Where Oak Park was located.

1 month ago

great trail

Hiked from Keys Gap parking lot to where the trail breaks open to a clearing where the high tension wires come thru, almost two miles. The trail is moderate, and in true AT fashion there is plenty of uneven terrain. This section has a narrow trail section and today was happily holding water. I would do more of it again, when I can get an earlier start.

Overnighted at David Lesser shelter. Great spring at the bottom of the hill. Perfect hiking weather but trail is pretty swampy in areas. Faster hike out when the trail was frozen.

Hiked in for an overnight at Ed Garvey Shelter from Harper’s Ferry. Got a late start on Saturday in early November, and the parking lot nearest the trailhead was full. The park had a much larger parking lot about 2 Miles away near the visitor center, and shuttles that run from the center to down town, approximately every 15 minutes until 5:45PM. Made it to the trail around 3 PM and made it to the shelter in just under 3 hours. The shelter is two stories and can easily sleep 10-15 people - and there are plenty of camping sites, or camp-able sites in the immediate area. We hiked in with enough water, and didn’t need to hike down to the spring, but another camper reported back that it was in fact, steep and kind of a pain. Stopped by the Weverton cliffs on the way out to take in a view - overall was a beautiful and easy overnight near the city!

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.

I’d say 3.5 stars overall. The best parts of the trail are hiking through tunnels or colonnades of conifers and the peace and quiet. On the other side, there are lots of dead falls to scramble over and dozens of mud patches 4-8” deep to navigate. From the east trailhead it is a long descent to the first tributary crossing around 2.5 miles. Within the next mile or so are two large campsites squeezed in tight between the trail and the river with various stone hearths and “tables”. At approx. mile 5, and about 1/3 mile from the North Fork river crossing, the trail has collapsed above the river, forcing a hill scramble which was daunting in backpacks. We looked for a north trending trail to connect with the North-South Trail (shown in the topo layer of All Trails as being east of Cashcamp drainage) but it was undetectable and a 1.3 mile bushwhack uphill to the ridgeline. Since it was getting late, we backtracked to one of the campsites for the night. Barred Owls were calling in this area. Heading back to the car in the morning it was a steady, sloshy climb in sleet but we had a good time for an overnighter. The cold weather weakened our batteries for our devices, so advise multiple replacements this late in season. Cheers!

hiking
3 months ago

Trail was pretty easy but was not maintained well. Lots of fallen trees, bad erosion and poorly marked. When interesting with the tumbling rock trail I’m pretty sure the trail marker was taken out by a fallen tree. Not bad, not great.

The listed distance disagrees with Trailheadfinder.com and Google maps. Lesser Shelter is about 3 miles from this trailhead. The 5.9 mile distance listed likely refers to Blackburn Trail Center Shelter terminus.

Lovely hike. Started in Harpers ferry and headed north on the AT, stopping at the Ed Garvey shelter a few miles north of weaverton cliffs. Ended up camping there due to rain but the shelter was very nice and there is a spring available to refill water, though it is a steep half mile down the mountain to get to it I recommend filling up there as there aren't any other options for water on the Ridgeline that I saw.

This trail loop feels like an entire story packaged into 1 day (if you so choose).

Good trail. Well established and easy to follow. I'd call it easy/moderate. Much of this trail is in the trees. Note that many sections serve as the water runoff for rain water. I hiked it after it had been raining for a day and parts were rather flooded. I can't wait to go back for an overnight at the shelter/campground.

GREAT views!! Very quiet once you get away from the parking lot. Way overcrowded at the parking lot at Bear Rocks. People parking in the grass alongside the road, not picking up their trash and dog crap. So much for a wilderness area. Won't be long til its permit only. Otherwise, even though VERY wet and muddy, it was great hiking! Wear some shoes with ankle support. Most of the trail is very uneven and rocky. Two stream crossings on this route. Neither very hard. First one you need to step rock to rock to avoid shin deep water. Take something to help balance if you have it.

This trail has everything. Cool views, awesome ridgelines, open meadows, rock cliffs, wooded pine forests, jungley forests, gushing rivers, huge waterfalls, and much more.
This was our groups first backpacking experience it took us 3 days and 2 nights to do the whole loop. On our way in we probably passed 40 or so people on their way out. Everything was a little muddy because of recent rain and it even rained the first day out. Overall everything was great any trail names with the word rocky in them are just that super rocky. Pack plenty of socks. Water is easy to find and if it’s wet dry wood is hard to come by. I also hiked in teva sandals and although it wasn’t terrible I’d definitely bring another option next time.

Nice and flat out to Judy Springs from the trailhead. Plenty of camping options along the way.

trail running
4 months ago

The Ona entrance is not easy to find. From First Sentry Bank, go east on Mud River Road for about a 1/4 mile. Hang a left on Wildcat Rd., which goes under I-64. The trail head is on the right about a mile out Wildcat Rd. Don't enter the woods at Trail Mile Marker 1. Go about a 1/2 mile more on the road and the trail goes up the hillside at a well defined stairway.
Tough sledding, but enjoyable. Will definitely get a workout!

very fun and challenging hike. has a lot of great views. Dobbin Grade was extremely marshy but it does have a nice camp site just south of Beaver Dam intersection. I would not recommended this trail for someone that is just starting.

This past weekend I did the first three miles of Big Stonecoal from the north to Rocky Point Trail. Compared to the North Sods, this trail is one I think I'm done with (10th time). There just isn't much to see and it's pretty rocky. Then once you get to Rocky Point trail, the rocks are extreme and still nothing to look at. If you are going to Dolly for the first time, do yourself a favor and start at Bear Rocks and go no further south than Breathed Mountain trail.

Just got back from my 10th trip to Dolly Sods. Bear Rocks, Raven Ridge, Rocky Ridge are still my favorite trails to be on. I actually like Dobbin's Grade too, including the swamp area! I consider it the mark of a successful trip if I get through the swamp without having water get in my boots. This was a successful trip, and my advice to anyone is make sure you have a walking stick, and each time you get to a tough spot, start poking in the water for hard spots. Almost always you can pick your way right through the middle by looking for firm spots an inch or two below the water.

Did a 3 day backpacking trip starting at Bear Rocks and going as far as Lion’s Head and back. Great trip! Amazing views! Kinda rocky so make sure you’re wearing some good socks and you tie you shoes up tight!

The Northern part of the hike was really easy going and open. As you descend down to the southern part of the trail you lose a lot of the views but the forest is very cool. the scenery is quite interesting. I will Say this Rocky Ridge Trail is almost 2 miles of no fun, hard on your feet, and at times will make you want to quit. We did 15 miles in one day and I was glad to have knocked out the southern part before making camp. All in all the blue berries, views, and toughness were what we signed up for. I was a little disappointed in not seeing much wildlife but I did get to see the Sage Grouse so that was something.

backpacking
4 months ago

Very Beautiful Wilderness. But it is very Rugged and disappointing that there is not some trail maintenance. Trails are not marked but have rock cairns sometimes to far apart. The trail can be very difficult to follow at times due to blow downs and Mountain Laurel overtaking the trail. I would recommend bringing Machete to blaze some new trails. Be prepared to get muddy and I would be careful after heavy rain because otter creek can become to swift to cross. I do not recommend this trail to Novice Hikers and someone that does not have a topo map and or GPS in addition to Wilderness survival Skills because It is real possible to get into a very bad Situation out there if you are not prepared.

Bear Rocks and Rocky Ridge are very nice. A few areas with tree coverage, mostly wide-open flats. Only one or two areas with steep uphill. I’d consider it between easy and moderate. Avoid the Dobbin area if it has rained at all the day of or days prior... it was literally a swamp when we went through. Mud up to your knees in areas and no way of avoiding most puddles.

Bear Rocks and Rocky Ridge were beautiful. Lots of open meadows and valley views from those trails. there were quite a few campsites along the entire hike. I saw maybe 5 or 6 campsites that were being used,but even more that were not. At all costs, avoid the portion of the Dobbin Grade that connects Raven Ridge to Bear Rocks. A decent amount of that "trail" is literally a swamp. Unless you've got rain boots that go up to your knees, you'll regret taking it. All-in-all, a great hike.

Had hiked from parking lot on 501 out to just before decline down to Swatara Gap (had gone up the incline on previous day). Would have to say this was quite a boring stretch of trail with not much variety or change of scenery. Have done several stretches of AT northern of this stretch in PA so in comparison to those this was my least favorite. There is one spot that may have been somewhat a lookout but not worth the hike to get there. Though there is Kimmel Lookout which is a very brief hike from Rt 501 parking lot. Don't recall too many rocks, so may have that going for it, but that's about it.

amazing spots to chill

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