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Thread: Virginia/West Virginia hiking ideas

  1. #1
    Senior Member Umsaskis's Avatar
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    Virginia/West Virginia hiking ideas

    My husband and I are planning a week-long trip to Virginia or West Virginia (whichever has better mountains) next spring - probably in April. I haven't been there since I was a kid, so I don't know much about the area. To help with planning, can any of you who have hiked or canoed in the area suggest some good places that are pretty, have good views, and are not overly popular and crowded? Also if you know of any really good campgrounds where the campsites are spaced apart well and relatively private, that would help. Thanks!
    In the mountains, God has built a monument to Himself.

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    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    If you are heading near Shenandoah Nat'l Park, I strongly recommand hiking Old Rag mountain.
    It's a strenuous loop of about 10mi. with some fun scrambling.

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    I agree Old Rag is a great hike, but get there early. The lower lot can hold 200 cars and fills up fast. Another great place to go, a little further south, and bit more rugged, is a place called Duncan's Knob in the Massanuttens. I am at work now so I am not sure wich PATC map it is on, but I will check when I get home and re-post. Actually, the whole northern Massanuttens are really nice. They have a series of loops you can do with nice ridge walks and decent views. In WV, Harpers Ferry is always nice. Hope this helps!

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    Senior Member Oldsmores's Avatar
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    Via Ferrata

    Haven't tried this, but it looks way cool!
    Nelson Rocks

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    I would recommend Seneca Rocks in WV. Good FS CG with hot showers (Seneca Shadows), choice of walk-in sites in a field with stunning views or wooded traditional sites, with or w/o hookups. Definitely will not be crowded in April. Good hiking - Dolly Sods & Otter Creek wilderness areas within a 25 mile drive, as well as trails on North Fork Mtn & Spruce Knob. Climbing (of course) if thats your thing, or you can check out the via ferrata at Nelson Rocks about 10 miles south. Should be excellent boating that time of year. Look into the Smokehole run on the South Branch of the Potomac (open or closed boats, depending on the stretch, about 30 miles from the CG by car or 5 miles as the crow flies). Seneca Creek, right by the CG, is a good Cl 3 run. For a more relaxed trip Shavers Fork, about 30 miles west, does not get above Cl 2 on its lower sections & runs thru a very scenic canyon. Other choices abound. And for plain ol' good eatin', the town of Elkins, about 30 miles west, usually has a ramp festival in April!
    Last edited by AMF; 09-12-2005 at 12:08 PM.

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    Senior Member Gris's Avatar
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    Some data from an old trails link
    Buy my new book 'Zen and the Art of Pessimisim,' or not. I guess it doesn't really matter if you read it.

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    The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club Map (PATC) I mentied for Duncan's Knob is map G and the one for Old Rag is map 10. Enjoy.

  8. #8
    Senior Member blacklab2020's Avatar
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    West Virginia:

    1) Dolly Sods & Spruce Knob!!! (Seneca Creek Wilderness, esp)
    2) Blackwater Falls & Coopers Rock State Forest

    I would put Seneca rocks 3rd on the list for hiking, since there isnt much area to travel around there, though it is close to Dolly Sods and Spruce Knob, < 1 hour.

    Virginia:

    Shenandoah is an obvious choice.
    Central Region is generally best. I would be sure to hit Old Rag & White Oak Canyon. THere are some nice trails outside of Big Meadows Visitor Center. The area just north of big meadows is nice for backpacking. Hawksbill (highest in the state), and Stony Man are also two nice peaks to hike.

    Also check out the PATC guides for the region. I especially liked Big Slaush (Sp?) and Little Sluice (sp?).

    The massanuttun range is also a great place to dayhike.


    There is a wealth of hiking in that area in general. I prefer west virginia for the hemlocks and rocks. Best of Luck.

    I just wanted to come back and expand my post a little more... Be weary of hunting seasons in west virginia. I would look into any regulations available... Yet it doesnt stop people from going out there. Second. Old rag is very popular ... as is much of Shenandoah. For popularity in WVA seneca rocks and new river gorger are peak. The monongahela national forest is a good bet for less crowds
    Last edited by blacklab2020; 09-13-2005 at 01:44 PM.

  9. #9
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    The New River Gorge near Beckley, WV has great white water rafting with sections calmer sections that one can canoe. There are a ton of campgrounds around that don't see a lot of traffic. Hiking is limited in the area.

    About 2.5 hours south of the New River is Wytheville, VA and Mt. Rogers (highest point in VA) The hike up Rogers is the most beautiful hike I have been on in the south. There is a campground on the north slope of Rogers that is really nice.

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