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Great Smoky Mtns NP
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About Us

Virginia Top 5

Old Rag Mountain
541 Reviews
White Oak/Cedar Run
197 Reviews
Strickler Knob
153 Reviews
Signal Knob
137 Reviews
Crabtree Falls
137 Reviews

North Carolina Top 5

Grandfather Mountain/Daniel Boone
7 Reviews
Hanging Rock
5 Reviews
Roan Highlands
3 Reviews
Mt. Mitchell
3 Reviews
Pinch In/Rock Jock/Linville Gorge
2 Reviews

Maryland Top 5

Maryland Heights
60 Reviews
Billy Goat Trail
23 Reviews
Sugarloaf Mountain
22 Reviews
Maryland Challenge
17 Reviews
Catoctin Mountain Park
17 Reviews

West Virginia Top 5

Big Schloss
91 Reviews
Tibbet Knob
68 Reviews
Dolly Sods North
61 Reviews
Halfmoon Mountain
37 Reviews
Mill Mountain
30 Reviews

Mid-Atlantic Hike Books

Hike America

Hiking Virginia's
National Forests

50 Hikes in
Northern Virginia

Hiking Guide

50 Hikes in Maryland

Below are the most recent hiker reviews

Thornton River Rating:
By Hobo Hiker, hiked on: 1/16/2017
The highlight of this hike is Thorton river and the rippling mountain water sounds. I hiked this on a cold 30 degree morning with an overcast. Skyline had a recent snow so it had just been re-opened. I started at 7:30am and the parking lot was completely empty. In January the Elkwallow Wayside store and food deli is closed. It's possible the bathrooms located at the trailhead are also closed. I didn't try the bathrooms. I had a small problem finding the trailhead to start. The trailhead is located towards the northern entrance of the parking lot near the f ... more >>>

The Priest Rating:
By Karen K, hiked on: 1/15/2017
Parked at the lot on Rt 56 and did an out-and-back (about 9 miles total) to the Priest shelter. FANTASTIC view at the summit IF you head off the trail when if flattens out (through an obvious camping site just off the trail, about a half mile before the sign pointing to the shelter) to the right. Don't miss that 20 yd detour! It took us 5 hours round trip which included stopping for lunch and photos. I think we hike at a moderate pace. ... more >>>

North Fork Mountain Rating:
By , hiked on: 1/14/2017
FR 79 is a little tough to find if you are going to cache water. As you travel south on Smoke Hole road from the north, look for a "Dead End" sign on your right side just before descending into the "trailer park". That's FR 79. It's not marked. Once you get to the top of the fire road, it's obvious where to stash your water. A 4x4 is needed to get up there, especially in the winter. The NFMT is exceptionally well marked and easy to follow once you get on the trail. Weather was between 18 and 40 degrees and wet. I think it's usually colder with more snow. Some ice ... more >>>

Strickler Knob Rating:
By Mike H, hiked on: 1/15/2017
First hike I've done with a 5-star difficulty rating on HikingUpward, and it is definitely warranted. The ascent at the end of the hike is B-r-u-t-a-l (and yes, the capital B is intentional). Aside from that, the rock scrambling and climbing in the last mile up to the summit was quite fun (it's not Old Rag, but still fun nonetheless). I agree that it is very easy to walk right by the start of the pink blazed Strickler Knob trail (I did), but once on it, the markings are easy to follow (and the pink blazes on the rocks are supplemented with red markers nailed to trees). It w ... more >>>

Spruce Knob/Seneca Creek Rating:
By , hiked on: 1/14/2017
We came out to this trail on the 14th of January, it was cold and rainy. The first impression for both of us was that the parking area is very large, I'm assuming it gets busier in the warmer months but our entire time on the trail (2 days) we only ran into a handful of other people. The first 5 miles of the trail is gorgeous, thick conifer trees on either side of the rocky trail and hanging fog made us feel like we were somewhere on the West Coast (or a fairy tale), we also saw coyote and deer tracks and scat in this area. I would say that the plant life on this portion of ... more >>>

White Oak/Cedar Run Rating:
By Suzanne, hiked on: 1/15/2017
Got a late start, arriving just before 2 pm, so unfortunately could not make the entire loop because of darkness. Did get to top of the 3rd fall, and then decided to turn around. Beautiful hike! Air was crisp, the sound of the falls were magnificent, and the falls themselves are beautiful! It is very steep in places, and going down isn't much easier as the trail is extremely rocky. Path was muddy and a little slippery in places, but overall very well marked (at least to the top of the 3rd fall). Have to really pay attention to where you walking.  Loved this hike, and will b ... more >>>

Dead Run Rating:
By Mel, hiked on: 1/15/2017
This was a robust hike that is close enough to DC to be undertaken last minute, but remote enough to make you feel like you are farther out from the city. Parts of this hike that require rock scrambling and ravine crossing are more 3 than 2, but overall, the trail has a little bit of everything. We started the hike at 8:30am and no on else was there yet. Finished it in 3 hours, but we also walked at a slower pace. There wasn't much birdwatching to be had, but we did see a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker! Strongly suggest hiking footwear and not running shoes. ... more >>>


Skyline Drive Status
Shenandoah National Park

Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park will close periodically due to inclement weather such as ice and snow. If you are planning a hike this winter make sure to call the park’s recorded information line for the most current Skyline Drive status.

Black Bears and Hiking on the East Coast

Catching a sighting of a Black Bear can be the highlight of a hike. In the mid-Atlantic, the most likely place to encounter a bear is in the Shenandoah National Park, however they are present in many of our forests or parks.

Hunting Seasons 2016-2017
Hunting seasons are getting underway, and it's important to take extra precautions when hiking this time of the year. Hunting season's start around mid-October and run through February. Big game rifle season's are generally Thanksgiving through the first week of January.

West Virginia

Wild - by Cheryl Strayed

Partial review from Dwight Garner, The New York Times:
"“...Wild” recounts the months Ms. Strayed spent, during the summer of 1995, when she was 26, hiking alone on the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State..."
"...The clarity of Ms. Strayed’s prose, and thus of her person, makes her story, in its quiet way, nearly as riveting an adventure narrative as Jon Krakauer’s two “Into” books: those matey fraternal twins, “Into the Wild” and “Into Thin Air...”

A Walk For Sunshine - by Jef Alt Review
Jeff Alt takes you along every step of his 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail adventure filled with humorous, frightening, and inspirational stories including, bears, bugs, blisters, skunk bedmates, and hilarious food cravings. As Alt walked on through freezing temperatures, driving rain, and sunny skies, he was constantly buoyed by the knowledge that his walk was dedicated to his brother who has cerebral palsy. Alt's adventure inspired an annual fundraiser which has raised over $150,000 for the Sunshine Home where his brother lives.

The Mid-Atlantic Hiker's Guide: West Virginia - by Michael V. Juskelis

Michael Juskelis’ dedication to the outdoors, as well as decades and many thousands of miles of hiking experience, is in evidence throughout his new guide to a selection of West Virginia’s most beautiful trails.

With 64 backpacking and day hikes this new West Virginia hiking guide is a must have for old-salt hikers looking for that new route, as well as the beginner trying to find an easier hike with gorgeous scenery.

  • Detailed reviews of the trails
  • Trail directions, including important landmarks such as camping, water sources, and view points
  • TOPO maps
  • Trail coordinates
  • Order your copy here
  If you have a hiking book you think we should highlight at HikingUpward please .
HikingUpward is growing and we’re looking for a few volunteer Trails Contributors to help us map hikes in southwestern Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

HikingUpward is different from most trail resource sites in that every hike is created and reviewed by our volunteer Trails Contributors. We do this to ensure consistency and accuracy, as we would like everyone who uses HikingUpward to feel confident in the hiking information we provide.

To join us as a Trail Contributor, all that you need is a GPS, a camera, and a love of hiking! We’ll provide you with guidelines about the information to collect on your hike as well as how to write up the hike review.

For more than 10 years HikingUpward has been proud to provide a free hiking resource for outdoor enthusiasts in the mid-Atlantic region. Please consider joining us if you hike in southwestern Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, or Pennsylvania, and help support the hiking community in your area. To inquire about becoming a Trail Contributor contact us at

Tony Van Vugt

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