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Great Smoky Mtns NP
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About Us

Virginia Top 5

Old Rag Mountain
545 Reviews
White Oak/Cedar Run
201 Reviews
Strickler Knob
154 Reviews
Signal Knob
139 Reviews
Crabtree Falls
139 Reviews

North Carolina Top 5

Grandfather Mountain/Daniel Boone
7 Reviews
Hanging Rock
5 Reviews
Mt. Mitchell
3 Reviews
Roan Highlands
3 Reviews
Swannanoa Mountains
2 Reviews

Maryland Top 5

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

West Virginia Top 5

Big Schloss
92 Reviews
Tibbet Knob
68 Reviews
Dolly Sods North
63 Reviews
Halfmoon Mountain
39 Reviews
Mill Mountain
31 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

Little Devils Stairs Rating:
By Big T, hiked on: 4/22/2017
The directions to and description of the hike are fairly accurate. I ended up going this past Saturday when it was raining, but still saw about 6-7 other people hiking along the fire road section. The parking lot to Little Devil's Stairs is all the way at the end of Kesyers Run Rd. The trail is actually well marked even through the various traverses up the gorge. I would definitely suggest this hike when water would be present, I think it makes the hike more scenic. The first part of the trail is pretty steep and is continuous until you come to the trail merge with the fire ... more >>>

Dolly Sods/Lions Head Rating:
By , hiked on: 4/16/2017
We did the 3-day version April 16-18, 2017. Read our review and annotated H.U. directions (with lots of photos) here: ... more >>>

Billy Goat Trail Rating:
By , hiked on: 4/15/2017
Re Section A: Wonderful trail, but follow these simple rules for maximum enjoyment for yourself and others. Arrive early, especially on nice weekends. The trail gets very crowded and by 10 am, there can be long waits at certain spots on the trail. Leave your pet at home. Pets are not allowed on Section A of the Billy Goat Trail. Stay on trail by following the blue blazes. BGT-A is on Bear Island, full of rare and endangered plant species. You'll also avoid the ticks, chiggers, copperheads, and northern water snakes. Do not ent ... more >>>

Bear Church Rock Rating:
By David, hiked on: 3/23/2017
I have been up to Bear Church many times and love the area for all the reasons expressed already. I have one caution: snakes. The rocks at the top are home to nests, and I've never been up in hot weather without stumbling across a rattler basking in the sun (especially to the right as you look out). On the path to the overlook there are extended grassy areas. These are kept regularly trimmed, but the tall grasses can also be home to snakes, like copperheads. The rule of thumb is valid: you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone. But keep an eye on dogs and children. ... more >>>

Stony Man Mountain Rating:
By Jennifer C., hiked on: 4/17/2017
My husband and I did this hike after checking in at Skyland lodge, (Our room had an amazing view and was very quiet and peaceful.) We had planed on doing the hike the next day, but since all we had to do was walk out our door to begin the hike we decided to do it that evening. We our both in good shape so we were back before sunset. We began by taking the Passamaquody Trail from our room to the Little Stony man summit which was really nice and peaceful. We then turned right on the Stony Man Trail and then decided to go left where the trail splits and went to the Stony Man S ... more >>>

Ramseys Draft Rating:
By Gingerman, hiked on: 4/13/2017
Hiked this loop clockwise (so along Ramsey's draft first) with a group of five over the weekend. Overall a nice area and a change from the constant reminders of civilization that you get along the Blue Ridge. The first thing to remember is that this is a wilderness area, not a park and therefore the trail is not marked or maintained. We were surprised at the number of down trees along Ramsey's Draft and the effects of whatever invasive beetle, bug, germ, etc. has really damaged the area. Some of the trees have been cleared or cut from the trail but there are many places whe ... more >>>

Mt. Cammerer and Big Creek Rating:
By Steve Runnion, hiked on: 4/14/2017
Just back from this beautiful loop hike. Did loop in reverse since going up Chestnut and South on the AT to Cammerer is relentless up, up, up!! Started up Big Creek. Visited Midnight Hole and flung people swimming! Mid-April that water was COLD. Onto mouse creek falls. Some awesome pics there. Came upon what looked to be an old homestead: old stone chimney in a small field covered in white flowers? Overnighted right on Big Creek at Walnut Bottom. Multiple camping sight with fire rings and bear hangs. Next day was up to AT and Cosby Knob shelter. Thru hiker bubble had place ... more >>>


Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) Cabins
We receive many emails every year asking about the cabins in the GWNF and SNP. Maintained by PATC, the club has twelve public use cabins between $20-$45 per/night, as well as twenty PATC members only cabins. Reservations are generally taken up to two months in advance. Check out all the info below:

Friends of Shenandoah Mountain
Friends of Shenandoah Mountain is a group of concerned citizens consisting of local residents, businesses, faith communities, wilderness advocates, mountain bikers, hikers, hunters, and other forest users who would like to see the wild heritage of Shenandoah Mountain protected to benefit this and future generations.

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.

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 .
So Who Are We?
We are a group of avid hikers who enjoy spending time in the magnificent forests and parks of the mid-Atlantic states. Over the years, we have hiked many beautiful mountains and valleys, and founded to share what we’ve learned, create a meeting place for people who like to hike, and encourage anyone with an interest to enjoy the outdoors.

Since starting HU in 2000, we have constantly worked to create the best hiking resource in the region. Many of our new features reflect suggestions from hikers like you. Just by visiting this page, you have become a member of the HU community, and we invite you to post a review and share your tales from the trail.

In addition to the tremendous contribution of volunteer programs managed by the USDA Forest Service and National Park Service, many of the trails we trek are maintained by private groups such as the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) and the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club (NBATC). It is through their efforts that we are all able to hike these great mountains. is completely free to use, and it is maintained entirely on a volunteer basis. We hope that you find the information on our site useful.
All expenses are covered by donations. Please consider making a donation to to help with these costs, all contributions are greatly appreciated. Thank You.

Tony Van Vugt

Originally from Australia, Tony began as a way to share his favorite trails with other hikers. More than 15 years later, HU has grown to feature hundreds of day-hikes and backpacks across the mid-Atlantic region. Whenever he is not working his day job or volunteering in his local community, Tony can be found out on the trails.


Bryce Allison
Chief Trails Officer

Bryce is based out of Goochland Virginia, near Richmond, and does most of his hiking in mid-state Virginia. Originally from Scotland, his love of hiking started after his 20th Wedding Anniversary trip to the Canadian Rockies. He prefers some of the longer hikes such as The Maryland Challenge, Mt Rogers/Grayson Highlands, North Fork Mountain and the Catoctin Trail.

Zachary Robbins
Senior Trails Contributor

Zachary is based out of Chapel Hill, NC and author of Zach's Mild Adventures. Although far from the mountains he enjoys 3+ hour drives each way combined with difficult all-day hikes. Since college he has been on hundreds of hikes around North Carolina and southern Virginia, visiting the most popular and most obscure trails he could find. There's no hike hard or long enough that he wouldn't tackle. Some of his favorite areas in North Carolina include the Black Mountains, Grandfather Mountain, Old Fort region, and Linville Gorge.


Adam and Christine Anderson
Trails Contributors

Christine and Adam live in the heartland of Virginia's best hiking in the western part of the state. They are also the authors of Virginia Trail Guide, an in-depth blog with many hike reviews, maps, ratings, as well as tons of beautiful photos. Both are life long residents of Virginia and have hiked all over the Old Dominion, as well as many other trails along the east coast.


Jeff Monroe
Trails Contributor

Charlottesville based Jeff Monroe has been hiking in Virginia for 25 years, and writes about some of his outings in his blog at Jeff is an Eagle Scout and the father of an Eagle Scout, a former Scoutmaster and current Assistant Scoutmaster, and encourages the next generation to get out and explore the outdoors. Jeff also volunteers as an Appalachian Trail maintainer, performs trail measurements for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club's GPS Rangers, and coordinated revisions of the most recent PATC trail maps covering Shenandoah National Park's Southern District and the National Forest’s Pedlar/Glenwood District. Jeff also teaches GPS use, leads hikes for multiple trail clubs and the Boy Scouts, and has completed all 541 miles of A.T. in Virginia and all 500+ miles of trails and fire roads in Shenandoah National Park. When not working as an administrator at the University of Virginia, Jeff is often out on the trail with his constant hiking companion, Gracie the Ultimate Hiking Dog ("GUHD").

Linda Shotwell
Advocacy and Community Outreach

Linda has hiked in the mid-Atlantic for over 20 years, and enjoys spending most of her hiking time in the mountains of northwest Virginia and West Virginia. She is passionate about engaging the hiking community on all issues that affect the mountains and parks that we all love to hike.


The Rest Of The Crew

Many other HikingUpward volunteers contribute their time and talent to map routes and maintain trails. The HU community contributors also include everyone who has posted a review of a hike on this site. Thank you!

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