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Eagle Rock - Dry Gap, VA/WV

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
7.2 mls N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
4.0 hours including 30 minutes for breaks
1,065 ft
George Washington National Forest
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Wardensville WV, Weather Forecast
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7.2 mile hike park at the ridge on the south side of US48/55 at the Tuscarora Trail.
     Do Not block the forestry gate. 39.08535, -78.51080
2.1 mile hike park at Dry Gap on VA609/Capon Springs Grade Rd. 39.10961, -78.47809

Eagle Rock has some of the best vistas in the Great North Mountain range. The Tuscarora Trail was re-routed in 2014 to include the Eagle Rock Trail, and now this spectacular hike can be done as either a 7.2 mile out-and-back from US48/55, or as a family friendly 2.1 mile hike from Dry Gap VA609. The longer 7.2 mile version also includes a rolling ridge walk with views of Paddy Gap as well as the gap between Paddy Mountain and Short Mountain. The Eagle Rock Trail and overlook have never received the high traffic found on similar hikes such as Big Schloss just to the south.

The Eagle Rock Trail and a portion of the Tuscarora Trail that was re-routed in 2014 pass through the private property of the Capon Springs Hunt Club. Please respect private property, remain on the trail, and practice Leave No Trace hiking etiquette.

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Hiker Reviews For The Eagle Rock Hike (5 Most Recent)
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By: Daniel F Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 20, 2017
All in all a pretty good hike. The trail is very well-marked and relatively easy for the first 2.5 miles. The steady uphill getting to the outlook in the middle of this hike is a bit more challenging, but still not very difficult. And the overlook in the middle is fantastic. Some of the best views of any hike in the area. Even though the majority of the hike isn't terribly interesting, the overlook makes it worth the trip.

However, a small word of warning - watch out for ticks. I've rarely had so much trouble with ticks as my wife and I had on this hike. Must have pulled nearly 15 off of me. Might be that this is just a bad season, but regardless, I'd advise being cautious with how you dress for this hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 07, 2017
Hiked with my nephew starting from highway 48/55. The trail got quite rocky in places, but also was earthen for long stretches. The forest opened up in places, providing some nice views to the south of the Great North Mountain range. There were clusters of spring wildflowers, along with several species of fern. In places these ferns blanketed the ground.

Eagle Rock was worth the effort, and not just for its sweeping views of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountain ranges. The forest was dominated by Mountain Laurel, Pine, and low growing Blueberry. Where these plants stood along the cliffs, they had clearly been sculpted by the wind and elements. Looked more like a botanical garden than a patch of raw nature.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 16, 2017
Always enjoy this hike, secluded, yet easily accessible, found some trash at parking area, we cleaned it up, was clear and warm, great hike for dogs as well, didn't see a soul

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 19, 2017
I've been sick for the last two weeks, so we needed to keep it short and keep it close to home in Winchester. We decided to explore the VA-WV border of our own county of Frederick (and Hampshire County WV). We have hiked a lot of the Great North Mountain complex, all of it south of route 55/US48 (Shenandoah County VA and Hardy County WV). This was our first foray on the Tuscarora north of 55. I was quite happy with this largely unknown trail with its views of Great North Mountain and Little North Mountain. Because it was snowing and there were low ceilings, we could not see over to the Massanuttens and the Blue Ridge, but I am sure that they are spectacular on a sunny day.

There were a lot of snow drifts, some up to two feet deep, but fortunately, someone had already postholed them and we didn't have to. Wading through snow is a lot like walking in the soft sand at the beach: it takes some effort. Still that effort was handsomely rewarded in the views at the top.

Kudos to PATC for their work on this trail. It could not be any better marked. Each tiny little turn is marked with double Carolina-blue blazes it is not possible to miss the trail, even though there are all kinds of trails crisscrossing in this area as a result of the trail relocation.

I would say that looking at the elevation map here gives a false impression of the climb from VA690 to Eagle Rock. It's a steady climb but it's not nearly as steep as it looks on the map. An easy climb in fact.

The views at Eagle Rock are spectacular and may be second to none in this area. And the bang for the buck is pretty awesome: it's an easy 3.2 miles to the top where the payoff views are incredible. Bottom line: easy walk, quick walk (90 minutes each way), not super popular, spectacular views. I feel like this will become a go-to hike for us when we are short on time and need to stay close to home.

trip report/photos:

Late February
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