There are two options for enjoying the fantastic views and camping on Halfmoon Mountain:
Follow our directions for the two day 10.5 mile backpack or as a long day hike.
Don't have time for the standard route? Park at the Halfmoon Mountain trailhead off VA23/10 Trout Run Road 38.98936, -78.65707. This will make for a shorter 6.5 mile hike up the Halfmoon Mountain Trail to the ridge and intersection of the Halfmoon Mountain Overlook Trail, then to the overlook, and back down the same way.
Mile 0.2 - Continue along the orange Bucktail Trail as it starts to winds around the mountain and gradually ascends to a saddle with intermittent views of the ridge to the west. After the saddle descend towards the run arriving at a footbridge and intersection with the Cacpon Trail.
Mile 4.3 - Turn left uphill on the now narrower purple blazed German Wilson Trail. The trail is 1.0 miles long and becomes increasingly steeper passing through a small gorge before cresting the saddle and ending at the intersection with the white blazed Halfmoon Mountain Overlook Trail.
Mile 5.7 - From the main summit continue to the saddle campsite just beyond, then follow the faint trail another 75 yards to the less know northwesterly vista point with expansive views and large rock outcropping.
Mile 5.8 - From the second overlook pass back through the campsite in the saddle and down the white blazed trail back to the intersection with the German Wilson Trail. From the German Wilson Trail intersection it is 0.4 miles to the intersection with the yellow blazed Halfmoon Mountain Trail. 30 yards before arriving at the intersection there is a large campsite on the left.
Mile 6.2 - Turn right downhill on the yellow blazed German Wilson Trail. There is one large switchback on its descent to a large campsite and intersection with the pink blazed Bucktail Cutoff Trail. There are additional campsites just upstream, and the Halfmoon Mountain Trail veers left here crossing Halfmoon Mountain Run then following a forestry road.
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Topo Hike Map (PDF)
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Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Halfmoon Mountain hike:
Reviews For The Halfmoon Mountain Hike (5 Most Recent)
Wow finally saw the official H1KEUP vehicle after many years (I was the orange Jeep). I almost feel like the solitude should be a 4 because this past Sunday was beautiful, and only 3 cars total were in the parking area at 1030am, and only 2 at 1pm (sorry I'm a little fast...). Extra credit for this hike is to continue south on the Halfmoon Trail to the Tuscarora/Pond Run trail for 1/2 mile, turn R and through the campsite at that intersection to a trail to an overlook looking at Halfmoon Mountain (see Sugar Knob hike). Many of the trails on this loop needs some painting love, the only good blazes I recall was the road portion of the Bucktail Trail.
HikingUpward: Brandon we do remember seeing your car! What an awesome weekend. We were backpacking the circuit Sat/Sun. Would give the solitude a 4, however many people opt for the shorter 6.5 out/back to Halfmoon and park at the Halfmoon trailhead.
Date of Hike: Friday, August 12, 2016
I hiked this again today. There was a lot of downed trees and parts of the trail were very overgrown. With the faded trail markers it was difficult to follow the trail at certain points. I do feel like maybe this should be a little higher difficulty, there is a long rocky uphill section that seems like it never ends. Even with the searching for the trail and the rocky uphill section I managed to finish this in 2 hours and 46 minutes. I was trying to run the whole thing but there were certain parts I was afraid of landing wrong on a rock and rolling my ankle. Definitely worth doing at least once
Date of Hike: Saturday, June 04, 2016
This is always a great hike. That uphill just doesn't quit though! It might work to hike it backward, but it that's your plan I recommend hiking poles to help save your knees on that downhill portion.
Note: when we were there in early June, the section of the hike on the pink trail on the map was heavy with ticks. Pulled dozens of them off our dogs, off ourselves. The only person who didn't get any was someone who treated his clothes with Premetherin ahead of time.
Date of Hike: Friday, April 15, 2016
I really enjoyed this hike. Normally I'm not a fan of walking forest roads but the sections of this hike that were on the forest road were really nice. The view at the top was great and had lots of nice outcroppings to sit on. The trail markers are faded and can be a little hard to see in some spots. Tons of nice camping spots but I did this as a day hike and it took me just under four hours.
Date of Hike: Saturday, February 20, 2016
Second time on this hike (first time was a day hike) and I returned with my husband and dog to make it an easy one night backpacking trip. This is such a great hike with a little of everything. We camped at the summit (there are two campsites) and though it was pretty cold and windy, we were treated to an amazing sunset, bright full moon, and beautiful sunrise from the top. We saw no one on both days, though saw many bike tracks in the mud. The difficulty rating is accurate.