The White Rocks lookout hike is our favorite circuit in the
Great North Mountain area, that offers streams, different fauna,
view from White Rocks
eastward. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Shenandoah
White Rocks is also accessible from the Little
Start (from the lower parking area) by hiking uphill on the forestry service
road (FS) for 0.3 miles where you will reach a closed gate and
additional parking for five vehicles. Pass the closed gate and continue on the orange blazed FS road for 0.25 miles to the intersection of the pink blazed Old Mail Path
on the right.
In 0.2 miles cross Cove Run and continue following the
Old Mail Path as it turns uphill for another 0.9 miles arriving at a wildlife clearing, and the intersection of
the orange blazed Racer Camp Hollow Trail/FS road.
Turn right on the orange blazed Racer Camp Hollow Trail/FS road, passing two more wildlife clearings before the FS road ends, and the Racer Camp Hollow Trail continues into the forest. After entering the forest, the orange blazed trail will gradually descend for 0.4 miles to Racer Camp Hollow Run, and a large campsite.
From the campsite, the trail will head up the valley crossing the run several times before reaching another campsite in 1.6 miles.
From the campsite continue 200 yards to the intersection of the blue blazed Tuscarora Trail and purple blazed Little Sluice Mountain Trail. Turn left uphill on
the blue blazed trail (the immediate blazes you see are the
green deer study markings). After 1.4 miles
arrive at the white blazed White Rocks Lookout Trail that
enters on the right.
Take the white blazed trail for 0.2 miles
where you will pass a high mountain campsite on the right. 0.1 miles past the campsite the trail will climb a steep rock scree. At the top of the scree stay left and continue around the knob to the white rocks lookout. Note: The white blazes on the top of the scree are faded and hard to see. Return 0.3 miles to the blue blazed Tuscarora
Trail to continue the hike.
Turn right on the blue blazed trail for 0.5 miles
before arriving at the intersection of the
Turn left on the pink blazed trail for 1.3 miles
as it descends Little Sluice Mountain before arriving back at a clearing and
blazed Racer Camp Hollow Trail.
Continue downhill through
the clearing, that you ascended earlier, on the pink blazed trail re-crossing the run
back at the yellow blazed forestry service road in another
Turn left on the FS road back to the parking area.
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Reviews For The White Rocks Hike (5 Most Recent)
Great hike (though very muddy so wear the right shoes). This site does a great job of telling you which way to travel (life saver--thanx!) so make sure you where the Old Man Trail meets with the Racer Camp Hollow Trail you follow the orange blazed Racer Camp Hollow trail. This makes a relatively easy undulating hike (though as mentioned, the trail is poorly marked in several locations (and the Blazes are wearing off))so pay attention. If, by mistake (or choice), you take the Old Man Trail all the way, you'll be hiking up a constant, LONG (and at times relatively steep) hill to get you to the "white blazed trail" (where we could never find the mentioned "white blaze", but there is a large firepit/stacked rocks for sitting 10 feet off the trail.) Once you find the firepit/seats) almost immediately across the trail on the main path is the cairn and campfire charcoal on the ground ato mark the beginning of the "white blazed" trail. Follow this to the "end" and the trail where it forks. Right fork allows you to almost immediately see the camp area. If you go left, within a couple hundred yards, there's a rock scramble which takes you to the scenic overlook shown in all the guide books. Bottom line, lots of fun, not too hard, but definitely go "counterclockwise" (vs clockwise) for the circuit, unless you specifically want the really long, continuous uphill rather than rolling terrain. Times on the guide page were also about right. We made the loop in 4 hours (plus 1 hour of stopping for photos, lunch, "soak it all in", etc.) PS. GPS REALLY helps to calculate where you are and when you should come across key features. Taking the counterclockwise loop, we knew the "white blazed overlook" would be at mile X. Sure enough it was, otherwise would've been tough to find (especially since it was mostly hidden behind a bush from the direction we were traveling.) Last note: make sure when you start the trail, and it says "Turn right on the pink blazed Old Mail Path, be careful to follow the pink blazes as the Old Mail Path can be very muddy and obscured in places" that you take the fork to the left around the benches, as the trail to the right will lead you someplace else.
Date of Hike: Saturday, April 06, 2013
We did this circuit as an overnight backpacking trip (4/6-4/7/13). There was 5 of us and most were inexperienced hikers, but everyone managed pretty well. The trail instructions were on point. The weather was 50s during the day and low 40s at night, but the large campfire and natural rock shelter kept us all pretty warm. I have done many hikes on HU and feel like the difficulty on this hike should be a 4 due to the prolonged inclines on the first half of the hike. My two negative remarks: all the people camping at White Rocks and the lack of water toward the top. Literally, a group tried to setup camp 10 yards from our camp which wasn't cool, but they eventually realized a hammock on the edge of the cliff with 30 mph winds and temps in the 40s wasn't the smartest place to set up camp. Overall, we had a great time on this hike. I just wished there wasn't so many people.
Date of Hike: Friday, April 05, 2013
I liked this hike but it didn't have the views I really wanted. Very little to no traffic on the trail which was nice. The trail is POORLY blazed and it is easy to miss the trail head all together. They have added 2 benches and a billboard at the trailhead with 2 posts in the ground off to the right side which can be misleading to some because it looks like the start of the trail. But the trail is actually off to the left of the benches not the right. Its an easy hike up to the summit. Seems to be a decent amount of choices for ground-dweller's sites. If you're a hammock camper, you will enjoy this hike for camping a lot. Doesn't have the greatest views but it's pretty quiet.
Date of Hike: Friday, November 09, 2012
This was a very fine hike warm, sunny weather, little, if any, undergrowth, many stream sightings, and wonderful views across the mountains and valleys! I especially appreciated the usually gently altitude increases there was not the steep ascents like found on, say, The Roller Coaster of the AT or even parts of Signal Knob. This day was special because of the snow left over from last week's storm. As the beginning of the trail it was shirt-sleeve weather, but once we got up into the ravine where the wind had blown in so much snow I needed to put on my coat. There was still about 3" of snow on the southern end of the trip. Once we got atop the ridge of the Tuscarora the sun warmed us up and the coats came off. There is alot of debris on the trail, especiall on the racer Hollow Trail as it goes through the woods.
This is a super trip for the scenery in the woods, streams and looking out across the world. This is not a sidewalk type path there are rocks and mud and logs and uneven trail. This is one of those places many hikers will overlook don't you miss it.
the guy was right it is a little confusing at the start as to which path to take: go to the left of the bench as you face the bench the path is to the right of the road and the left of the bench. You will find a blaze about 75 yds. down the trail.
Date of Hike: Friday, October 12, 2012
Went for a 3 day/2 night hike in the area of White Rocks.
Once you get off the fire road and see the little bench area with the "you are here" sign, go to the left of the sign into the gap of conifers. You will not see a pink blaze for 50-80 yards. If you go to the right of the sign you will see a pink blaze or two immediately and then be lost in trying to find a trail. We went right and started off on the wrong foot. This gave us the oppurtunity to bushwhack and find an interesting place to camp the first night, though not one of the nice campsites that we expected.
We bushwhacked most of the morning until we met up with the trail again and instead of going to White Rocks, we hiked west up to Sugar Knob. We camped at one of the sites with a nice firepit near the cabin for the second night. The next day we took the Tuscarora Trail all the way back to the forest road. On our way we saw some very nice, large and sheltered campsites with massive fire pits.
All and all a good hike. I took 1 star off because the pink blazes were misleading. I enjoyed bushwhacking, but some people get discouraged quickly (SS).