Cacapon Resort State Park is a beautiful area of over 6,000 acres. There is something for everyone here. A virtual labyrinth of over 20 miles of hiking trails, a trap shooting range, horseback riding, swimming and boating, as well as fishing in the large lake and reservoir. The park also has accommodations of 24 cabins and a main inn for weekend getaways.
With 20 miles of interconnecting trails, from the easy nature walks, to the longer circuits that climb to the ridge on Cacapon Mountain, there are trails for every level of hiker. The circuit we describe makes use of the longer perimeter trails, and passes several good views of the valley.
From the lodge, walk back to the stop sign crossing the main road towards the cabins. The trailhead is located between cabins 21 and 22. Shortly after starting up the trail come to the first trail junction with the white blazed Cabin Loop Trail directly ahead. Turn right on the green blazed Laurel Trail, then in 150 yards pass the opposite end of the white blazed Cabin Loop Trail.
Continue straight on the green blazed Laurel Trail where it becomes steeper, before passing the red blazed central trail, and view of the reservoir on the right in 0.2 miles. Continue on the Laurel Trail for another 0.2 miles to the junction of the red blazed Central Trail at a small saddle.
Turn left downhill on the Central Trail then cross a park road in 0.1 miles. The red blazed trail continues on the opposite side of the road where it passes behind a group of cabins. After passing the cabins the trail climbs a small ridge before passing through an immature forest, then slightly descends and arrives at the Ziler Loop Trail intersection in 1.0 miles.
Turn right uphill on the red/blue blazed Ziler Loop Central Trail and come to the next intersection in 0.1 miles. At this intersection the combined Ziler Loop Central Trail turns right. Stay straight uphill on the blue blazed Ziler Loop Trail. The blue blazed trail has a steep grade with no switchbacks, leveling off only two times before arriving at the ridge and intersection of the Ziler Trail in 1.5 miles.
There is also a bench at the ridge and trail junction. Continue along the ridge on the Ziler Loop Trail passing an old shelter on the left before the Ziler Loop Trail begins to descend the mountain. The trail will make several switchbacks then pass through a hollow in 1.0 miles. Just after the hollow, the Ziler Loop Central Trail turns right. Continue straight on the now red blazed Central Trail and shortly cross a gravel park road.
The Central Trail continues on the other side of the road passing through an immature forest, then descends before crossing the next park road in another 0.5 miles. Follow the red blazed trail as it passes along the left of North Fork Run, just before crossing at the reservoir. The red blazed Central Trail will climb and reach the Laurel Trail in 0.2 miles. Turn left down the Laurel Trail passing the Cabin Loop Trail, and arriving back to the trailhead between cabins 21 and 22.
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Reviews For The Cacapon Resort State Park Hike (5 Most Recent)
Like the first reviewer I didn't follow the hike as laid out. I started in the parking lot by the lodge and took the trail head as guided. However, when I made it to the intersection along the lake (Central trail), instead of going right I went straight and took the Ziler trail up to the top of Cacapon to increase the difficulty. I then followed the rest of the route as laid out. The hike was nice and I saw a good amount of wildlife on the second leg. The woods were beautiful and I had a great time.
Date of Hike: Saturday, July 11, 2009
Without a doubt, these are the MOST beautiful woods I have ever hiked. We (my dog and I) hiked a variation of the hike mentioned here. We were dropped off at the top of Cacapon mountain (the overlook). We hiked down the fire road to the bench mentioned in this hike and then down the mountain to the lake. The decent was steep in places, but always manageable. The path around the far side of the lake actually proved to be the most difficut on the day we hiked. The flat part right near the lake was under water at the beginning. The dog swam while I walked in the mud/muck. We were about half way when we met up with a timber rattlesnake. I had to coak my golden retreiever up on the steep bank and around the snake, over several large downed trees (they were almost too tall for him and I did a lot of encourageing) and finally to the dam and back to our ride on the other side of the lake.
Date of Hike: Monday, August 12, 1912
I plan to follow the trail as it laid out on my next visit (soon). I really like this resort's hiking trails. On this visit, I wanted to get a feel for what the trails were all about.
I was intrigued by the Laurel Trail and so I explored it first. It was fairly easy trail but very nice. At one of the park benches, I measured the sound using the Smart Tools App on my Motorola cell phone. It was 37 dbls. A couple of weeks ago, I recorded 38 dbls at the top of the Old George Washington Monument on the Appalachian Trail. The lowest I have ever measured on the instrument is 37 dbls and that was wrapping the instrument in all kinds of sound insulating material. In other words this spot on the Laurel Trail is very quiet. It was about 10:00 AM.
Afterwards, I retraced Laurel Trail to the intersection of the Laurel Trail and the Ziler Loop and Central Trail and followed it back to the Lodge parking area.
Solitiude: I hiked from 0908 hrs to 1135 hrs before seeing the first person on the trail .It was a couple headed up the Central Trail to Piney Ridge. I've not encountered so much solitude before.
Stats: 5.5 miles, 1,434 ft gain, 2.83 hrs. Good Exercise.
Maps: Get a good copy of the map at the lodge before heading up the trail. It's the same map that you print out from this web site, but the topo lines don't come through very well.
Map comment 2: It would be nice if they could color code the trails on the maps to match the signs along the trails.
Signs on the trails: good
Don't forget lunch at the Lodge. It was $ 12.99, including coffee for a great lunch buffet. Great way to end a nice hike!
Personal Hike experience so far in 2012, about 80 miles