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Sulphur Springs Gap/White Rock Cliff – Woodstock, VA

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
7.0 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
4.5 hours including breaks
1,570 ft
George Washington National Forest
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Park on FR1725 at the first gate. 38.97539, -78.56764

One of the least hiked circuits in the Great North Mountain trail system. This hike passes through Sulphur Springs Gap with small waterfalls and pools then gradually climbs the eastern flank of Paddy Mountain before joining the Tuscarora Trail and hike up to to White Rock Cliff and main Opa Overlook. The descent along the Tuscarora trail is much steeper and you'll be glad to hiked this counterclockwise. Also get views through the trees of the valley below and White Rock Cliff and Tea Mountain.

If you're considering doing this as a backpack there are several great campsites close to the Opa Overlook. The main campsite are has three fire rings and is more of a group site suitable for multiple tents. If this site is taken just a few yards before it on the opposite side of the trail is a small campsite that can accommodate a single tent. And if both of these are occupied there is a larger campsite that will take multiple tens right at the junction of the Tuscarora Trail and the White Rock Cliff Lookout Trail. The only reason the camping doesn't get a top rating of 5 is the overlook and ridge campsites do not have a water source and you will have to carry water in.

Late April
White Rock Cliff - Campsite and Drone Video
Opa Overlook
Sulphur Springs Gap/White Rock Cliff Hike Comments
Archived Comments

By: Ash Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 23, 2019
This hike is very typical of a Lee Ranger District GWNF hike. I had deja vu many times. While I always enjoy being out in the forest, what made the hike for me was the view from White Rocks. As someone who hikes and trail runs pretty frequently I would rate this difficulty a 2 for exertion and a 3 for the technicality of dealing with all of the rocks and roots during the decent. Since I did this hike in late November when all of the leaves were on the ground it is easy to twist an ankle. While I won't do this hike again, I did enjoy my time there.

By: Sean Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 6, 2019
A fine hike. It hadn't rained in a long time so streams were low and there was not much mud. One campsite was in use on White Rock Cliff and other campers were in the parking area. The rockiest part was going down, but it was not bad. I carried a couple of hiking poles but never used them. As another review observes, there is a little overlap of this hike and the White Rocks hike on this site, which I've done and is nice, too. I'd rate this a high 3 or low 4 for difficulty.

By: Emily Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 8, 2019
I did this as an overnight backpack. This was a good hike and I would do it again. I had been to the White Rocks as part of the White Rocks loop on this website, so I knew the payoff was going to be spectacular and it was. This hike seemed to have more elevation gain than that one, but it's also a bit shorter. The first part on the road isn't bad, but it was better once we got into the shaded forest. We only saw one other group of hikers, and only once we got to the overlook. If you continue after the scramble to the first view, there are a number of other pretty rock formations with good views in almost every direction. Camping at the top is pretty great, but it's dry up there so bring plenty of water for the night.

By: Leighann Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
We hiked this in late may. The first part of the trail was very wet but still hikeable.

The views were amazing and the trail was easy going. The elevation gain was very gentle. Effort wise I would give this a 3 for difficulty.

The only reason I wouldnt rate this a 5 star hike was the fact that except for on the Tuscarora trail there were no blazes to be found. The trail maintenance is also lacking and we found ourselves almost bushwacking at times. However the description of the trail turns were very detailed and we didnt lose our way.

5 star views and definitely follow the ridge at the top around to the left.

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