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Hiker Reviews for the Laurel Run Hike - 1 to 31 of 31   
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By: Jakob Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, January 3, 2018
This was a fantastic hike! I have hiked most trails in this area (Tibbett knob, Little/Big Schloss) and I can say this is probably my favorite. It's not too difficult, so amateur hikers do not need to worry. It's definitely a workout, but it's very doable. First of all, driving to the gates can be intimidating due to the abundant "No Trespassing" signs, but just ignore them. You get onto National Forest land soon enough. Luckily, the first gate was unlocked at the time of my hike. There was a handmade sign saying "Warning: traps ahead" right when I got onto the yellow blazed trail. As I am not an expert trapper, I didn't know what to look for. After a mile of carefully placing my steps, I came to the quite obvious trap: a tepee structure with some fur suspended by a stick above it!

The white blazed overlook trail isn't much of a trail at all, so I can see why some have missed it. It's really just a 20 foot long narrow pathway on your left that goes toward a small rock formation. The overlook had one of the best views in the county and was a perfect place to eat lunch. I hiked in winter, so I had no foliage to worry about. I can see how some that hiked in other seasons had an obstructed view. All turns were very obvious, so it was hard to get lost. Just remember yellow-orange-purple-blue and you'll be fine. I saw absolutely no one on the trail, and barely any wildlife save for a few birds. Absolute solitude and silence.

This hike is definitely a 5, just try to go in winter!

Sidenote: On one of the pictures, there is a label pointing to Massanutten ski area. This is actually Bryce resort Massanutten is much further south, past Harrisonburg.

By: Alex Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, September 4, 2017
Overall the hike was fine. It's in the national forest, so it's not a maintained trail. It's nice in that you'll see few other hikers and there are some pretty parts to the hike. But, I'll reiterate what others have said and tell you this does not have panoramic views. In fact, the off-trail views are few, far between, and unimpressive. I'd look elsewhere if you're looking to get up high and get some nice views of the surrounding countryside.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 14, 2017
This was a hike that I really enjoyed, despite not paying attention and making a wrong turn while jibber-jabbering with my wife, a slight 3-mile oops. Solitude: only us. Views: up top, quite enjoyable views of Great North Mountain to the south and Devil's Hole Mountain to the east. Best hiked when no leaves on the trees. Varied Habitats: wet woodlands, open wildlife management areas, dry upland woods, ridge walk, grassy bald up top, all very interesting. Difficulty: It wasn't. Cons: a considerable road walk in and out.

Photos and trip report: https://mangiabeve.blogspot.com/2017/05/laurel-run-orkney-springs-va.html

By: Todd H Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 29, 2015
Overall a pretty blah hike. Definitely doesn't rate the "5" it has for views. You will spend 98% of the hike looking at foliage. First opportunity for an actual view was at Will's Point overlook. Great views from there to the east...to include several logged areas...and to the south/south west. No opportunity to see anything to the west even though you're on top of the ridge line- just way too much foliage. A few more overlooks along the ridge line but the same views as Will's Point. If you're considering doing this hike, do it when the leaves are fallen, then you can probably see a lot more, but I would not recommend this hike when there are so many better options.

By: Lynn Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 23, 2015
I hiked it with a group of 7 other casual hikers. It was a great day - 75 and sunny. The mountain laurel just started to bloom and there were Pink Lady Slippers everywhere - a treat we didn't expect. A well maintained trail, the ascent was long and didn't allow you to take in the nature as you watched your footing. The pond was full of tadpoles and made a nice first stop. We enjoyed the ridgeline views even though we missed the white trail to Will's Overlook. We stopped again at the start of the Stacked Rocks before the descent. Overall, a great hike. We finished in 5.5 hours.

By: Jess Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, October 9, 2014
This hike, overall, was beautiful. The foliage was just beginning to change and it was a crisp, cool day. However, be warned the trail is very rocky and with the leaves all over the trail its hard to see what you're stepping on. Also, I completely missed the "side trail" to the outlook so keep a sharp eye out for the white blaze once you hit North Mountain Trail. However, once you do hit North Mountain Trail, it's vista after vista and quite a view. The mountain meadows are also gorgeous. The directions are dead on when they warn that the decent is steep, as well as rocky (I rolled my ankle twice in good hiking boots). However, on our way down we saw a bald eagle which I havent seen in about two years now so that was a great treat. Read more about my experience here: http://appalachianhikinglove.blogspot.com/2014/10/hiking-laurel-run.html

By: Manabouttown Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 20, 2014
Hiked the ridgeline portion of this hike this weekend as an overnight out and back with my daughter (4 1/2 years old).  We parked on 691 just up from the trail and hiked to just shy of the stacked rocks trail.  Found a nice campsite just off the trail (there were a few better closer to 691) and pitched our tent.  The views were great breaks for my little one, but would have been amazing all along the trail once the leaves are down off of the trees.  As for solitude, we saw one group of four traveling counter clockwise just after we started, but no one else wandered by all night or the next day.  It took us hours to go the few miles across the top, but again, the little one is only four, but she had a good time.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 7, 2014
This is the second time I've done this hike and both were great (though a month ago there were zero ticks!). First time I went counterclockwise as suggested, and this time I went clockwise. I prefer clockwise, as the workout is better at the beginning. The gate was open both times, so that cut off a mile hiking in. First time, I saw no other hikers and the second I saw two, so if you're looking for solitude and a few BEAUTIFUL views from the top, do this hike. It's one of many great ones in the area (Halfmoon Mountain and Little Schloss are two others). Saw a few ruffed grouse with their chicks - so cute. :) And a month ago, the purple blazed trail was lined with lady slippers. I preferred it in late April compared to now, but it's still a great, nicely maintained trail. The campsite next to the pond on the yellow trail would be a peaceful place to stay a night, but maybe in cooler weather (the bugs are awful, as they are now everywhere!).

By: Steve Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 3, 2014
Did this on a perfect day for a hike... ~72 degrees, sunny, slight breeze.  Unless you just want a bit of extra (gravel) mileage, I suggest driving to the 2nd parking spot, if the gate is open.  You're walking .9 miles back on the road to begin with.  Not a ton to see on the way up, so when you do get to an opening, stop and look around and grab a breather.  Once you get to the top where it levels off a bit, there is a rocky outcrop on the right, maybe 50 yds off the trail that you may be tempted to check out.  Don't bother going over there, there isn't really much of a view.  Wait until the two stacked rock pillars on the left, take the path out to the overlook for the best view of the hike, and a great spot for lunch.  The only problem is that if there are multiple groups converging there at once, there's not much space out there.  Luckily the couple we came across had a dog, and didn't attempt to take him all the way out there.  The bugs at the top, especially in the open areas were bad, so I'd imagine they'd be worse in the height of summer.  My knees were definitely feeling it on the way back down.  Overall...a good workout, great view for lunch, and a nice non-crowded hike. (only saw that couple w/ the dog, and a group of 4 campers that were going the opposite way.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 29, 2013
This was a really nice hike! The Laurel Run trail leading up is absolutely beautiful, and the views along the North Mountain Trail are fantastic. There weren't too many other hikers, I only ran into one fellow on the way up, and a nice couple with their dogs caught up with me along the ridge, but otherwise good for solitude.  There isn't enough parking to support many more people than that anyway. Here's some of the mountain laurel that was everywhere along the hike: http://i.imgur.com/faN6wxp.jpg I was also really happy about the abundance of ferns on this trail.

My one caveat would be that once you start along the North Mountain Trail the grass is tall and covers the trail, so you really can't avoid it brushing your legs, so this is definitely a trail to wear pants or gaiters on, and tick repellent is a must.  Other than that, this was an absolutely great hike!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Although I had a tricky time at first finding the trailhead (I blame my car GPS, it was easily found once I turned my handheld on) this is probably one of my favorite hikes in GWNF so far. Such a variety of terrain and plantlife! I ran into a little bit of trouble on Stack Rocks Trail due to the dearth of blazes and the overgrowth of grasses making the trail super faint, but otherwise a great hike.

By: mtnjohn Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, June 13, 2013
great area and a very nice hike ...lots of decent views and a little pond teeming with frogs, small fish and red spotted newts(a nice campsite too)

i would do this one again

 Tip:  if you park on Judge Rye Road state rt 691 you dont have to worry about hiking an extra mile of forest road which is much better imho ...plus it's an awesome little drive

mj

By: Donn Ahearn Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 23, 2012
If you like exercise, companionship, superduper views, calorie burning, and all the civiilized reasons to go for a walk, go to Big Schloss (pop. 23,000 or so depending on day).  The city fathers there will be happy to hand you the key.

If you want views, beautiful mountain country, and solitude, come here.  (And don't bring your zip code with you.)

The trailhead is harder to get to.  You will doubt yourself and the directions more than once.  You may have to do a two-mile road walk you didn't plan for.  You WILL do some roadwalking.  You will pass clearcuts growing back.  The climb on the Laurel Run Trail is on one of the least pleasing treadways you will walk.  So do yourself a favor on the way up stop at the clearings and look around a bit. 

I would pick this one over Big Schloss any day.  On a beautiful (!) Saturday in June, I had seen my last of eight people (solo duo party of five) by the time I hit the first view on North Mountain.  North Mountain has a feel of high and remote all the way, even if you aren't at that moment seeing one of the excellent views.  Bald Ridge in the Ramseys Draft Wilderness is the only other ridge walk that has made me feel exactly that way.

It was great to look over at Tibbets Knob and the Schloss and not be able to see the throngs there.  They are actually nicer from a distance, particularly if the "distance" you are looking from is here.


By: Rachel H Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
This was an enjoyable hike, but not one that I'll be likely to rave about  I really only came out to Laurel Run because the access road to Big Schloss (my original intention) was closed and this was close by. I did have to hike the extra mile out and back on this hike because the gate was down, but the walk was pretty and I wanted more mileage anyway, so it wasn't a problem. The big disappointment here was that after the 2-mile slog up to the ridge from the trailhead, there weren't any decent views looking west, even given winter's bare treelimbs. I believed that West Virginia lay over there to my right, but I just couldn't find any proof of it.

Along the ridge there were some patches of snow, sometimes a few inches deep, but these disappeared completely once I started the quick descent back to 252. I tried following one of the wagon trails across from the bottom of the Stack Rocks Trail to cut off the last corner, but it petered out in a big meadow and I bushwhacked down to a creek instead, only moderately successful in the end.

By: Hokie Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 18, 2011
The ATC and Forestry Service are currently working on the trail, clearing debris and making it better- so when we hiked the trail the hill going up was a little rough here and there as it was sometimes soft where the trucks and equipment (bobcats etc) had been working. After the first hill, there are plenty of spots once to catch a view and spend some time staring out into the valley and looking at the rolling mountains.

The one thing I will mention- I did not find Wil's Point overlook- if it is a formal one there is no sign for it- but do not worry about it- there are plenty of great views out there!

By: Jason Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 20, 2010
Decent hike, but there are better in the area.  First 2 miles were pretty strenuous, definitely a good work out.  Views along the ridge are nice.  The descent can be dangerous, as it was covered with leaves.  Took us 4 hours with a 30 minute lunch (gate was open).

Hike was a little crowded due to a boyscout retreat, but other than that there were only a few other hikers.

All in all, I'd recommend, but only after you've tried some of the other hikes in the area first.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 18, 2010
First gate was open that saved 1 mile. First 2 miles is steadily up very rocky trail. Lack of views on Stack Rock trail (could not find). We are 60 and it took us 5 hours including lunch.

By: KML Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 3, 2010
What we liked:  The views, the clear directions provided by HikingUpward for following the trail, and the workout.  My wife, her dog (toy/miniature poodle), and I had a great time, saw a deer, heard a turkey, and startled a hawk.  The views were very nice.  The walk along the top ridge is particularly pleasant.  Each woodland walk between knolls seems a little unique.  In one the floor is shrouded in ferns, another has wildflowers and blackberries.  The ridgetop hike was quite enjoyable.  Another favorite thing:  The only other people we saw once turning off Wolf Gap road were a group in an SUV driving by where (gravel) state road 691 intersects with the trail.

What we didn't:  The directions for getting there provided by Google were not perfect, at least, not with me at the helm.  There are several miles of gravel road to get to the "parking area" at the first gate (it was locked).  There is no parking area.  There is a road, a private drive with a gate, a rocked off private drive, and lots of "No Trespassing" signs.  We parked in the rocked off driveway, assuming everything would be fine.  It was.  If multiple cars needed to park, the side of the road would constitute the "parking area".

Other things:  Because we had to park at the first gate, this was an eight mile hike.  The first 1.1 miles is along a very well maintained gravel road.  As other commenters have noted, I am not sure why the gate was locked, but the 1.1 miles is almost flat and certainly easy.  The hike up to the ridge is a good workout.  It is not too onerous, but did take us nearly three hours to cover the 3.5 miles.  We stopped for photos, snacks, and water (for the dog) along the way, so it could certainly be done more quickly.  The hike down from the ridge is quite steep.  It is steep enough that it is hard not to jog.  Even in July, dead leaves cover loose rocks, so be careful going down.  A twisted ankle is a real possibility if you aren't careful.

Last thing:  I would not have recommended it for kids.  I see other hikers have taken kids as young as 8.  I would only do that if you are fairly experienced and you know your child is up to a pretty tough workout.  The 8 mile round trip took us about 6 hours, with a stop for lunch, and most of that time is spent on a rigorous ascent or steep descent.

I do recommend the hike, but if, like me, you are somewhat new to hiking this area, don't expect a clearly marked "parking area".  And be aware that the trail head is down several gravel roads, not all of which (FR 252, for instance) are clearly marked.

By: Gators Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 29, 2010
Laurel Run is a very nice hike, made better by the lack of foot traffic and excellent views. The gate was open allowing us to park at the trail head, though this may have been unique for the Memorial Day weekend. Other than some campers at sites off of Farm Road 252 coming towards the trail head, we saw one car at the start of the route and no one on the mountain. The trail is very clearly marked, though you need to be on the look out for the scenic overlooks. It is fairly obvious where they are going to be, and the better of the overlooks is marked with a clear trail on your left of about 20 yards to a nice rocky promontory. We completed the 6.5 miles or so at a leisurely pace of about 3 hours. My guess is this would be fine for children. The initial mile or so on the yellow hash portion of the route is a bit rigorous, but once you make the left onto the orange-hashed part of the trail, the walk if quite scenic and takes you through a range of nice, unique sections of forest. With some more hikes under our belt for comparison, we might bump this up to a four star rating.

By: Ben and Grace Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 7, 2009

On the way there, it's important to note that Wolf Gap road veers to the right after a couple of miles (there is a sign, but for some reason we missed it).  Also, from Sam Clark Road/State Route 789,  State Route 691 goes two directions.  You can either make a sharp right uphill or you can continue to go straight.  The correct route to get to the trail is to follow 691 straight.  Do not turn right at the sign, do not go up the hill.  Do not pass "Go" and collect $200.

Other than getting there, the hike was gorgeous!  It was a perfect day and although the leaves had all fallen, it was still a breathtaking sight at Wil's Point Overlook.  We thoroughly enjoyed being out in the fresh air.

We did not see any wildlife other than some hawks, and small birds.  We also found one tick after the hike. 


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, July 8, 2009
My family enjoyed the hike very much.  We hiked it backwards, and this was no problem since the trail marks on the trees are clear on both sides of most trees.  I think the ascent was a little bit steeper our way, but there's not much difference. You can hike it in either direction using the instructions provided here. Be cautious about the loose, rocky parts of the trail. Most of the way is solid footing, but some parts are rough.

Blueberry and blackberry bushes were growing along much of the trail and my wife kept busy identifying the flora. We didn't see any bears, but we saw certain signs of them. We also started an owl up near the top.
The little side trail near the highest point supposedly leads to a specially good prospect. It is marked by a small cairn of rocks but was overgrown and hard to get to. We thought there were other points along the trail that provided equally good views of the valley. My favorite part of any mountain hike is the fresh, clear air you get when you are up above everything. This hike provided that along much of the top ridge.

Overall a very nice day hike.

By: Southern Preacher Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hiked this trail this past weekend with the wife and eight-year old son. The road gate was locked, which meant we had to hike the first mile or so up the road. Somebody had painted over the ROAD CLOSED sign the following: Why is this road always closed? I have to admit that I wondered why as well. The road seemed to be in great shape. I'm not sure why it's closed. The views from the ridge were, of course, spectacular. When we returned back to the main road we turned right and headed further up the road for about a half mile or so. There are a couple of small meadows on the left that were filled with wildflowers. On the way down the road we saw a small bear on the left side of the road. I managed to snap one photograph of it before it saw us and booked it up the mountain. Overall, I enjoyed the hike to the ridge. However, I would have enjoyed it much more if we had been able to drive up the road to the trail head and spend more time hiking along the ridge. Although there were two cars parked down below, we didn't see a soul during hike. Very quite and very peaceful.


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 26, 2008
Great workout going up to the ridge line. The views along the ridge are absolutely spectacular I still use an SLR with film, and I shot 2 rolls. The Purple Trail descending is well maintained, but the switchbacks are a challenge to the knees. Went on a beautiful fall day. Couldn't ask for more. A little hard to find the trail head, but worth the adventure.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 19, 2008
Let's see, let's do it chronologically:

First, if you have a car with clearance lower than my 06 Civic, be cautious shortly after passing the forest gate at the first parking area - there's a dip that barely brushed my underbody. After that though, no worries, it's a nice road that's in better condition than the road to Mount Pleasant I did last weekend.

It was definitely a good climb, and the overlook gave some good eastward views. If only half of you wants to linger there, don't worry, there are more views to be had along the ridge. The only bad thing about this hike is that all the views are eastward, no westward views.

Right after the first good turn on the purple trail, you should see a good viewpoint right off the trail. Don't miss it! You can photograph Big Schloss, Tibbet Knob, and Signal Knob in the same photo! In fact, you can see fainter mountains further to the northeast than Signal Knob, and according to my google map calculation, those mountains are in the vicinity of Sky Meadows, over 40 miles away! One other thing you can view from there is the Bryce Mountain ski resort.

Saw/heard a variety of animals as they prepare for the season of white.

The only campsites I remember seeing are those that are near the road you took to get there. Not sure why this is rated as a 4.

Recommended.

By: Soloban Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 15, 2008
This was good hike.  The hike up the mountain on the yellow trail isn't too steep but good enough to give you a workout on climb up.  On the map it appears that when you come up to the Y where the blue and yellow trails meet that you will go straight to stay on the yellow.  In actuality, staying straight will put you on the blue trail, you'll turn 45 deg to the right to stay on the yellow and head up the mountain.

Be sure to bring plenty of water if you are staying the night (~1 gal).  You will cross a stream a few times going up the yellow trail but you wont see water again until you are back down on the blue trail nearly back to the parking area. 

The view on top of the orange trail was great you could see for miles into VA and WV.  There are 2 or 3 campsites on top of the ridge.  They will be fairly obvious when you come upon them.

Be vary careful going back down the purple trail.  Its no joke!  When we hiked down there were plenty of leaves, fallen trees and loose rocks on the trail, that when combined with the steep grade that make for good ankle twisters. (My banged up elbow still hurts a week later from a slip ).

The streams in the area are cold and clean, they are quite refreshing after pumping it through your filter.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 3, 2007
This was a great hike.  The weather was cold and snow covered the ground.  Definitely wakes you up in the early morning.  The views were beautiful. We saw fresh tracks which we believe to be Coyote tracks on the ridgeline.   The downward hike on the purple trail was steep.  The trail description and directions were accurate.  Love this website .  Plan on hiking this one again.

By: Joel Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 3, 2005
Quite a workout going up! A solid hour and a half trudge. Going down is steep, so be careful for the sake of your knees and ankles. There was only one other family on the trail today, and this is the Sunday of the big three-day July 4 weekend (tomorrow is a day off). I was surprised that there was essentially no one else on the trail today. The trail was overgrown and grassy... not what I was expecting. Very few people seem to walk this trail. Because it was grassy, I'd recommend jeans rather than shorts even in hot weather (avoid possibility of ticks and chiggers and avoid getting scratched by brush going down). Found this website to be excellent in giving directions to the trailhead and describing the trail, its turning points and its elevations. Print it all out, including the pictures of the trail junctions. Took almost exactly 2 hrs to drive from Arlington, Virginia, to the starting point... first gate was closed, so started there; that added 1.1 miles in each direction. Took 5 hrs 30 mins to walk the entire trail, including stop for lunch and various photography stops. Didn't see much wildlife on the trail, but on the ride back toward the end of the day saw a family of deer and an enormous wild turkey (seemed enormous when I slammed on the brakes -- careful on the road). Still a fair number of wildflowers on the trail even though it's mid-July.

By: Mike & Nina Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 22, 2005
Admittedly, this was our first hike in the mid-Atlantic region, but I'm fairly certain the five-star rating will hold true after we experience other hikes in the area. For starters, it seems to be a rather unpopular route- we had the trail entirely to ourselves (on a 70+ degree, sunny spring day no less!). The only other people we saw were two horseback riders and a jogger on the FS road that leads to the trailhead. The hike itself is very pleasant, the only sweat-breaking part being the first two miles that lead gradually uphill. We are by no means exceptionally fit, so for a seasoned hiker the difficulty rating on this could probably be lowered to a 2. And with the gate currently open, the reduced length of the trail also makes me think the difficulty rating could be dropped a bit. While the previous post alluded to wildflowers, we didn't see that many. In fact, the wildflower displays on the median of I-66 and I-81 were more impressive. However, on the trail we did see some Pink Lady's Slipper, a few blooms of Pink Azalea (quite pretty), and several areas scattered with small yellow flowers (not sure what they were). Patches of rhododendron and laurel can be found alongside all of the trails, particularly the lower and middle portions of the yellow and purple trails. The flowers were just beginning to bud, so the lower portions might start to pop in 1-2 weeks, with exceptional displays at all altitudes in perhaps 3 weeks. I’m no botanist, however, so the full bloom might occur sooner/later. But whenever it happens, it sure will be beautiful…there are just heaps of these plants along the hike. As far as wildlife is concerned, we saw only typical birds in the woods, as well as the above-mentioned vultures. Despite being seen as ugly by some, watching these birds soar from the rocky outcrops that dominate the ridge can be impressive. They have large wingspans and are masters of riding the warm updrafts that push up against the mountains. The outcrop off of the short, white-blazed trail provides great views and a chance to watch these, and perhaps other soaring birds at work. There are several other vantage points along the orange trail- a few prior to the white trail, and several more after the main lookout as the orange trail continues along the ridge. Any of the vistas are worth the effort it takes to reach them, and they would be particularly rewarding in the fall. All provide good spots for a bite to eat and rest, though the ‘main’ outcrop off of the white trail has the best view and is a great photo spot.

By: Jeff with Troop 1352 Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 9, 2005
Our troop is going to Philmont New Mexico this summer to do a 61 mile trek. With 30 to 45 pound packs we hiked Laurel Run this past weekend. What a great spring hike with ten mile views. The troop had a great time as we camped and cooked out at the end of the hike. One of the boys with his GPS found the hiking stick. You can go to www.troop1352.org to see the pictures of this hike.

By: guest Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 24, 2004
Did the Laurel Run Hike on Saturday 7-24-04, excellent day in the mountains, blue skys and clear, even though NOVA was overcast. Was a great hike, with some potential for bouldering along the Oranged blazed ridge line trail. Saw no one that day on the trail. And the blueberries where ripe and ready for eating. Thanks for setting up this awesome website.

By: MRHyker Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, May 14, 2002
****. There's not enough stars in the rating field for this one. This is the best little hike on the Great North Mountain. I prefer to hike it just before the lower Laurel Run gate is locked, usually early May. This hike has something for everyone. Want a workout? OK, climb about 1500 feet over the first 2 miles of the hike. Like flowers? At this time of the year Laurel Run Trail is lined with Dwarf Flags, Bluets and Rue Anemone. North Mountain trail offers Wood Anemone growing in the rock edges and extremely sweet smelling black cherry when in bloom. The descent on Stack Rocks first offers clumps of fragrant, white Early Saxaphrage at the higher elevations and about halfway down the mountain find hundreds of Pink Lady Slippers dispersed throughout the understory. June and July bring out the Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel, both white and pink. Want some views? There is a nice view at the end of a white blazed spur trail off of North Mt Trail but I think the best views are from a rocky saddle further south on the ridge. On a clear day you can see the tip of Big Schloss and Massanutten Mountain further east. Wildlife ... Seen a deer or 2, some vultures but this is the first place I've ever seen a wild turkey up close. If you're quite while walking back to your car on the Laurel Run Connector Forest Road one may walk or fly right in front of you. Check the trees along the road. They like to roost there. This is definitely a bring the camera hike!

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