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Hiker Reviews for the Morgan Run Hike - 1 to 15 of 15   
Review the Morgan Run hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: JR Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 6, 2016
A great fall weather hike did it for the first time and really enjoyed it. We would not rate as a LVL '3' hike would rate a bit higher considering the challenge of the downward rock-bound climbs. Great variety of terrain- including the rock sections, and not very crowded. Would recommend doing the hike in dryer conditions, as even with the lack of rain that we have had for a while, there were still some moist areas that we would imagine would be swampy in damp conditions. We were able to take the dog, but- again be ready to control the beast over the rocky sections. We will definitely do it again. Rating a bit lower, as some trail maintenance is probably needed on the upper part of Morgan Run and some areas of Fridley.

By: Suzanne M. Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, March 30, 2016
So first of all, "props" to the person who blogged earlier about this and said it was "easy".... ummm not so easy. There was a predominant theme of the day: rocks, and more rocks. Even the "gradual decent down" was full of rocky footing. There was one spot with great views, the swimming hole area was lovely and we did manage to finish in 5 hours. The "rocky area" in the final mile was rather tricky to navigate, and possibly trickier b/c we had two pups with us. The footing was quite technical at times, sure seemed more like a 4 rating than a 3. Glad to have conquered Morgan's run! Challenging and fun day over all.

By: THD Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 9, 2015
I did this hike with my husband and our dog and completed it in one day. I am ranking this as a two stars because it wasn't close at all to my expectations. Perhaps if it was ranked (maybe a 4?) and described differently, I would give it a better ranking because it was do-able. So read on below and maybe its the hike for you! The accents and descents were fine for us. Despite being a little boring, starting on the forest road wasn't a big deal since I much prefer circuit hikes. The Martin Bottom and Fridley's Gap trail sections were fine too. I'd like to come back to the swimming hole when its warmer out. And I'd likely try out another route to get there. The swimming hole was a good spot to eat our lunches. The rest of the hike was very wet, soggy, and technical. The South Trail had water flowing across and in/with it many times, and most of it was just soggy where your foot sank an inch with every step, and if it wasn't wet the trail itself had lots of cobbles that made walking not that great. The Morgan Run Trail starts a little narrow, but it wasn't bad this time of year. I don't think we'd been able to walk it very well later in the season with growth extending into the trail. Then we moved into very wet sections of the trail, where it was pretty swampy under water in multiple sections. Thankfully, someone had placed sections of logs down perpendicular to the trail for people to walk across and I would consider this too technical to be ranked a "3". It appears that the Morgan Run trail had experienced severe flooding at some point. The last mile or so became difficult to find/ follow the trail. We were stopping frequently to look around for yellow blazes. At one point there was a yellow blaze on the opposite bank, but I could see it continue a few hundred feet down on my side and it looked more difficult to cross the stream than it was to just follow the same side of the stream. This section is also technical with the constant rock scrambles and the multiple river crossings. Hard on the knees. The small waterfalls were pretty. However, I wouldn't hike this route again.

By: moondrunk Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, July 4, 2014
The swimming hole was great, and the last section of the hike on the Morgan Run Trail was quite pretty and enjoyable (though be forewarned: it is a river of large rocks for most of the way, and extremely swampy wherever it wasn't rocky). The rest of the hike was pretty unremarkable, and the South Trail was extremely overgrown, with no redeeming features. While the trail is still easily discernible (seems to be an old logging road), a machete would not have been unwelcome. This part of the hike was just a long slog that felt like it would never end.  I would probably not do this hike again, though I would consider trying the Fridley Gap hike, as the swimming hole is definitely worth a re-visit.

By: Bill Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Made this an overnight backpacking trip. Recent controlled burn activity in the area (from early May) affects parts of this hike now. Still easily passable but fire damage is highly noticeable and distracting in sections. The hiking and camping are first rate though. The first ascent is a little strenuous but not long. Camping near the intersection of the South Trail was great. The sound of waterfalls is the best kind of white noise! Overall a nice hike - except for the signs of fire.

By: Mike Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 23, 2013
We hiked this route as described over two days. Overall a great hike! Three miles down the road was a bit of a boring start, but the climb over the ridgeline and dropping down into the valley below made up for it. We camped just beyond the confluence of the two creeks (50 yards south). There was ample room for two tents without encroaching on the fire ring. The hike out was fabulous. The varying terrain will definitely keep you on your toes. I'm looking forward to hiking this again in the summer to take advantage of the swimming hole.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, June 25, 2012
My dog and I did this as a two day. Started at Morgan Run so got the pretty stuff first. That would have been nice to do at the end instead of fire road but all was good. Beautiful scenery, loved the sound of the water through most of the hike. Not many camping spots. Saw several deer and hawks and heard lots of critters at night. Bear scat on the trail but didnt see any bear. I did not see another person for two days. It was great. Only downside is the lack of campsites. The one that I did see had trash and beer cans and bottles in the fire ring. :-(

By: Andy N Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 10, 2010
Overall awesome hike, pool, and campsite.  We had a hard time finding the first parking location and ended up parking at the start of the blue blazed trail and skipping the road walk.  The hike to the swimming hole was good - not much in the way of views, but it was a workout.  Be careful on the descent - it is pretty steep with loose rocks at times.  The swimming hole was great, as was the campsite right next to it.  Overall it was pretty secluded - three groups of people passed by to swim over the course of a day. 

We had two dogs with us and the hike wasn't a problem for them. 

By: Keith Lehman Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, July 1, 2010
I did this hike as described as an overnight trip on two beautiful days.  The road walking was fine as I did it before noon and it was well shaded.  Only two cars were seen.  Met a day hiker at the trailhead of Martin Bottom Trail but otherwise was alone until I got to the swimming hole.  Martin Bottom is a fire road and there has been a burn of some sort on the left that left it a bit exposed to the sun.  Not bad but August may be hot in this section.  The Fridley Gap trail was steep going up but no crawling was required.  There was no view this time of year at the peak but after leaf fall it might be nice.  The down hill section was a bit dicey as you are in a streambed with a lot of loose rocks.  Still doable by the average hiker though.

The swimming hole was fantastic and a great (cold) relief.  There is a fire ring and room for maybe one tent at the Y above the swimming hole but literally right above the swimming hole is a fantastic site that could accommodate a couple larger tents.  Even on this Thursday night there were several groups moving through the area.  I think I'd bump the Solitude score down a peg or two as the weekends are probably busier.  Interestingly, there is some cellular signal down in this hollow so you can at least get a text out if needed (5 bars just up the hill).

The hike out was typical for the region with a mix of single track and old logging road.  The South Trail is a little hard to follow but mostly well marked.  The overgrowth was pretty bad with ferns and pointy things.  By late July you may need a machete.  Someone send a pack of Boy Scouts through to whack some bushes please!  The Morgan Run Trail is very rocky and hard on the knees if you have a heavy pack.  It's the most beautiful part of the trip though with a lot of little waterfalls.

The first half of the trip (car to swimming hole) is almost devoid of water.  The second half follows streams so there is little need for extra water unless there is a serious drought.  Tree cover is 80-90% for much of the trip so it's a good one to do if it's hot and sunny.  The swimming will definitely help you refresh yourself. if it's hot.

By: Brandon Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 14, 2009

Access to this hike and any other that uses Cub Run Road will be altered for a few months because the Forest Service is replacing some low-water bridges:

"Access to the Cub Run and Big Mountain areas in Page County may be affected between April 27 and the end of October 2009.  A Forest Service contractor is replacing two low water bridges.  The first to be replaced is the crossing near Catherine Furnace where Roaring Run empties into Cub Run.  While this section is closed, access will be available from Runkles Gap Road (State Route 636) in Rockingham County.  The second low water crossing to be replaced is located at the confluence of Cub Run and Pitt Springs.  While this section is closed, access to Pitt Springs Road will be via Newport on Sate Route 685, and access to Cub Run will be available from Runkles Gap Road."

It is a good idea to check this site before going out in the GWNF or JNF:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, June 12, 2009
upon arriving , entrance to g.w. national forest, only way we knew how to access this trail, road was closed, apparently a bridge crossing was washed out,  could not hike this trail, upset after 3 1/2 hour drive, learned it pays to have a plan B. guess we will check back on this hike another time.

By: Brandon Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 8, 2008
This is more like 4.5 stars than 5, mostly because of the road walking and too often hearing a stream but not actually seeing it. Nice diverse scenery. Tons of mountain laurel right now. Lots of gigantic ferns as well.

The Fridley Gap swimming hole was cold, but great in the heat.

The Cub Run Rd. walk wasn't so bad because only 2 cars drove by me the whole 3 miles.

The final descent along Morgan Run was really quite fun - rocky as crap with multiple crossings. You'd see the most obvious way to cross, but sometimes the slippery rocks won't allow it and you'd have to come up with a different route.

If you want to do this in reverse (WHY?), there does seem to be a small area for parking area at the trailhead for Martin's Bottom trail to get the road walking out of the way first.

Also... what exactly is Martin's Bottom? I just thought it was the name of the trail, but it shows up on the Topo map too as some type of feature.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 26, 2007

Despite the heat and humidity, I really enjoyed this two day backpacking trip. As noted earlier, the fork on 685 is confusing so watch out for that. You actually veer to the right off 685 onto a road named Catherine Furnace. You will then see the GWF sign. Also, the Morgan Run sign can be easy to miss on the right side so keep your eyes out for that. The road section of the hike is a little tedious, but other than that, this is a really good hike and worth walking the three miles on the road. I didn't see another person during the two days. Camped at a really nice spot on the Morgan Run section. There was also a camping spot up the hill from the Fridley Gap swimming and near the intersection of the purple and orange blazes that looked nice. The swimming hole is great. Very refreshing in August.  Also, there is a great place to eat in New Market called the Southern Kitchen which hits the spot after a day of hiking. Overall, really enjoyed the weekend.

By: Chris & Megan Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 12, 2007

We did this hike along with the Fridley Gap loop over the weekend as an overnight trip. The old growth forest along parts of the Morgan Run trail is serene and spectacular. The trail is extremely rocky in certain places and very soggy in others. Sturdy waterproof hiking boots are highly recommended. We did not pass any other people on this trail.  Campsites were few and far betweeen.  We found two at the Fridley Gap swimming hole and one site on the south side of the Martin Bottom trail, farther into the woods near Cub Run creek.  Overall a good hike.

By: Carolyn Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 20, 2006
My friend Rachel and I did this hike on Sunday. We had some difficulty finding the trail since there are two forks in the road on 685. FYI at the first fork take a right (this will take you into the GWNF), and at the second take a left. The hike was challenging, but fun. The downhill portion of the Fridley Gap trail is very steep and very rocky. Also, the orange blazed trail is very rocky. The Fridley Gap swimming hole is a great place for lunch, and the trail was not crowded at all. Apart from a group of mountain bikers, we didn't see anyone else.

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