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Hiker Reviews for the Turk Mountain Hike - 1 to 25 of 25   
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By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 29, 2018
Did this hike on Saturday. Have done it once before in the dead of winter so I was excited to get some warmth and sunshine at the summit this go-around. Because of all the rain a couple days before, the eastern portion (first 3-4 miles) were VERY wet. The trail was basically a stream until I got about halfway back up the other side, and I had to cross actual streams and the river over a dozen times. The river crossings were especially difficult, but I managed to find tress and/or rocks up/downstream and stayed mostly dry. If you don't want to be wet, DO NOT do this hike right now.

All that considered, the rest of the hike was warm and dry, and the views from the summit (both eastern and western vista) were fantastic. Lots of low clouds and fog that day and it was neat to be above the clouds at the top as they rolled over the mountains. Lots of wildlife in this area as the vast majority of the hike is not heavily traveled. Saw tons of people on the Turk Gap parking to summit portion (2 miles), though. The remainder of the hike down the AT is pretty steady, but the uphill around mile 9 or so is tough after everything you've done so far. Overall I loved this hike, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a long, challenging day hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 23, 2017
I am going to rate the hike as a four star. The leaves are starting to change in Shenandoah. The only thing keeping this from a 5 star hike is the big yellow jacket nest on the Turk Branch Trail. Be careful out there if you do this hike. I would recommend this hike later in the Fall/Winter when the colder weather ensures that the jacket nest is not an issue.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Overall, a very nice hike. I only scored it a 3 stars because, as someone else noted, there are nicer hikes just a few miles up the road. (e.g. Riprap, Trayfoot, Doyles River) In some ways that is unfair. In 90% of the country, this trail would be famous, but here, it is a second thought. That said, I hiked it as described and believe that is the better direction to hike it, plus after 6 miles and the climb up Turk, I was ready for a lunch break with a very nice view. Trails were in good shape and no problems. Lot of windblown coming up from the Moormans, but the trail was nicely cleared. If hiking in summer, be ready for the sun to beat down on you hiking the AT back to Jarmans Gap. They are right about bringing enough water, it was in the 70s and I drank 1 1/2 liters with no pit stops.

By: John Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Great hike. It's got a little bit of everything. Challenging uphill, pleasant flat ground, nice views. There are even some cool rock walls during the first few miles. There is one very nice view that is a bear to climb to, but it is very nice. I even met a little vole or some sort of vole-like critter. If you like hiking, challenges and a nice view, this is for you!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, June 29, 2016
My wife and I did this hike today and it was a great hike. The trails were clearly marked and very well kept. It is quite rocky at the summit of Turk Mountain as is the trail to it but nothing that these two old grandparents couldn't handle. The views are spectacular. The streams were overflowing as a lot of rain has fallen in the last several days but no problems getting through them. Overall, it was just a great day!

By: Wrong way Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Just wanted to second Danny's comment below. I took the wrong fire road too. Pretty bad mistake if you go far enough as its a STEEP walk back. If you start passing private land and peoples homes, turn back! Given that it was raining that day too, I decided to save the loop for another day.

By: joe rogan Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, June 24, 2015
This is not a great hike compared to what you could do with a little more driving. Theres just not much to see here and no reason to do the 10 miles unless you want the exercise.

Moormans "river" is hardly a stream, very lame. The only view or sight to see on the 10 mile hike is at turk mountain summit.. which isn't the most amazing summit and not at all worth all the extra miles this loop packs on. If you want to see the summit, just do the two mile summit hike from the turk mountain parking area, not jarman.

Theres better hikes not that much further up north. If you're just looking for a short summit hike, drive up to black rock. If you're looking for a longer circuit hike with views, waterfalls, and swimming holes worth hiking a bunch of miles for, do riprap/wildcat. Nothing incredible here to see. It's just walking in the woods for 10 miles with one mediocre summit view. There is a reason the solitude is rated high, haha. To each their own though.

By: Danny Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 24, 2015
Got on the trail about 9:30 am and went on the wrong fire road at first. Make sure you go down hill, and not up! I have a habit of walking down whatever path I see without thinking about where I am going.

Lots of stream crossings on the fire road. High water. Enjoyed the challenge in navigating a few of these. Some of these crossings will be all dried up come summer. Snuck up on a bear accidentally on the trail section before hitting the turk mountain parking lot and watched it run away. Did not see a single human soul.

On the out and back to the summit I ran into a couple coming the other way. Also ran into two deer hanging about five feet off the path and did not bother moving as a passed by. Had the peak all to myself and ate lunch on rocks overlooking the valley. There was a cold wind blowing on and off, so I did not stick around too long, started to get some chills.

Ran into a few section hikers on the AT. The ascents/descents were manageable compared to climbing Turk Mountain and the smell of the pines was refreshing.

Made it back to the car around 2:30. Great hike. I will for sure be doing this again as it is the closest entering the park from the south.

By: The Real Rooster Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 18, 2015
Hiked the full loop yesterday, including the summit, with my girlfriend. Good hike overall, with great views from the top! With the exception of the summit loop, we barely saw anyone else, which was really nice. Some of the creeks were probably a little higher than usual from the rain this week, so keep that in mind - especially if you're taking a heavy pack for training or something. If you look around, there's usually a pretty easy crossing close to the trail proper.

Also, I found some sunglasses on the fire road near a creek crossing. If they're yours, hit me up at this post in the C'ville craigslist lost and found: http://charlottesville.craigslist.org/laf/4986314340.html

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 11, 2015
To really appreciate this hike, I recommend doing the full circuit including the summit. Given there were several days of rain prior to our hike day, the streams and Moormans river were beautifully full and spring was blooming all around us. We set out from Jarman Gap parking lot at 10:30am, hit the summit of Turk Mountain at 1:30, where we ate our lunch in solitude, and then back the AT to Jarman Gap parking lot, ending the hike around 4:15pm! This was our longest hike to date and we found it to be just the right amount of challenge. We encountered an adolescent black bear, spotted in the woods during a water break while we were on the Turk branch trail. Also, spotted what we think was a coyote! Overall, the stream crossings, solitude, and views on this beautiful spring day put this hike in our top favorite hikes to date!

By: Long Beard Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, January 1, 2015
My wife and I did not have time to do the full circuit hike so we chose to do a summit hike from the parking area. This was a great hike and would definitely recommend it. The views are great and the Boulder field down from the rocks at the summit are amazing. I hope to complete the whole hike in the future , but if you are looking for a short summit hike do not overlook this one.

By: Ken Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 1, 2014

This hike had enough variety to keep it interesting, and since the leaves are off the trees there are some impressive views of some of the neighboring mountains that can be glimpsed from the Turk Branch trail. Several portions of the trail were snow covered and the downhill portion on the way to Turk Mountain was so slick that I opted to trudge through the snow (about shin deep) next to the trail. The view from Turk Mountain was great...better than I remembered and on this day the fire over in Riprap Hollow was visible. There were a lot of people on the trail from the Turk Mountain parking area to the summit, but other than that I saw one runner and one fellow hiker all day.


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Hiked this starting at Sugar Hollow outside the Shenandoah (see Moorman's River hike to the north), proceeded up the South Moorman's Road (fire road) past Blue Hole to the park boundary and then right onto the yellow-blaze Turk Branch Trail in this hike. It's 1.8 miles from the upper Sugar Hollow parking lot to the yellow trail, making this a more interesting way to do ~11.5 mile out-and-back of Turk Mountain for those living in Charlottesville (plus you can dive into Blue Hole to cool off on your return hike). You could also add the southbound AT part to a loop from Sugar Hollow, bringing the total up to ~14 miles. The yellow Turk Branch trail trail makes a major elevation gain, but except for the last mile up Turk Mtn, the grade is very reasonable and there are no true switchbacks. Views from the top are awesome - make sure you keep following the trail along the rocks to the west side, well past the stone marker.

By: Heather Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 15, 2013
I would give this hike 3 and 1/2 stars if that was an option. We started around 9:30 am and took our time on this hike, so it took us around 6 hours with a lunch break. The trails are clearly blazed, and the instructions are very easy to follow. The streams and rivers on the first part of the hike were very low and we had no problem crossing them. We heard lots of wildlife but didn't really see anything beyond birds, squirrels and a few reptiles, no snakes and no bears. We saw three other couples on the fire road, and a handful of people on top of Turk mountain but overall it was very peaceful. I don't think this is a four star hike because the summit trail and AT portions of the hike were just not that scenic, and at times the brush was so thick we couldn't see into the woods around us. If you like to hike in winter, this hike would have much more interesting views when the tree cover is not so dense. The summit of Turk mountain was lovely, and if you don't want to hike as long of a distance, I would recommend hiking just the summit trail. If you do this loop, you must make time to do the summit trail, it was the best view all day. Happy trails!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 29, 2013
A really good workout and fun hike. As noted in other reviews, a lot of long steady ups and downs.  Five good uphill climbs.  Encountered a big black snake on the Moormans River Fire Road.  Lunch on the Turk Mt. rocks is a must.  Thank God, the clouds broke for a minute while I was on the rocks on this dreary, overcast day.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
I have to give this hike five stars! Not because my last name is Turk (which it true), but because I was surprised at how pooped I was after it was done. This would be a challenging out and back hike just parking at Turk Gap and doing the blue-blazed summit trail...a tough two miles because you don't just climb to the summit...you descend first and then go up. This is also evident on the A.T. walking back to the Jarman Gap parking area...once you go down you inevitably must go back up again and this theme repeats itself throughout...took me over four hours, though I budgeted three...even the last .1 mile is up... Turk Mountain summit was intriguing...saw a train weaving its way through the valley... Nice and windy on this warm...muggy...late summer day... Packed and drank plenty of water!

By: Andrew Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 14, 2012
I guess I thought there would be more to see.  Overall it was a fun hike.  I didn't think that it was worthy of a 4 rating for difficulty. 

By: CS Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 11, 2011
Great hike. Parked at Jarman Gap and hiked up the AT both ways, didn't take the Turk Branch Trail, may try that next time. View from the top of Turk Mtn is great. Windy and very cold this time of year. Had the summit to myself, only saw 5 other people throughout the day. Highlight of the trip was seeing a black bear on the AT. It was around 400 feet of the trail near a stream very close to the Jarman parking area. By the time I saw him he was already aware of me and was running in the opposite direction.

By: Marc S Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 20, 2011
Nice hike on a nice and cool morning. I saw a couple groups Turk mountain and Turk parking area but that's it. On the fire roads there's a bit of new trees across the trail and in a couple places requires re-routing. A good section of the fire road goes through a graveyard of large dead trees which you can expect to block the trail after a good storm. Currently there's quite a few down though most are fine for hikers to hop over. While the hike covers some elevation, most of it is on a fairly tame grade.

By: Ghostrider Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, October 15, 2010
A very "noisy" hike with all the leaves on the trail. Nevertheless, I managed to startle an adolescent bear on a curve. The leaves are not quite at peak yet--probably a week to 10 days away. I've hiked this trail several times and prefer to park at the Turk Gap parking area and hike it clockwise. There was still lots of water in the streams and there were several "wet" crossings. If you skip the spur trail out to Turk Mountain summit, this is a fairly easy hike.

By: Matt P Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 20, 2010
This hike was great, tiring but great. The first half is pretty strenuous heading up hill most of the way up to Turk Mountain, but the view you get once you're there is amazing. One of the best places I have ever eaten lunch at. Only issues I had were the high water levels of the stream crossing, but hey what do you expect after all the snow and rain VA has gotten so far this year. Solitude rating is pretty spot on, the only time I saw other people was the Turk Mt climb. Overall this is a great hike and I can't wait to do it again in a few weeks.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 18, 2009
We did only the 2.2 hike up to Turk Mtn Summit and back to parking area since we had our basset hound with us and it was a cold, blustery day.  It was a great hike, beautiful woods, great views from the rocks beyond the summit marker and saw our first snow of the year at the summit.  According to my 12 yr old son, no boring switchbacks made this hike one of his favorites and he likes scrambling on the rocks.  This part of the trail is a good workout without being too tough or strenuous.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 9, 2009
1) This hike is a challenge, but fun! The directions are great, except when SOMEONE reads “2.0 miles” as “0.2 miles” and you feel as though you’re never going to reach the next stone marker. 2) If you attempt this hike in the summer, you won’t see waterfalls – they’re hidden by thick vegetation. You will barely see water. The “river” can be forged without even getting your shoes damp. 3) Great wildlife – we saw 3 bears, and heard a “beast” (more than likely a frightened deer) just off the trail. 4) Even in the summer, I believe the Solitude rating is accurate. On our 5-hour venture, we saw 4 people.

By: Natasha Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 8, 2009
Since we hiked up to Turk Mtn a few weeks ago, we decided to lop off the out and back to the top and just do the circuit.  This is one of my favorite hikes to do since it is close to the southern end of SNP and easy to get to.  The climb up the AT to the intersection for Turk Mtn is a nice enough climb to get the heart going but not too hard to make you too tired early into the hike.  The descent down the Turk Branch Trail is a nice grade and isn't too hard on the knees.  We did this last year in the spring and the blooming trees were so pretty.  This time around we encountered quite a bit of mud thanks to recent snow melt.  We saw a lot of dear and the streams were flowing well.  The slow climb up the fire road back to the car can get a little tiring but it's gentle enough to be able to look around and enjoy the scenery without having to worry about tripping over a rock.  Last year we got hailed on and had to carefully make our way up the fire road which had become a raging river following the short but quite heavy rain storm.  We only saw one family during the 8-mile  hike.  I have done this hike in reverse and the climb up Turk Branch can be quite rough. 

By: Sam and Thunder Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thanks for posting this hike on your site.  Its a good hike, and the location at the south end of the skyline drive is great since we travel from Richmond.  It was fairly cold and some rain, so we didn't see any other hikers all day.  The streams were flowing well and enjoyed the small falls.  Good view to the west despite the weather at the top of Turk Mtn.  We finished the hike just under 6 hours, with a half hour for lunch and some time to change a wet sock at one of the stream crossings. 


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