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Hiker Comments for the Veach Gap/South Fork Overlook Hike - 1 to 69 of 69   
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By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 27, 2019
This is a great hike with a camping spot at the top. One I'll do again. This is a great trail if you like seclusion and to be out there without many other folks.

I set my hammock and rain fly up just behind the 2nd overlook since it was later and I assumed no one else would be coming by. No one did. There was a couple who beat me to the prime camping spot at the 3rd overlook. I was able to look down 1000 feet into the valley below while resting in my hammock. The set up worked really well. The spots at the top would have been very exposed in a severe storm, so it isn't a place to go if there is a chance of precip. I cooked my supper and watched the Shenandoah Valley fade into darkness as the sun set behind me. I woke up before dawn and watched the sun turn the sky into brilliant shades of red over the Shenandoah NP. This was an excellent spot to drink my coffee and cook my oatmeal watching it all unfold. I then packed my stuff and quietly hiked down the mountain where I came across a few deer and a bear who didn't hear me until I was closer than I would like to be. It ran away as soon as we saw each other.

By: Ash Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 30, 2019
I enjoyed this hike mainly because it was easy for a great view. The stream that you hike along for the first mile provides a nice soundtrack and it a good source of water for dogs. There were a lot of wild blackberry bushes full of fruit which should be ripe around mid-July. I really enjoyed the views at the top. A bonus was a large amount of wild blueberry bushes with some of the blueberries ready to eat. If you’re a fan of wild fruit I would do this hike in mid-July.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Hiked Vetch Gap after two days of moderate (~1.5") rain. The stream crossing wasn't bad, but had to cross about 50' upstream for dryer footing. The 100 yard long section where the trail and stream merges was easily done no water shoes required (just careful foot placement). The Massanutten / Tuscarora trail section had sections of running water / mud which were passable.

In addition to the stream at the Vetch Gap / Massanutten junction, there was a smaller source of water at 38.885N -78.336.

Despite an attempt to locate the third overlook (and better campsite), it wasn't obvious. The trail started to descend past 38.889N -78.338 and thought (given approaching sunset) that it would be best to return to an earlier, obvious, campsite.

If you've stayed at the third overlook, I'd be interested in knowing the GPS coordinates.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 20, 2018
We had beautiful weather for a fall hike. The leaves were somewhat turned, but a little late this year. The hike is not strenuous, but it is more than a stroll. The reviews helped when we approached the stream after the first just have to start to look for not only the blazes, but the path to form on the opposite side of the stream once you reach the water. Luckily it had not been raining, so walking over the stream and then up the other side wasn't difficult, but I would understand how this hike might not be possible after heavy rain. The overlooks were great. Personally, I think the second overlook out of the three is the best. I saw some reviews about wildlife - specifically rattlesnakes and we almost walked right on top of one! So keep an eye out, there was a HUGE (perhaps it had just eaten) rattle snake halfway on the trail around the first 1 mile of the hike. It was kind enough to let us know we were a bit too close :)

By: Jack Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 4, 2018
I hiked this with my young sons and it was a nice first hiking/camping expedition.  I wish I had read the review that said the trail followed the stream 100 feet.  The trail is marked across the stream, but no other markers that I could see, and no trail either, so I guess we were supposed to follow the stream.   We went across the stream and couldn't find a trail, we spent some time scrambling over the rocky mountain hillside looking for the trail and never found it.  I didn't want to have my boys haul their packs into an area I wasn't certain about where we were going, so we ended up finding another campsite but we had wanted to get to the summit views.  Saw a pretty large bear track, and some turkey.   Enjoyed ourselves, but next time I'll pay more attention to the comments here!

By: Hobo Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 28, 2018
One of my favorites. I hiked it after a rain. You can see a video of the hike I posted here - The trail was a little "creeky" in places from run off. If you hike it after a rain I would suggest waterproof boots or shoes. I ran into 4 hikers coming down the trail. Had the overlooks to myself. Amazing views. Lots of nats and flys on the hike. Maybe bring some good bug spray. On my way back I ran into about 7 backpackers going up to up to the overlook and a 10 person trail crew from SAWS ( doing some training. After the hike I went up in Woodstock tower which is only about 4 miles down Fort Valley.

By: Katz Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, March 15, 2018
A pleasant 7.5 out and back. Starts out easy, alongside a rushing stream. The trail remains relatively flat and easy as you skirt the base of Little Crease Mtn. Then a sharp right and its about of mile of moderately steep ascent. Pleasant panorama back to Veach Gap, visible due to fire ravaged clearings. New growth coming up fast. At the top, stunning views of the Valley and the Shenandoah River. Nice fire pits and potential camp sites at the top--although rocky..

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 31, 2017
Went up with the pup for a quick New Year's Eve morning walk. 16° at the trailhead, 8° and windy up top. 6.8 miles round trip according to the Garmin, sped through it in about 2:25 including 15 minutes at the top for pictures and a snack. Probably my favorite hike in the area because of the varying vegetation, stream, seclusion, and rewarding views at the top. I had to laugh at the earlier posting about the big white dog, as he came out to greet me this time as well. Don't remember that from years back. Anyway, this was my first time doing it in the snow and it was like a whole new hike.

By: Hobo Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Great hike, amazing view. Three great overlooks on a ridge trail. Gradual ascent makes for a great kids and beginner hike. Some fire damage at the overlook. Looks like a camp fire at the overlook got away from somebody. The last part of the orange trail is black with ash from the fire but new growth as started. On the bright side the fire cleared the brush and leaves and the view is great. I started about 8:30 am. Only one car in the park lot. Gravel road in has a sign by a house"SLOW 5 MPH Pets at play." A large white dog ran after my car on the gravel road when I left. Plenty of water in the creek as it had just rained the day before. Trail is easy to follow. Two pointers. When you get to the creek crossing you need go up the creek for about 50 feet then the trail is more visible on the other side of the creek. When you get to "the outhouses\sheds" fork take your FIRST LEFT on the orange trail. In the morning the valley was fogged out until about noon. Just one big white out. About noon I could start to see the river through the fog and then a 1pm the fog cleared out. The fog completely cleared out in 30 minutes. I had the mountain to myself until noon when I was heading back I ran into two other hikers with their dogs going up the trail.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, October 27, 2017
Nice hike. Took us a little over 3 hours to complete with a 20 min lunch up top at the view. The water was still running in the steam. The trail was well maintained. Definitely a nice easy hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, October 6, 2017
I love this hike, I've done it several times. Not to hard, beautiful views at the top. Water is normally plentiful here, but is scarce right now. Last water source before the top is dry. The only water I saw is at the intersection of the orange/blue blazed Massanutten/Tuscarora Trail.

By: RPADC Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 30, 2017
This is a really short hike suitable for a day trip but experiencing a sunrise on top of the ridge overlooking the Shenendoah river is lovely enough to make it worth an overnight. If you camp one night, make sure to fill up on water as there are no water sources beyond the campsite 0.5 miles from where Veach Gap trail ends. That campsite has a small spring off of a narrow path from the fire ring and tent area.

I did this hike two weeks in a row because I liked the view from up top so much. Brought the lady the second time. Unfortunately, the CHIGGERS were voracious. I did not read the review going back a few years that mentioned this. Fatal mistake. We applied the usual light spritzing of repellent and wore long pants but that wasn't enough. We would have needed to liberally cover every square inch with DEET and tucked pants into socks to avoid the attack. I had not thought about chiggers in 30 years or so and had to consult the internet to figure out what covered my leg in bites from foot to waist. My poor short coated dog got chewed up as well. Her dog's longer fur saved him. Chiggers make mosquitoes look like cuddly ladybugs. My companion only got bit on one foot, fortunately. But I look like a leper.

I generally prefer to hike in the colder months anyway. I don't like hitting the trail while dealing with heat, humidity and bitey bugs so I'd love to come back here when temps are below 60 and the tiny demons are dormant.

By: RPADC Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 30, 2017
An addition to the last review. In summer, the rattlesnakes hide out during the day and emerge after sundown. So if you're hanging out on the rocks on the overlook at night looking at the town lights and the stars, watch out for Timber rattlers that come out to hunt. I almost stepped on one.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 16, 2017
Nice hike and lots of solitude.  The only people I saw were 2 people in a car pulling up as I started the hike, and a guy sitting in his truck when I got back, not a single person on the trail.  Great time of year to do this hike.  Just past the campsite about 1.5 miles in was a HUGE patch of blackberries, as in the giant delicious ones.  Then all over the peak near the views were blueberry bushes EVERYWHERE.  I have never seen that many blueberry bushes in one place before, that's mainly the only vegetation up there besides trees.  I suppose its due to the fire that was here a few years ago, but nonetheless, It was awesome to enjoy this time of year.  I literally saw no one on the trail, but I ran into the same bear about 2 miles in, going both directions.

This hike was surprisingly easy, so I kept hiking on the orange/blue trail for several miles so I could get closer to around 15 mile round trip.  You will pass Sherman's Gap ans well as Shawl's Gap.  Past the views for this hike, however, there are a few sections with thick grass and vegetation and I would have rather been wearing pants for the hike, but otherwise it was very nice.

I went South on the way back to the Little Crease shelter and it is a very nice place to camp if you are thinking about an overnighter.

By: Cathy Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 3, 2017
It was a nice well maintained trail, pretty vistas! Be advised we saw a black bear very close to the trail. It was within a quarter mile of the parking area near the creek. We also saw evidence of bears -scat and claw marks on trail rocks throughout the trail. Other than that, it was a good day hike trail, pretty exciting!

By: Hobo Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 24, 2017
I hiked this because I was looking for a good GWNF hike with some views. The road is easy to find, look for, you guessed, Veach's Gap road off Fort Valley. It's a one lane gravel road. Veach's Gap road feels more like a private driveway then a road. Follow it about a mile to the end. I arrived at the trailhead about 9:30am, the parking lot was empty. The yellow trail appears to be a forest road occasionally traveled by 4-wheel drives. The yellow trail leads to a creek bed. You actually go UP the creek bed for about 100 feet on the yellow, then cross. Part way up the mountain the yellow trail has been remarked as the orange/blue trail. The orange/blue trail gets steeps near the ridge. I think when you get to the ridge you want the blue trail, not orange. I followed the orange for two miles on the ridge and it never ends. I came back and took the blue trail and that matched directions better. On my way back down I heard a BEAR in the brush running. I spotted the bear running away from the trail at full speed about 100 yards in a small clearing. On top of the ridge I saw lots of lizards\salamanders. Nobody with insects or spider webs even those I was the only person on the trail. (Look at the hike directions google map on the website vs printable topo map.)

By: Hobo Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 24, 2017
Please disregard my early post about the topo map being wrong and my comments about the trail being marked orange/blue. I have since noticed I miss read the topo map. I went right and followed the old yellow trail. I should of gone LEFT at the intersection of the three trails and privy. My bad.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 1, 2017
Hiked here with my nephew. Was easy to find, so wasn't surprised to see a number of vehicles parked at the trail head. Was a relatively scenic out and back and it was not too strenuous. Even with many stops to take photos and hanging out for a while at the top, made it back to the car in 3 hours 20 minutes.

Be prepared for the stream that drains this small valley, as you will cross it a few times and, at times, the trail and the stream bed are the same thing!

By: Stephanie Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 25, 2017
My husband and I took advantage of the 75+ degree day to get out and give this hike a try. It definitely gets a 5 for solitude and views (at the top). As we were driving into the valley from route 55 we must've passed hundreds of day-hikers, rock climbers, and campers all grouped around the Elizabeth Furnace and Stickler's Knob areas. I was anticipating the parking area for the trail to be full, but was pleasantly surprised to only see two other cars in the lot when we arrived. The first mile or so of the trail is great as it follows the stream, but once you turn onto the blue/orange trail it can be a bit boring. The area seems to be recovering from a recent fire - it would be interesting to see how much they fill out with leaves as we get into the spring. I imagine in the summer this trail might be incredibly buggy (knowing the area). It does get rocky, especially as you near the top, but just watch your footing and it is definitely manageable. The top was definitely a treat - great views and not a soul in sight. This is the first time we've had a view all to ourselves - we enjoyed our lunch and made the trek down. Overall it took us 3.5 hours (including 20 minutes for lunch) and throughout the afternoon we only encountered 7 people (2 solo hikers and a group of 5). Give it a try!

By: hikerbiker Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 13, 2016
Very nice hike on a warm fall day. The first mile is in the woods, but it got more warm and open after crossing the stream. The views are as good as others have written about. Really worthwhile. Saw one large doe. The trail is quite rocky so it's important to focus on your steps and not have your head up too much to enjoy the views while walking. Would love to turn this into a circuit hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Definitely a nice little hike, very gradual so beginners would love! But if you hike this during the summer, I highly suggest you wear pants/high socks or insanely powerful bug repellant! Cause over the course of the 1.4 mile stretch, I easily pulled 35+ ticks off my body and so did my friends. TICKS TICKS TICKS TICKS TICKS BE CAREFUL!! Was the worst tickage I've ever have and will experience. But still a great view!!

By: JB Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 16, 2016
I really enjoyed this hike. I wasn't paying close enough attention, though, and kept hiking for an additional 2 miles after the campsite - the trail continues along a ridge, gets narrower and rockier but is incredible and mostly level. A great extension.

I'm a novice hiker, and I will say that the "gradual ascent" after the Little Crease shelter area was definitely challenging. I needed to stop often to catch my breath - but it's not difficult.

Lots of little lizards and oodles of butterflies on the trip, as well as a herd of white tail and a wild turkey. Great views at the top/along the ridge. Don't forget the sunscreen (like I did). The first mile or so is very relaxing, along the stream.

By: Heather Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 26, 2016
We set out for this hike on a Saturday afternoon, planning to spend the night at the campsite at the end and hike back in the morning. The hike was very pretty for the first mile. It was a gentle upward gradient going along a nice stream. As some of the other reviewers have remarked, random spots on the trail take on some water, so you have to walk around or hop across rocks. It hadn't rained or snowed in a while, so it wasn't a big deal. After taking a left on the orange and blue blazed trail, the hike became kind of boring. The trees out there hadn't yet started to bud. The views from the top make that boring section worth it, though. There was a campsite about a mile after you turned onto the orange-blue, another at the best overlook at the end, and another if you walk about a tenth of a mile further. All of them had fire rings built from stacked stones. When we were there, we saw about 8 groups of people walking off of the hike, and once we'd settled down to camp at the pretty overlook, a couple came from further up the trail to camp at the second camping spot on the ridge. There is no water up there, so bring plenty if you plan to stay the night. It's a pretty easy hike and nothing particularly special until you reach the top. It makes a great place to camp with friends.

By: Sean Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, January 14, 2016
Got out on a warm day in January and had more ice and mud on the trail than I expected, but not too much. Streams were running quite high -- I was glad to have my hiking pole to help me across. A nice view at the top. Saw some wild turkeys along the way. There was one other car in the parking lot but I saw no one else on the trail. A nice thing about this trail is the more gradual incline to the top than I experience on other trails. Didn't have to stop once to catch my breath.

By: Sean Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, January 14, 2016
Quite a few spots on the trail were wet, but these were a small percentage of the total trail. I wore my usual New Balance trail shoes but waterproof boots would have been better. Next time, I'll bring an extra pair of socks. A trekking pole was a great aid in crossing streams and testing leaf piles to see if I would plunge in or not. Because nighttime temperatures were below freezing, several trail spots (not many) were icy so use caution in cold conditions.

The only other trails in the area I've hiked are the Signal Knob/Meneka Peak trails, and this is less rocky and less steep the lower difficulty rating is appropriate. Unlike those harder trails, this is one I'd bring the family back on. I'm not in the best shape and was surprised to not get winded at all with a steady pace to the top. A nice view of the Shenandoah River at the top. A few campsites along the way. At about 1/3 along the trail, a short spur takes you to the Little Crease Shelter. This was my first time on the trail -- I'd like to try it again in summer.

One other hiker arrived at the parking area when I did at 10 a.m. He hit the trail before me and I didn't see him again (there are several paths he could have taken). I didn't see anyone else on the trail. My hike took 4 hours including a break at the top and a side trip to see the Little Crease Shelter.

By: Alex Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 27, 2015
Don't hike this alone or after lots of rain. Definitely wear hiking boots (or mini-galoshes) and/or have a second pair of shoes in the car.

I found the crossing over the run nearly impossible due to higher stream levels. (At least crossing it in a way where I would not get my shoes wet). I thought I could work around it by scrambling onto rocks on the right hand side of trail and crossing higher upstream. The scramble over moss-laden rocks plus the dead leave undercover and sticker bushes proved more difficult (but more dry than stepping into the stream).

After crossing (and determine some of the hike was in the stream bed) I decided to turn around to ensure safe passage across the stream. (Better to cross on fresh legs than after many miles of hiking).

Made my way back to the car (after a short 2 mile out and back hike). Afterwards, I got my hiking "fix" in by doing another short out and back on Signal Knob (which was harder due to the vertical climb but much more enjoyable as it did not involve a treacherous stream crossing or rock scramble). I climbed Signal Knob until I ran out of water. (Even though it was late December it was still warm, felt like mid 60's with very high humidity.)

Maybe this is a better hike when the stream is not as full, but I will save that for another day. Also, I want to complete Signal Knob prior to trying this again.

By: Scott Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 14, 2015
Great hike - terrific views at the overlook, especially the one opposite the 'point' where the river below makes a 180degree turn. Nice gentle slope on the way up.

By: aldikuma Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 8, 2015
Second time on this hike! A great, short, easy hike with a gradual incline and gorgeous views. Nice campsite along the way and two at the top as well. You can continue on the trail if you have time. Such a great network of trails around this area.

By: Tom & Suzy Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 17, 2015
Very nice mid-fall hike.  1st mile follows a beautiful creek then a gentle climb with some rocky sections to the top of the ridge with a wonderful view of the Shenandoah Valley and the south fork of the Shenandoah River.  Area still healing from the 2012 fire. Campsite at top is exposed. Took us 4 hours to hike and 45 minutes for lunch. Saw 10 people total on a Saturday including one couple planning to camp overnight.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 10, 2015
Hiked in Saturday and camped at the top. Pretty simple climb, but it's worth noting it's a rocky trail at times. Got a little windy during the night, but nothing too bad. Sunrise Sunday morning was gorgeous. Saw bear scat on the trail but no wildlife other than birds, chipmunks, and squirrels. If you're planning on camping at the top, make sure to fill up on water before hopping on the orange/blue. Only saw a couple other hikers, had the trail to myself the majority of the weekend. Pics:

By: Sammy S. Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 5, 2015
This hike was very poorly maintained. A lot of bushwacking! I was slightly disappointed with some of the "overlooks" as well. It's definitely a buggy hike--wear bug spray or long pants to protect yourself from the plants/bugs!

By: Chris B Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 5, 2014
Decided to try a quick day hike I haven't done before to check out some of the early leaves.  This hike is an easy but rocky hike winding up the valley with a pretty relaxing incline.  Reached the bend near the peak and was welcomed with charred earth and bright red leaves.  The view itself was awesome with beautiful views of the valley and the Shenandoah river.  While the leaves weren't spectacular yet the peak is right around the corner. Definitely recommend this hike.     

By: aldikuma Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 4, 2014
Generally, I'm not a fan of out and back hikes, but I've grown to love them. On the return trips, I used to look for familiar landmarks that I saw hiking in, but found that the scenery was so different coming the other way and there's a lot of new things to see. This hike didn't disappoint.

The incline was very gradual and the walk along Veach Gap Trail was gorgeous, with yellow and orange leaves all around. It got steeper as I climbed up to the top, but nothing intense. The views from the top are some of the best I've seen around here. Though the fire damage at the ridge is sad, it's eerily beautiful as nature makes a recovery. Apparently, it was caused by a lightening strike a couple of years ago.

I only ran into a couple of other hikers along the way. The campsite along the way is really nice, and I would love to return for an overnight.

By: Aaron Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 31, 2014
This was a great day hike. It's not too populated unlike some of the other trails in the area and the overlook at the top is definitely worth it. Recommend hiking this in early spring when the foliage does not obstruct the overlook view too much. This trail is very rocky and hiking shoes with ankle support would have been nice. Overall, Veach Gap is a nice hike and provides some great views of the Shenandoah River while being less than 2 hrs from DC.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 15, 2014
I was looking forward to this hike. Some aspects of the hike were quite good. The solitude was the best. My hiking partner and I had the entire hike to ourselves. There was one car parked in the lot when we returned but we did not see one person.

The hike along the stream with a crossover to the other side made for an enjoyable hiking experience.

The trail after the turn was quite open. In the summer, I prefer a trail more narrow and with some tree and leaf coverage.

After 1700 ft asl +/-, the trail became quite rocky. It made for a nice workout along a series of switchbacks. Personally, I liked this but for those expecting an easy hike, this section might not fit their expectations.

I think this would be a good Winter hike where the open trail would be desirable and the views of the surrounding landscape could be appreciated much better. The exposure to the Sun while hiking along Little Crease Mountain would be appreciated during cold weather.

By: Nate Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 22, 2014
This was a good hike for one of the first nice days we've had in a while. Honestly most of the trail is pretty boring, but it is peaceful. The overlook of the river at the top is very nice and the campsite looks like it would be a great place to watch the sunrise. With all of the snow melt (that is not something I've had to think of before with these trails) the streams are full, and a lot of the trail itself is under about a half inch of water.  Whoever left a notebook in a pencil box at the campsite: nice thought, but that container is not waterproof at all and the notebook is definitely wet.

By: appalachian highlander Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 16, 2013

By: Bill Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, October 7, 2013
Views from the ridge are very nice.  Fire damage was extensive at the ridge so the camping isn't as pleasant as it probably was a couple years ago.  Mill Run source (near the cutbacks) was dry so carry water if you are planning on camping at the top.  The camp site closer to the intersection of Veach Gap Trail and the Massanutten Trail had water 100 feet away.  Overall a nice moderate, if somewhat rocky in places, hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 7, 2013
Nice hike. The forest is just coming back after the big fire they had up here a few years back. Grade of path is not too hard and was very pleasant on a really nice day. Two words or warning. The turn off of the Veach Gap trail (yellow 'i' blaze) the the Tuscoroa (blue / red blaze) was a little tricky as there are 4 discernible trails converging there and two hard to read signs. Just go left on the trail where you can see the blue blaze. Oh, and 'tent' tree marking mentioned in the directions is oriented in such a way as you only see it when coming back down. The 'end' point at the top is a 'you'll know it when you get there' point. If you find yourself walking past the campfire circle, your going too far. On the ridge, the trail can be a little hard to see, but the maintainers have done a great job with the blaze markings.

By: Jake Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 13, 2013
This is one of my favorite hikes.  It's got plenty of streams, lots of interesting topography and wildlife, and great views at the top. Lots of bang-for-the-buck, particularly for a medium length hike.

By: Justin Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Normally when I am attempting to find a trail to hike I come on this website and attempt to make a decision. I try to avoid the pictures so that everything will be fresh. I probably will not do that again. I was disappointed in this trail because of its width. A pickup truck could easily fit down this trail, and that is not the kind of trail that I like to walk. I prefer single file hiking. The trail was extremely rocky and did not have very much scenery except the vistas. Granted, I do think it wold have been more enjoyable if it was not almost 90 degrees outside. You are pretty exposed on this trail. On other notes, I ran into one hiker in 4 hours on the trail so it is secluded. I spotted a turkey off the trail as well. Like other reviews, the ticks seem to be numerous on the trail. I picked off around 10 by the end of the hike. Overall, I did not think the vistas were worth the negatives of getting there.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 15, 2013
My dog and I backpacked in for one night and loved it. Beautiful streams, light incline great views at the top. Saw four snakes, one turtle and one black bear. Saw one person in the parking lot when we were leaving. Short out and back, good workout but not too hard.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, June 14, 2013
Other than some confusion on my part at the point where you need to cross Old Mill Run, I enjoyed this hike quite a bit. It was very damp because of the storms, but the views were worthwhile. I actually kept hiking along the Massanutten/Tuscarora trail for an additional mile, just to give myself an extra workout, I noticed some additional campsites along the way.

By: Jules Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 7, 2013
This was a great way to spend the first beautiful spring day of the season! The trail has a nice gradual incline and it was cool to see the remnants of the forest fire. Plenty of spots on the nearby creek to dip your feet on a hot day. Lovely view at the top. Took us 5 hours with leisurely breaks.

Parts of the trail are quite muddy, even though it hadn't rained recently. It seems like there's a spring nearby that seeps onto the trail. I think this would be a muddy slog if attempted right after a rain.

By: Joe Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 9, 2013
Made a modification to this hike and made it into a loop. Following the trail notes to the ridge was fine, but got confused when the entire trail was underwater for a way. Eventually saw the blazes right next to the creek, I mean trail and figured it out. Overall the Massanutten was pretty wet until it started climbing up. The forest fire must have been pretty good, as we got charred up getting to the overlooks. Followed the ridge We followed the ridge around, and bushwhacked up to the summit of Little Crease Mountain, and followed the ridge down to a prominent cliff that we could see on the way up. Along the ridge is an old worn trail made by hunters/surveyors that eventually turns into a logging road that will take you back to the Massanutten. This way you get a slightly longer loop hike. In the winter it was fine, but could be a little thicker in the summer. There was a fair amount of loose boulders/rocks too - so watch your step. All in all - this was a good hike, with good views, and going down the ridge was pretty fun too. Here is a link to the trip

By: Fort Valley Man Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 19, 2013
I live very near to the trailhead of Veach Gap so I am very familiar with it.  The highlights are good views at the tops, a nice stream on the way up, and a lot of interesting geology (including one massive, tilted bed of rock, several acres wide, that is basically a fossilized sea floor from 400 million years ago - incredible to explore).  There is an interesting devil's garden that is fun to climb on the right side of the trail as you ascend.  There is a lot of history, too - during the Civil War, there was a grist mill where the bodies of soldiers were said to have been ground up.  Evidence of frequent Indian occupation in near the modern-day wooden shelter area (near the springhead). 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 27, 2012
A good hike for beginners or those getting back to the sport. The trail is well marked and intersects other trails so watching for and interpreting blazes can be practiced. We saw some trout in Mill Run and some anticline rock formations. We were able to collect and purify water as the trail goes very near the Mill Run source. We camped at the high camp and passed through much burned forest along the way. The work to put out fires was evident all along the trail and loose stones along the trail presented hiking challenges. Weather was in the 50's and 60's and we had pretty strong winds over night. We found where someone had made a small cairn with a cross in it's center. Don' t know if it is marking a tragic event or what. It is located just below the overlook at camp. About 100 feet up the trail from our camp is another fire pit and we used that location to prepare our meals and we hung our food in a tree near that location. We hiked up the trail another couple of miles after setting up camp. The trail goes over a narrow ledge and then descends into a valley without the help of switchbacks, so it is a steep climb. We did find the camps fire pit filled in and covered in stones. We cleaned it out and used shovels to dig it out to make it usable. Generally a good trail and interesting due to altitude changes along the way. I would recommend this hike to anyone for a weekend getaway.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Did this as a day hike to check out the forest fire damage. The campsite at the top is sooty and the ground is scored with damage from fire and water. Unless you don't mind smelling like soot, I wouldn't recommend camping at the top. Use the campsite lower on the mountain and then scamper to the top. Most of the dangerous trees damaged by the fire have already been cut down by the fire crews, however I saw quite a few trees that are borderline...they may not make it through the winter. The hike up was rockier than before...I think they trucked in rocks to shore up the fire road during the fire fighting efforts. Made for a tough hike. Saw a toad, two box turtles and some turkey vultures. A local was hunting with his dogs...not sure what he was hunting...but I tied my blaze orange bandana to my day pack just in case. Be careful out there during hunting season.

By: Virginia Girl Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 16, 2012
This is an excellent day trip...everything we were looking for, easy hike, and the views at the top really were beautiful! As a tip- watch for ticks! They are bad everywhere this year, so it's a general statement and don't let it deter you from the hike- just be careful and check your clothing (we had a spare change at the car which was necessary). Enjoy!

By: Dave Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 16, 2012
My wife and I hiked to the overlook and camped at the campsite there.  This was a nice hike with some amazing geology along the way - the anticlines are really cool!  The view of the Shenandoah Valley from the overlook rivals Strickler Knob's view of the valley.  Neither of us had any ticks after spending the weekend in those woods.  We saw a large black bear eating blueberries 20' off the trail.  He ran away from us as soon as he saw us.  You can read the whole report of our trip and see some pics on our website

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 8, 2011
This was an overnight backpack trip from Saturday to Sunday for me and my sister. Neither of us have backpacked in a long time and I was looking for a relatively low impact hike. This trail served nicely with a gradual elevation and not a long distance to the campsite. The weather was just right. Clear skies made for a colourful sunrise.

A special thanks going out to two Hiking Upward users: Matt and Sarah (whom we didn't know). They were already well established in the campsite when we arrived in the evening after a late start. They were gracious and extremely accommodating. Sarah had the campfire going strong and all we had to do was unload our packs and settle in by the fire. Understandably it is always a bit of a bummer when other people "intrude" in the peace and solitude, but Matt and Sarah were not put out at all, rather they were friendly and welcoming and made our trip all the more fun. You guys are true gems and a real inspiration!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 20, 2011
This hike was OK, not great but fairly easy with some nice views at the top.  We had no issues with ticks, so this may be a spring phenomenon.  There were lots of spiderwebs traversing the trail, some just strands but some with small spiders too.  We saw/heard very little wildlife other than cicadas, which could be a seasonal issue as well.  One trail  note:  the trail merges with the left side of the creekbed for several hundred yards after the first 0.5 miles -after a heavy rain it may be hard to figure out where you're going, but just head upstream on the left side and you'll eventually find the trail again on the left bank.  I agree with previous contributors that the stretch for about 2 miles after the junction is pretty boring.  But we had a nice time at the top looking at the views and building a fire at the firepit in the campsite.  We didn't actually camp, but it looked like an ideal spot assuming no T-storms and non-windy conditions.  Overall, a very quiet (1 other hiker) and fairly easy hike (some ankle twisting is possible due to numerous small rocks, both loose and embedded) with nice views and some camping opps.  But I would have ranked it a 1 were it not for the views, the camping opps and the fire-pit at the top.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 20, 2011
I have revised my rating because of CHIGGERS!  Make sure you use your repellent and I highly recommend that you avoid wearing shorts on this hike in warm weather, because the beginning includes some long grass and the top part has some overgrown areas, which is where I believe we picked them up.  And chigger bites are worse than mosquito bites, believe me.  AND you don't know you have them until 24-48 hours after the hike.  You should be OK if you're hiking when its less than 65 degrees tho.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 3, 2011
Trail was pretty much as described here...nice gradual ascent up to the ridgeline, and the view was fantastic.  Most of the orange/blue trail before the first switchback had sporadic muddy areas, but it was easy to sidestep those.  Encountered a large black bear (appeared to be a sow without cubs) on the way back, but she disappeared quickly when I yelled at her. 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 28, 2010
This was a great hike for a nice fall Saturday. The trail head was easy to find. We did not see anyone else on the trail and there were few traces of other folks having been on the trail recently. Very secluded and quiet. The overlook was spectacular. I highly recommend it.

By: threehikers Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 26, 2010
A pleasant hike for a warm day. The gradual incline was nice and the views at the top are worth the walk. We stopped and cooled our feet in the creek near the bottom and just enjoyed the varied trees and rock formations along the way. One note of caution on the Google directions..the turn on "274" off of Rt. 211 is not marked at all except with a 4 foot tall post in the edge of the woods after you turn with the numbers 274 vertically on it. There is a road name sign but no route number visible. The better way is Rt. 675 out of Luray.

By: sarah Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 10, 2009
LOTS OF TICKS!!!!  My friend found 7 or 8 imbedded in her.  Luckily mine were still roaming around, but I found at least 20 total during the hike and after.  The views are stunning,  but picking off the ticks took away from the vistas.   We had to venture off the trail a few times to avoid water and mud.   I did this hike the end of October last year and would have rated it at least a 4.  No one I hiked with found a tick then, and the trail was a lot dryer.  It also had spectacular views of the fall colors.  I recommend sticking to this hike during the late fall and winter months. 

By: ricenpeas Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, September 1, 2008
Like someone else wrote, the middle 1/3 of this hike is isn't the greatest.  Once you make the left turn up the blue/orange blaze, the trail gets "ugly", with a lot of sand mixed with rock.  I'm sure it gets pretty gross when wet (it was bone dry when I hiked it).  That aside, this is a pleasant hike with several large rockslides to the side of the trail, but still in the woods.  The trail terrain itself is not very difficult, the rocks were easily managed.  I was fully expecting to see a snake on this trail, with the hot sun and rocks everywhere, but never did see one (plus a recent rattlesnake encounter has me seeing them everywhere!)  The overlook is very pleasant, with a gorgeous view to the east and a great view of the river as it snakes through the valley.  The camping spot at the overlook is nice for one tent, but I believe the nearest water source is about 2 miles away.  Plus, I saw some ant holes right at the site, so be sure to keep your tent zipped up!!  I put my hiking pole tip into one and instantly had dozens of tiny ants crawling up.  Overall, a nice little hike that is easily done under four hours and provides a great vista as payoff. 

By: ricenpeas Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, September 1, 2008

About 24 hours after this hike, I broke out with some WICKED poison ivy on my lower legs.  I'm not sure if it was from the overgrown first part of the trail, or the section of trail beyond the top overlook that was also quite overgrown (I walked about 3/4 of a mile past it, just to see what was up there), but man I'm dying today!!  The oil must have bled through my Smartwools that I keep pulled up high while hiking.


By: Someone Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, August 1, 2008
The view from above was absolutely amazing, but the path all the way up is annoyingly rocky. There are MASSIVE amounts of ticks here, too.

By: jk Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 25, 2008
Nice easy hike, but the middle 1/3 of the trail is very wet and muddy, making those parts of the trail a mess to hike along.  We've had a wet spring and for significant stretches in the mid section of the trail water actually flows down the trail.  You can either slop through the mud or try to pick your way along the edges of the trail or from rock to rock.  Water proof boots are a good idea.  We also picked up lots of ticks, so check yourself regularly - being forced off the trail into the edge of the vegitation probably made the tick issue worse.  The top 1/3 of the trail was very pleasant and the laurel and azaleas were just starting to bloom.  The view of the Shenendoah River from the top is great.  We didn't see anyone until almost all the way back down when we passed a good size group heading up to camp.

By: Soloban Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 19, 2008
Great hike good for an out -and-back backpacking trip without killing yourself.  A few points though:

1.  Make sure to wear good water proof hiking boots since the trail can become a tad muddy and wet at points and you will need to cross a stream toward the end of the yellow section.

2.  After you leave the yellow trail and head up the orange section you will start moving away from the stream and water sources will become scarce.  However, at the top of the orange trail where it takes a sharp right turn and you cross over to the other hill there is a natural spring coming out of ground.  Its just to the left of the trail, you may need to move some leaves to find it.  The water is cold and running at a decent rate, add a good filter and you'll have all the water you need!

3.  The campsite at the top is only large enough for two small tents.  We managed to fit an REI Hoodoo 3 and North Face Tephra 22 side-by-side.

The views of the valley below were worth the hike up.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 19, 2008

I went on this hike with the previous reviewer. One thing I would like to add is to be watchful of ticks. The benches around the campsite at the top of this trail are backed by scrub bushes. Both my girlfriend and I found ticks on us when we got home, and they were both near our lower backs-- which is why I think we got them from sitting on this bench with our backs to the bushes.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 9, 2008

If you live in the DC metro area and want to get away from it all for an overnight, this is a great hike. Less than 2hrs from town and an easy 4 mile hike to a great campsite on top of the ridge. The trail is a little rocky and wet in places but nothing a half-decent pair of boots can't cope with. The view from the campsite at the overlook is outstanding and the sunrise well worth the trip.

The trail is easy to follow and well blazed. Don't be tempted to cross the run early around the 1 mile mark (like I did), stay with the trail and it'll take you to the intersection with the orange/blue blazed Massanutten/Tuscarora Trail. The campsite at the overlook is small, it can accomodate only 1 two-man or two one-man tents so have a plan B if you go in the Spring or Fall.  

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 5, 2008
This was a good hike on a beautiful day.   We were actually pretty lucky it was below freezing much of the time we were hiking as portions of the trail were frozen rather than muddy.  The only other people we saw on the trail or at the parking area were some hunters.  While we were hiking we heard the dogs and some gunshots, which was a bit disconcerting.  We wore some non-natural colors and stayed to the trail, and everything turned out okay.  The hunters we met on the trail were even nice enough to let us pass them and their dogs when they realized we were moving faster than them. 

The hike is a nice gradual ascent and the view of the Shenandoah from the top is outstanding.  We are definitely considering coming out to this trail sometime for an overnight trip at one of the two campsites. 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 28, 2007

This was good out and back hike. It was in the mid 40’s and mostly cloudy skies. The first mile which is on the Veach Gap trail there is in not alot of rocks. Once you make the left on the orange/blue blazed trail it gets rocky. Never the less I enjoyed the hike. It was quiet and I did not see one person the whole time.The scenery at top is perfect.

Side note: Hiking during this type of weather is perfect. No humidity and no mosquitoes. If you dress right you want notice the cold.

By: jamgill Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, October 8, 2007
Nice hike, typical of this area of the GWNF.  Parked at the Veach Gap parking area and camped at one of the three or four sites within about twenty minutes of the gate.  Hiked to the overlook and back as a day hike with a leisurely day spent at the top chillaxin.

Maybe next time I'll camp at the top.  Would be a great sunrise.

By: Dave Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Overall a good hike with great views.  Weather is very mild this winter, but wind chill at the top in the afternoon put temperatures in the low 30's.  I'm not a frequent hiker, but I would say the trail is very rocky, had to spend most of the hike with my eyes down to deal with safe footing. Most of this trail, you're negotiating small to medium-sized rocks, so protective footwear is important.  Is this typical of Virginia trails?

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, February 9, 2006
The heat and humidity of Virginia and it's affect on mountain top vistas has made a winter hiker out of me. In winter, the views are just plain better, and of course, the solitude is always five stars. So keep in mind, my review is written from the perspective of the dead of winter.

First of all, HikingUpward's maps and descriptions have proven once again to be extremely accurate and useful.  For hiking in the northern parts of Virginia, this site is as good as it gets.

Second, this truly was a great hike that featured many of the good things typically found in a Virginia hike: mountain streams, forested valley floors, boulder fields, switchbacks, and beautiful views. From Crease Mountain looking due east, you have a great view of 'The Point' of the Shenandoah River. You also can see Skyline Drive as it enters Shenandoah National Park. I completed the round trip hike in about 5 hours, but this included about an hour alone at the top, and stopping now and then to photograph along the way.

This is an ideal hike for someone wanting to progress from beginner to intermediate hiker. 

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