Hike Schedule, Summer 2022
September 25—Little Devils Stairs, SNP, VA
** HIKE CHANGE **
** THIS is a bus hike **
Hikers begin at Little Hogback Overlook and take the AT, Keyser Run Fire Road, and Pole Bridge Link Trail to the Piney Branch Trail, which is followed down to the Hull School Trail. They then take the Hull School Trail and Keyser Run Fire Road to the beginning of the Little Devils Stairs Trail. Then comes the long, hard climb up the Stairs to the Keyser Run Fire Road, on which the climb is continued to the AT. The AT is then taken to Little Hogback Overlook.
Hike Schedule, Autumn 2022
October 2—Susquehanna State Park, MD
Raptor fans, this hike is for you! Starting from Shures Landing, you will be able to look for eagles AND vultures as we pass popular areas for sighting both species as we head downstream (southeast) on the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenways Trail. Both hikes will do a loop using the Farm Road Trail before ending at the Rock Run Trail. Moderate hikers will turn left on the Rock Run Trail, proceeding directly to historic Rock Run Mill. Long hikers will turn right on the Rock Run Trail, again turning right on the Land of Promise Trail and continuing to the Susquehanna Ridge Trail's eastern endpoint, using the latter to return to Rock Run Mill. Both hikes then return to the bus via the Susquehanna Heritage Greenways Trail.
October 9—Manassas National Battlefield Park, VA
Experience Virginia's infinite Civil War history in 3D with a walk through one of its most important battlefields! All hikes start at the Henry Hill Visitor Center. Meet in the HHVC parking lot [Map] at 9:00 AM. Long hikers do the First and Second Manassas Trails (about 11.5 miles, minimal elevation). Moderate hikers do the First Manassas Trail and a loop of Henry Hill (about 6 miles, minimal elevation).
October 16—AT, Bluff, and Mount Marshall Trails, SNP, VA
Today long hikers will complete the Jenkins Gap circuit hike, one of the most beautiful circuit hikes in the SNP. They will begin at the Jenkins Gap parking lot, and take the AT south, going over North and South Marshall mountains, to Gravel Springs Gap; they will then go left on the Bluff Trail and continue on the Mount Marshall Trail to Jenkins Gap parking lot to complete the circuit. Moderate hikers will take the AT at MP 16 of the Skyline Drive and take the same trails as the long hikers to complete a modified circuit.
October 23—Bearfence Mountain, SNP, VA
Today's hike goes over Bearfence Mountain, which may involve a rock scramble, but offers wonderful views at the summit. There is an option of bypassing the rocks if desired. All hikers will begin with the AT from the Pocosin Fire Road intersection. Moderate hikers stay on the AT the entire distance, crossing Bearfence Mountain with its spectacular 360 degree views. (Hikers can choose to scramble over Bear Fence's huge boulders or take a trail around them.) Continuing north on the AT, they ascend Hazel Mountain and end the hike at Milam Gap. Long hikers follow the route of the moderate hikers past Bearfence Mountain, then take a loop along Laurel Prong, Cat Knob, Jones Mountain, and Fork Mountain Trails to Camp Rapidan. From there they return to Milam Gap on the AT via the Mill Prong Trail.
October 30—AT, Roller Coaster from Spout Run to Ashby Gap, VA
If you haven't experienced this long-time favorite challenging hike, now's your chance! Long hikers start at Spout Run, route 604, and take a short unblazed trail to the AT, which they follow south to Ashby Gap. Just before reaching Ashby Gap, they go left on the blue-blazed trail to the trailhead parking area, and then go right on route 601 to reach the bus. Moderate hikers begin at the junction of routes 605 and 649, and climb up route 605 for about 1.5 miles to reach the junction with the AT. They turn right and follow the path of the long hikers to the bus.
November 6—Skyland - White Oak Canyon - Hawksbill - Appalachian Trail Loop, SNP, VA
(REMEMBER TO SET CLOCKS BACK ONE HOUR) From Skyland, all hikers take the Skyland Big Meadows Horse Trail down to cross White Oak Canyon, continuing to Cedar Run Trail, then turn right to Hawksbill parking. Moderate hikers return on the AT to Skyland. Long hikers hike to the Hawksbill Summit, then descend the Salamander Trail. Turn right on the AT, back to Skyland.
November 13—Patapsco State Park: Orange Grove, Avalon, and Hilton areas, MD
This trail takes us down the Patapsco River with its many pools and cascades, and through mature beech-oak forest. The hikes start and end at the Orange Grove area of Patapsco State Park on River Road near Elkridge, MD. Both hikes consist of two loops, one along the north (Baltimore County) side of the river and one along the south (Howard Country) side. Long hikers use a slightly wider arc for one of the loops.
November 20—Catoctin Trail, Hamburg Road to Manor Area, MD
Long hikers start at the intersection of Gambrill Park and Hamburg Roads and follow Hamburg Road to the Catoctin Trail, which they take north over rolling hills and past picturesque lakes to the Manor Area. Moderate hikers follow the route of the long hikers, starting further along at Delauter Road .
November 27—Billy Goat Trail, Montgomery Co, MD
Do you find a challenging rock scramble irresistible? Then don't miss this one! Hike starts at 10 am. Carpool to parking lot at Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center. Explore a variety of trails on the Maryland side of Great Falls at the C&O NHP, including several lesser-known trails as well as Billy Goat Trail A for those inclined to do a challenging rock scramble. The hike will feature several options: two hikes that include Billy Goat A, a moderate for 8.5 miles, est. elevation of 475 feet, or a long that adds on woodland trails totaling 11.5 miles and around 1000 feet elevation. There will also be shorter hikes that avoid Billy Goat A and offer 5 to 8 miles with elevation of roughly 300 to 500 feet.
December 4—Harpers Ferry, Tri-State, WV
Don't miss Harper's Ferry during the winter holiday season! From the parking area of the Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry, moderate hikers will take the trail to Lower Town. From there they will go via the Appalachian Trail to the Loudoun Heights Trail and enjoy the panoramic view of the town at Split Rock. Hikers will then return to the Visitor Center. Long hikers will follow the same route, except after they reach Lower Town they will first take the trail to Maryland Heights and view the town from the other side of the Potomac..
December 11—Shenandoah River State Park, VA
Enjoy one of Virginia's newest state parks that showcases the beauty of its premier river. From the Massanutten Shelter, all hikers take the Turkey Roost and Overlook Trails to Culler's Overlook for a vista of the river, and continue on a loop following the Culler's, Bear Bottom, Big Oak, Redtail Ridge, and Campground Trails. After completing the loop they return via the Overlook and Turkey Roost Trails to the shellter. Long hikers add a loop on the Point Trail.
December 18—Sugarloaf Mountain, MD
Come enjoy one of the most popular and historical mountains in the DC area. Described as having delicious chestnuts in the trees on its flanks, General Braddock, commander of British troops during the French and Indian War, marched his men past the mountain in 1755. Northern and Southern forces alternated in posting lookouts at its summit during the Civil War. We start from the upper parking area in the west end of road to follow in their footsteps as we hike a variety of moderately difficult trails up and around the mountain, with both long and moderate options.
December 26—Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC
Stay close to home on Christmas weekend, but come work off that holiday meal in
our own in-town National Park!
No bus. Note that the hike is on Monday rather than Sunday (which is Christmas Day). Special starting time 9:00 am. Meet at the Cleveland Park Metro. All hikers will take the Melvin Hazen trail to Valley trail and Pulpit Rock. Continue on the Valley trail to Milkhouse Ford where the moderate hikers will cross. The long hikers will continue to Boundary Bridge. Both hikes will take the Western Ridge trail to Melvin Hazen trail with a stop at the Nature Center.