Wanderbirds Hiking Club

Hike Schedule Spring 2018

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All outings depart 17th & K Streets at 8:00 am sharp unless otherwise noted. VA=suburban pickup in Virginia; MD=suburban pickup in Maryland (see maps of pickup points). Hikes marked MD & VA will pick up at both suburban locations. Hikers should be at suburban pickup points by 8:20 am.

You don't need be a WB member to join us on a hike!
FIRST-TIME HIKERS: PLEASE PHONE a leader at one of the telephone numbers listed at the end of the hike description.
ALL OTHERS: By email or phone. It is club policy that hikers new to the club will take the moderate hike. If you sign up for a hike, don't be a no-show! (click here for no-show policy).

Please try to sign up before 4:00 pm Friday afternoon before the hike! Otherwise the hike may be cancelled due to low number of sign-ups. And PLEASE don't call leaders after 9:00 PM!

Rating of hikes based on elevation and terrain. Easy: less than 1,000 ft elevation gain. Intermediate: less than 2,000 ft elevation gain. Strenuous: 2,000+ ft elevation gain. Rating may vary with weather and terrain. For advice, consult the leader at the phone number provided.

March 18 AT, Keys Gap to Snickers Gap, VA. Enjoy springtime along this beautiful section of the AT. Long hikers start from Keys Gap, and follow the AT south to the Blackburn Trail Center. They continue through the Devils Racecourse and Crescent Rock before reaching Snickers Gap and the bus. Moderate hikers begin with a walk on the Appalachian Trail Road to the Blackburn Trail Center, ascend to the AT, and proceed south along the path of the long hikers. Est. miles: 13.4 and 9. PATC Map 7. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Kathryn Good, , 571-218-9225 and Laura Heaton, lauraheaton41@gmail.com, 571-212-2592 (VA).

March 25 C & O Canal Towpath: Pearre to Hancock, MD We will be on a section that the club has not done before, passing through many impressive rock formations and obtaining breath-taking views of the Potomac. Long hikers will start from Pearre, MD and moderate hikers will start of Cohill Station. The hike ends at Hancock, MD, with many old buildings and a long history going back to its establishment in 1749. Highlights include the ridge of Great Cacapon, the ruins of an old cement mill, the rock strata known as Devil's Eyebrow, and the White Rock outcropping. Est.: 7 1/2 and 13 miles, elevation gain minimal. PATC Map L. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Mike Ollinger, edward_ollieollie@yahoo.com, 301-933-2196 and Michael Roehm, miroehm@gmail.com, 301-223-7385 (MD).

April 1 - Big Devil's Stairs, Bluff and Mount Marshall Trails, SNP, VA. The best times to see the views at Big Devil's Stairs are early spring and late autumn, when the trees are bare of foliage. Moderate hikers start at Jenkins Gap, walk for 300 ft south on Skyline Drive and turn left down the Mount Marshall Fire Road (which becomes Mount Marshall Trail), turn right (south) on the Bluff Trail (frequent views west) and left on the Big Devil’s Stairs. Hikers descend the Stairs (frequent views east) to the end of the trail, then climb back up and turn left onto the Bluff Trail to Gravel Springs Gap. They then follow Skyline Drive for 1/3 mile to Range View Overlook. Long hikers follow the moderate path but arrive at Jenkins Gap by first hiking 4.5 miles on the AT from Gravel Springs. Est.: 13.5 miles, 2300' elevation and 9 miles, 1500' elevation. PATC Map 9. Fare: $20/$25 plus park fee or pass. Leaders: Annetta DePompa, hikerfool@yahoo.com, 410-535-5171 and Debbie Wallace, Deborahawallace@hotmail.com, 301-318-1526 (VA).

April 8 - Virginia Bluebell hike, Bull Run – Occoquan Trail, VA. There are literally acres of Virginia Bluebells on the banks of Bull Run, the result of rich, seasonally flooded, sandy soil. If the season's timing cooperates, we will see vast stands of these flowers in full bloom. Trout lilies, beavers, heron, kingfishers and migratory warblers also vie for attention. Moderate hikers start at Hemlock Overlook and proceed north (upstream) on the Bull Run – Occoquan Trail to Bull Run Regional Park. Long hikers start hiking north from Bull Run Marina; extra-long hikers start at Fountainhead Regional Park. Est. 12 miles, 900' elevation and 8 miles, 500' elevation. There is an 18 miles, 3000' elevation option that requires leader approval. Bull Run-Occoquan Trail Map. Fare: $20/$25. We will also be celebrating George Saxton's 75th birthday with this hike. He has been a dedicated hike leader for several years and the club looks forward to his leading hikes for many years to come. Leaders: Jeff Thompson, jefferyathompson@comcast.net, 703-859-0157 and George Saxton, george@saxfam.net, 703-855-0876 (VA).

April 15 - Big Schloss and Mill Mountain, GWNF, VA. Big Schloss and Mill Mountain, GWNF, VA. All hikers walk past Woodstock Reservoir from route 749. Long hikers then follow Little Stony Creek Trail, the Tuscarora, and then Mill Mountain Trails. About 1 mile past Big Schloss Cutoff Trail, they turn left to go to Big Schloss (optional), and then return to Mill Mountain Trail and go left to Wolf Gap Recreation Area. Moderate hikers also follow Little Stony Creek Trail, but go left at FR 92 and then right on Big Schloss Cutoff Trail. At the junction with Mill Mountain Trail, moderate hikers go left and follow the path of the long hikers. Est. (without side trip to the top of Big Schloss): 13 miles, 2900' elevation and 7.5 miles, 1950' elevation. PATC Map F. Fare $20/$25. Leaders: Annetta DePompa, hikerfool@yahoo.com, 410-535- 5171 and Chris Bublitz, cbublitz4@comcast.net, 240- 687-3390 (VA).

April 22 - Old Rag Mountain, SNP, VA. Hikers scramble over giant boulders and crawl through narrow tunnels before reaching the ragged mountaintop. All hikers start at Nethers. Long hikers follow the Ridge Trail to the top of the mountain and back to Nethers on the Saddle Trail and the Weakley Hollow Fire Rd. Moderate hikers do an up and back to the summit by taking the Saddle Trail (long hike is actually shorter than the moderate hike; elevation gains are similar, but the long hike is steeper). Est.: 9.2 miles, 2500' elevation and 10.8 miles, 2500' elevation. PATC Map 10. Fare: $20/$25 plus fee or park pass. Leaders: Josh Silverman, betula54@msn.com 703-582-3456 and Tony Ingram, tomoingram@yahoo.com, 240-462-6883 (VA).

April 29 - Appalachian Trail, MD. Turners Gap to Weverton Cliffs, MD This hike passes several sites of Civil War skirmishes that led to the climatic Antietam Battle. It also traverses Lamb’s Knoll, Maryland’s second highest mountain. Moderate hikers start at Gathland State Park and hike north on the Appalachian Trail to Turners Gap (Route 40). Long hikers start at Weverton Cliffs, follow the AT north past Gathland to Turners Gap (Route 40). Est.: 14 miles, 2200' elevation and 7.5 miles, 1000' elevation. PATC Map 5-6. Fare: $20/25. Leaders: Mike Ollinger, edward_ollieollie@yahoo.com, 301- 933-2196 and Anna Oldak, anika_o_99@yahoo.com, 301-933-2196 (MD).

May 6 - Trillium Hike, Thompson Wildlife Management Area, VA. Long hikers start at Manassas Gap, and follow the AT north past Manassas Gap Shelter and the junction with Verlin Smith Trail to continue on the AT to a point just south of Dicks Dome Shelter. Here they turn right and follow Verlin Smith Trail around Lake Thompson and to parking area #4 and the waiting bus. Moderate hikers begin at parking area #4 and complete a circuit by joining the path of the long hikers. Est.: 12 miles, 1600' elevation and 9 miles, 1000' elevation. PATC Map 8. Fare: $20/$25 Leaders: Bob Malkowski, bmalkowski@cox.net, 703-731-9983 and Jeannie Fauntleroy, jeannie.fauntleroy@outlook.com, 703-851-6592 (VA).

May 13 - Halfmoon Mountain, Great North Mountain, WV. This hike has outstanding views of the Trout Run Valley and Wilson Cove. Both hikes start from Trout Run Valley Road and will do circuits on Halfmoon Mountain. Long hikers take the Bucktail Trail to the Capon Trail, go along Waites Run Road, and ascend the German Wilson and Halfmoon Trails to reach the Halfmoon Lookout to enjoy the views and watch hawks. They then descend on the Halfmoon and Bucktail Cutoff Trails to reach the Trout Run Valley Road and the bus. Moderate hikers follow the Bucktail Trail, ascend the German Wilson Trail, and continue on the path of the long hikers. (This includes the spectacular Halfmoon Lookout). Est.: 13 miles, 2500' elevation and 10 miles, 2100' elevation. PATC Map F. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Emil Friberg, emilfriberg@hotmail.com, 202-812-8990 and Marsha Johnston, mwjohnston1@gmail.com, 619-855-0669 (VA).

May 20 - AT Pine Grove to Boiling Springs, PA. Long hikers start where the AT crosses Pine Grove Rd near Tag Run Campground. Moderate hikers start where the AT crosses Route 94. All hikers follow the AT to historic Boiling Springs, PA and to the bus at Children’s Lake. Est.: 11.5 miles, 3000' elevation and 8.5 miles, 1800' elevation. PATC Map 1 and 2-3. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Robert Holley, reilex@yahoo.com, 571-247-2172 and Barbara Blaylock, b.blaylock@verizon.net, 301-564-1249 (MD).

May 27 - Stephens, Massanutten, and Kennedy Peak Trails, GWNF, VA. All hikers begin and end at Camp Roosevelt and climb Stephens Trail to Massanutten Trail. Here, long hikers turn left to do an out-and- back toward Habron Gap and then join the route of the moderate hikers. Moderate hikers turn right with option to ascend Kennedy Peak Trail before returning to Massanutten Trail, which they follow to Camp Roosevelt. Est.: from 10 up to 14.5 miles, 1700' elevation and 9 miles, 1300' elevation. PATC Map G. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Bill Cathey, Billcathey@hotmail.com 202-237-1351 and Vicky Hsu, hhueichi@gmail.com, 240-370-7011 (VA).

June 3 - AT, Snowy Mountain, PA. to Pen Mar, MD Long Hikers start at route 233, and ascend Snowy Mountain, pass Buzzard Peak, and continue on the AT south to Pen Mar. Moderate hikers begin at Old Forge Road, and also take the AT south to Pen Mar. Est.: 13.4 miles, 1300' elevation and 8.5 miles, 900' elevation. PATC Map 4. Fare: $20/25. Leaders: J. L. Morris, Morrisjl@msn.com, 240-507-3079 and Michael Roehm, miroehm@gmail.com, 301-223-7385 (MD).

June 10 - Three Top Mountain, Massanutten Mtn, VA. This hike traverses the east side of north Massanutten, along the Three Top Mountain ridge, with scenic views of the Shenandoah North Fork. Starting at Powells Fort Camp, moderate hikers take the Massanutten Trail south to the Tuscarora Trail on Three Top Mountain and follow it to the Bear Wallow Spur and Mudhole Gap Trails to Bear Wallow Parking. Long hikers start at Rte. 758 and ascend to Woodstock Tower (fabulous views). They then hike north on the Massanutten Trail to the Tuscarora Trail and follow the moderate route. Est.: 13 miles, 2300' elevation and 11 miles, 1600' elevation. PATC Map G. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Rennie Peddie, rennietp@gmail.com, 786-457-3793 and Kay Weston, kweston70@gmail.com, 240-381- 7845 (VA).

June 17 - Bearfence Mountain, SNP, VA. Today's hike goes over Bearfence Mountain, which involves 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 the scramble.) 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 on 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. Est.: 11.5 miles, 2600' elevation and 8.5 miles, 1700' elevation. PATC Map 10. Fare: $20/$25 plus park fee or pass. Leaders: Kathryn Good, avignon7@aol.com, 571-218-9225 and Laura Heaton lauraheaton41@gmail.com, 571-212-2592 (VA).

June 24 - Shenandoah River State Park, VA (Picnic hike). The moderate hikers will start at the picnic shelter and take the Allen Mountain and Point trails then head back to the picnic shelter. The long hikers will do a loop consisting of these trails: Hemlock, Overlook, Campground, Culler, Bear Bottom, Big Oak, Redtail, Big Oak, Culler, River, Bluebell. Est.: 9 miles, 1200' elevation and 6.5 miles, 1200' elevation. Shenandoah River Park map. Fare: $20. Leaders: Kiko Alvarez, kiko_a_c@yahoo.com, 607-279-3455 and Susana Mendez, susaname@yahoo.com, 607-279- 4363 (VA).