Wanderbirds Hiking Club

Hike Schedule Spring 2017

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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 19 Frogtown to Ashby Gap, VA. Today, we have the opportunity to hike most of the famous “roller coaster” section of the AT. Long hikers reach the AT south of Snickers Gap by taking a short trail from Rt. 604. They then follow the AT south to Ashby Gap. Moderate hikers start at Frogtown and ascend Rt. 605 to the AT. Then they follow the route of the long hike to Ashby Gap. Est. miles: 12 (strenuous) and 8.3 (intermediate). PATC Map 8. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Jesse Buckwalter - JxJunkMail@gmail.com, 443-852-4094; Pat Fairfax - PAFairfax@aol.com, 703-328-1501 (VA)

March 26 Pass Mountain/Beahm’s Gap to Hogback Overlook, SNP, VA. Long hikers take the Pass Mountain Trail from Rte. 211 to the intersection with the AT. From there they turn right to go north all the way to Hogback Overlook. Moderate hikers start from Beahm’s Gap and take the AT north to Hogback Overlook. Est. miles: 12.5 (strenuous) and 8 (intermediate). PATC Map 9. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Kay Weston - kweston70@gmail.com, 240-381-7845; Emil Friberg - emilfriberg@hotmail.com, 202-812-8990 (VA)

April 2 Kings Gap, Cumberland County, PA. Kings Gap is an environmental education center situated at the northern terminus of the Blue Ridge. Its mature forests are wild enough for us to have seen black bear. Thousands of native Pinkster azaleas will be in bloom during this hike. We make use of several trails to visit the park’s upland areas as well as the biologically diverse Kings Gap Hollow watershed. Est. miles: 8 (intermediate) and 12 (strenuous). Kings Gap State Park Map. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Josh Silverman, betula54@msn.com, 703-582-3456; Kay Weston, kweston70@gmail.com, 240-381-7845.

April 9 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. We have timed the hike so 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. miles: 8 and 12 (intermediate) and 18 (strenuous). Bull Run-Occoquan Trail Map. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Jesse Buckwalter, inannapolis@gmail.com, 443-852-4094; Jeannie Fauntleroy, jeannie.fauntleroy@outlook.com, 703-851-6592. (VA)

April 16 Appalachian Trail to Marys Rock, Central SNP, VA. Both hikes offer, at the end, an optional climb up Marys Rock, with its commanding 360 degree view and 3500 feet elevation. Both hikes end at the Hazel Mountain Overlook, a half mile walk north on Skyline drive from the Meadow Springs Trail. Moderate hikers begin on the Nicholson Hollow Trail junction with Skyline Drive (at Hughes River Gap). They descend to the historic Corbin Cabin and then hike back up to the ridge by the Corbin Cabin Cutoff Trail. Here moderate hikers go north on the AT to Meadow Spring with an optional climb up Marys Rock. Long hikers start at the Stony Man Parking Area and descend via Sky Meadows Horse Trail, Old Rag Fire Road, Corbin Mountain Trail, and Indian Run Trails to Corbin Cabin. At this point long hikers join the moderate route. Est. miles: 9 (strenuous) and 11.5 (strenuous). PATC Map 10. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Jeff Thompson, jefferyathompson@comcast.net, 703-859-0157; Laura Heaton, lauraheaton41@gmail.com, 571-212-2592. (VA)

April 23 Austin and Furnace Mountains, SNP VA. Don’t miss this hike in the beautiful but seldom-visited southern section of the Shenandoah National Park. All hikers walk for a short distance on the Madison Run Road before beginning the ascent of Austin Mountain and Rockytop Trails. Moderate hikers then descend on the Madison Run Spur Trail and Road back to the bus. Long hikers continue on the Big Run Loop Trail to the Appalachian Trail, which is followed through Browns Gap to the summit of Blackrock with its panoramic views. The Blackrock and Spoor and Trayfoot Mountain Trails lead to our descent on the Furnace Mountain Trail to the bus. Est. miles: 12.5 (strenuous) and 9 (strenuous). PATC Map 11. Fare $20/$25 (no park fee; free entrance day). Leaders: Kathryn Good, avignon7@aol.com, 571-218-9225; Vicky Hsu, hhueichi@gmail.com, 240-370-7011. (VA)

April 30 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. miles: 11.5 (strenuous) and 8.5 (intermediate). PATC Map 1 and 2-3. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Rennie Peddie, rennietp@gmail.com, 786-457-3793; Michael Roehm, miroehm@gmail.com, 301-223-7385. (MD)

May 7 Trillium Hike, Thompson Wildlife Management Area, VA/Jack Meiners Memorial Hike. 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. miles: 12 (strenuous) and 9 (intermediate). PATC Map 8. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Annetta DePompa, hikerfool@yahoo.com, 410-535-5171; Chris Bublitz, cbublitz4@comcast.net, 240-687-3390. (VA)

This hike was a favorite of Jack Meiners, and for this reason we are using it to commemorate him. Members will be encouraged after the hike to share their memories of him with others.

May 14 Brown’s Hollow, Massanutten Mountain, VA. This hike on south Massanutten is a great late-winter hike with continuous views. Moderate hikers do a “lariat” hike: starting at the Massanutten Visitor Center, they hike south on the Massanutten Trail (with ridgeline views) for 2 miles. They then hike the Bird Knob Loop by taking a right fork onto the white-blazed Bird Knob trail, which loops back to the Massanutten Trail. Hikers then hike north on the Massanutten Trail, completing the 4-mile loop and following the scenic ridge back to the Visitor Center. Long hikers do a clockwise loop: starting at Rte. 211, they do a demanding climb up Brown’s Hollow. Near Bird Knob, hikers take the Massanutten Trail north and join the last half of the moderate loop. PATC Map H. Est. miles: 11 (strenuous) and 8 (moderate). Fare: $20/$25. Easy option. Leaders: Mike Ollinger , edward_ollieollie@yahoo.com, 301-933-2196; Anna Oldak, anika_o_99@yahoo.com, 301-933-2196. (VA)

May 21 AT Harpers Ferry to Weverton, WV, MD. This hike is a variation on the more usual Keys Gap to Weverton route that will enable moderate hikers to see the view at Maryland Heights. It starts at Harpers Ferry where the AT crosses Shenandoah St. just after the Rte. 340 bridge. All hikers will then take the AT through Harpers Ferry and take the 1200-foot ascent to the historic Maryland Heights. Long hikers will extend the hike by taking the Stone Fort loop. Est. miles: 7.5 (intermediate) and 10.0 (intermediate). PATC Map 7. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Claire MacDonald, cmacd4151@gmail.com, 301-233‐2571; Larry Miller, purpletoupee@sprintmail.com, 240-353-3143. (MD)

May 28 AT Compton Gap to Hogback Overlook, SNP, VA. Enjoy the views from the AT in the Northern section of the Shenandoah National Park. Long hikers will start at Compton Gap, stop at Compton Peak for the magnificent view and continue south to the AT to Hogback Overlook, where the bus will be waiting. Moderate hikers will shorten the hike by starting at Jenkins Gap, and they will have their chance to admire the westward views at North Marshall and South Marshall Mountains. Est. miles 10.4 (strenuous) and 8.4 (intermediate). PATC Map 9. Fare $20/$25 plus park fee. Leaders: Jim Fitzsimmons, jlafitz@verizon.net, 703-465-9022; George Saxton, george@saxfam.net, 703-855-0876. (VA)

June 4 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 the path of the long hikers. (This includes the spectacular Halfmoon Lookout). Est. miles: 9 (intermediate) and 12.5 (strenuous). PATC Map F. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Robert Holley, reilex@yahoo.com, 571-247-2172; Debbie Wallace, deborahawallace@hotmail.com, 301-318-1526. (VA)

June 11 Mason-Dixon Trail, Otter Creek, PA. This portion of the Mason Dixon Trail was named by Hike America as one of the country’s outstanding “Recreation Trails”. The Mason-Dixon traces the Susquehanna’s western palisades south and passes through several scenic glens with rich fern and hemlock growth. The moderate hikes start at Apollo County Park and at Shenks Ferry Road and travel south. The long hike starts at Old Bridgeville Road south of Wrightsville. Est. miles: 5 (easy) and 8 (moderate) and 12 (strenuous). Mason-Dixon Trail Map 4. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Reid Rottach, reidalan@gmail.com, 301-357-5744; Antonina Nikolova, nikolova.antonina@yahoo.com, 240-838-9389. (MD)

June 18 Neighbor and Knob Mountain Trails, SNP, VA. Long hikers start at Beahms Gap Overlook, and follow the AT north for about 1 mile and turn left onto Neighbor Mountain Trail. After crossing Jeremy's Run, they ascend Knob Mountain Trail. They turn right at the junction with Knob Mountain Cutoff Trail, and follow it to the AT north, which leads them to Elkwallow Wayside and the bus. Moderate hikers start at Panorama and follow the AT north, crossing over Pass Mountain on their way to Elkwallow Wayside and the bus. Est. miles: 11 (Strenuous) and 8 (Moderate). PATC Map 9. Fare: $20/$25 plus park fee. Leaders: Kiko Alvarez, kiko_a_c@yahoo.com,607-279-3455; Susana Mendez, susaname@yahoo.com, 607-279-4262. (VA)

June 25 Gambrill State Park, MD (Picnic hike). Long hikers start at Delauter Rd., head east to connect with and go south on the Catoctin Trail to the Nature Trail Parking lot off Gambrill Park Rd., then take the Yellow Poplar and Green Ash Trail to reach High Knob and the bus. Moderate hikers start at Hamburg Rd. and follow the path of the long hikers to High Knob. Est. miles: 10 (intermediate) 6.5 (intermediate). PATC map 5 and Park map. Fare: $20. Leaders: Austin Doyle, doyle.austin@gmail.com, 202-248-2171; Elisa Braver, elisabraver@gmail.com, 202-248-2171. (MD)