I am looking for some local backpacking alternatives to SNP and Dolly Sods. Massanutten comes to mind although I have never backpacked in the NF there.
Wondering of anybody has some ideas for a good backpacking loop hike(s) in Massanutten in the range of 20-50 miles? Obviously, away from ATV routes and MB trails would be a plus.
Other locals near DC (not SNP or Dolly Sods) that would be good places to multi-day backpack trips?
Great North Mountain (not much farther than Massanutten) has lots of loop possibilities. The Trout Run Valley circuit is 26 miles at a minimum, and is possible to extend it.
Otter Creek Wilderness in WV, not far from Dolly Sods, has a good network of trails.
In the Massanuttens: it is very easy to make some 20+ mile loops in the Signal Knob/Elizabeth Furnace area. For example, here is a long circuit which resembles a figure-eight but with three loops instead of two. I think it is about 30 miles, maybe a little more.
From the Signal Knob parking lot, take the Massanutten Trail CCW to Signal Knob, then down to where it crosses the Tuscarora after Mudhole Gap. Take the Tuscarora east to where it joins and travels with the Massanutten (near the Signal Knob parking). Follow the Tuscarora/Massanutten trail CW up to Shawl Gap. Proceed south along the ridge to Sherman Gap. Take the Sherman Gap Trail west, down to the Botts Trail. The Botts Trail takes you back to the Massanutten/Tuscorara just before where it crosses Passage Creek. From there it is about 0.5 mile back to the Signal Knob parking lot.
Re: Mountain Bikes - I have seen them in Massanuttens in the Signal Knob area. But in winter you are much less likely to encounter them. I've never seen any ATVs on these trails - probably not allowed.
Pennsylvania - Chuck Keiper Trail (50-ish), Susquehannock Trail System (80-ish), Black Forest Trail (42), Quehanna Trail (?).
Virginia: The AT Triple Crown (McAfee Knob, Dragon's Tooth, Tinker Cliffs) - can be made a loop using a former AT section on the ridge of North Mountain. Mount Rogers and Grayson Highlands State Park and surrounding wilderness areas.
West Virginia: Cranberry Wilderness
Edited by Douglas on Dec 5, 2011 12:27 PM