West Virginia Loop
This run is so named because the route resembles a skewed state of West Virginia.
- 29.3 miles
- Running time
- 5.5–9 hours
- Total ascent/descent
- 7,500 feet
- GPX file
- What to wear
From the parking area on Route 211 take the Buck Hollow Trail 0.2 miles to the intersection with the Buck Ridge Trail. Take a left onto the blue-blazed Buck Ridge Trail and begin the steep ascent. At the top of the ridge, make a left onto the yellow-blazed Hazel Mountain Trail (mile 3.0) and in 1.1 miles make another left onto the White Rocks Trail. In 0.9 miles reach a sidetrail on your right, which descends a steep 0.2 miles down to Cave Falls. Return to the White Rocks Trail and continue for 1.2 miles, passing by White Rocks (views) before a steep descent down to the Hazel River (this is a good place to cool off or get water on a hot day).
Shortly after crossing the river, make a right onto the Hazel River Trail and begin a nice gradual 2.7 mile ascent back up to the ridge. This is an old roadbed with beautiful stone work in some of the switchbacks. On top of the ridge (mile 8.1) make a left onto the yellow-blazed Hazel Mountain Trail and continue for 1.2 miles. Take a right onto the Hot Short Mountain Trail and begin 2.2 mile descent into Nicholson Hollow.
At the bottom, take a left onto the Nicholson Hollow Trail for 0.4 miles to the Corbin Mountain Trail. Cross the Hughes River and begin climbing up the Corbin Mountain Trail. After 4.4 miles (and 1900 feet of climb) take a right on the Old Rag Fire Road. After 0.7 miles turn right on the Bridle Path toward Skyland. Continue for 1.2 miles, crossing Skyline Drive, and arriving at Skyland (mile 18.3) for water, snack bar, and bathrooms in season.
From here, the run continues north on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail (AT), passing by Stony Man. At mile 22.9 pass through Pinnacle Picnic Grounds with water fountains and bathrooms. At mile 25.7, turn right onto the Meadow Spring Trail for 0.6 miles to the Hazel Mountain parking area on Skyline Drive. Cross the drive and take the blue-blazed Buck Hollow Trail back to your car.
Last updated May 26, 2020
What you do is up to you, but you shouldn't rely on these directions alone; they are often not specific enough to navigate by, and may be incorrect or out of date. Review a map beforehand and carry it with you. Tell a friend where you are going and when you plan to return. Do not count on having cell phone service while on the run. The VHTRC is not responsible for your welfare on any of these runs. If you go on one of these runs and get lost, run out of water, get injured, mauled by a bear, or die, or if anything else goes wrong, it's your fault; not ours. You assume all risks here and the VHTRC assumes none at all. Legal issues aside, some of these runs are more remote than others and the VHTRC is not suggesting that you do any of these runs, unless you are prepared to accept full responsibility for yourself.