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Within 3 Hours of Washington DC?

We have pretty much tapped out Shenandoah NP and want to find some great places within 3 to 4 hours of DC which offers some great hiking and opportunity for Backcountry camping. We are looking at 1 and 2 nighters We would be comfortable with anything under a 15 miler for a 1 nighter and 20 miler for 2 nights.

West Virginia, Seneca? GWNF? What about PA.

Open to all of your experiences and appreciate any response.


Hey Greg, my Dad and I went backpacking through the Spruce Knob Wilderness which is right around Seneca Rocks. I think that might be a little over three hours from DC but I doubt its that bad of a drive. When I wewnt, I came up 81 from Charlotte and the drive itself is very pretty, especially once you get off the interstate and start driving through GW National Forest. Anyway, there are several loops you can do through the wilderness area. We used some maps purchased from the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center and a hiking guide. I recommend the higher meadows trail, which I imagime would have had some great views if it wasn't foggy and raining throughout our trip.

I think this is the book we used to plan our hike:

Grayson Highlands hike to Mt. Rogers: One of the most beautiful sections of the AT. Not strenuous hiking. Watch for the wild ponies! Interstae 61 to 81 to Marion, VA, east on 16. Make a loop hike to the Scales, Rhododendron Gap, Mt. Rogers (no view,but highest in VA) Great spots for tenting. How did I find out about it? I was section hiking the AT in CT. I met a young teenager thru-hiking with his grandfather. When I asked him what his favorite part of the trail so far, he said at once, "Mt. Rogers". Last June my daughter took Amtrak out of DC to around Roanoke. I picked her up, we spent three days in Mt. Rogers area. I drove her back to DC. The drive is alomst all on Interstates., it probably was more than 3 hours, but try to do this hike.

I agree with Rambler, the Mt Rogers hike is a great one. The National Geographic Trails Illustrated map worked great for planning my trip. I think my friend and I did about an 18 mile loop. We camped about 200 feet away from an AT shelter, I don't recall which shelter it was, but it was very close to the Mt Rogers spur trail. Anyway, it was nice to set up camp, and hike up to the top of Mt Rogers without carrying all of our gear. Try to make sure you camp in an area where the ponies can't get. They will try to eat your food!

October 24, 2020
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