GET Guidebook 3a

Edition 1/26/2013

Section 3a
VA/WV 55 to Waites Run Road
8.9 miles

Parking

 1.  North end on VA 55.  Go west on VA 55 (US 48) from I-81 Exit 296 near Strasburg, VA for 14 miles.  Just before crossing the top of Great North Mountain (VA WV line), park on the left side of the road.  The Tuscarora Trail crosses VA 55 at the top of the ridge.
 2.  South end of section at Waites Run.  Go 19 miles west of I-81 Exit 296 on VA/WV 55 (US 48) to Furnace Road (CR 5/4) (just after the gas station) and turn left.  Go 0.6 mile to T-intersection; turn right on North Mountain road (CR 5) and then left on Waites Run Road (CR 5/1).  Pass a swimming pool and tennis courts.  Go 5.2 miles on Waites Run Road and just after crossing Waites Run for the third time, the Tuscarora County Line Trail comes down Great North Mountain to the road.  Park on the left side of the road before or after bridge over Waites Run.

Shuttle

   North to south: Go west on US 48/WV 55 five miles to Furnace Road (CR 5/4) (just after the gas station) and turn left.  Go 0.6 mile to T-intersection; turn right on North Mountain road (CR 5) and then left on Waites Run Road (CR 5/1).  Pass a swimming pool and tennis courts.  Go 5.2 miles on Waites Run Road and just after crossing Waites Run for the third time, the Tuscarora County Line Trail comes down Great North Mountain to the road. 
   South to north: Return on Waites Run Road 5.2 miles to North Mountain Road (CR 5), turn right, then left on Furnace Road (CR 5/4) and go to US 48/WV 55.  Turn right and go 5 miles to state line. 

Maps

  PATC Map F
  USGS 7.5 minute Quadrangles: Wardensville, WV/VA; Wolf Gap, WV/VA
  National Geographic Map 792: Massanutten & Great North Mtn

Shelters and Campsites

 This section has one shelter:
 Paul Gerhard Memorial Shelter: built by USFS in [year] and maintained by PATC, 4.2 miles from the north end of this section; accommodates six, water from spring 0.5 mile down path to east. 
 Next shelter: north 21.3 miles (Pinnacle); none known to the south. 

Regulations

 1. Camping is permitted in family and group campgrounds, and other reasonable places along the trail, where traffic is not impeded.  It is not permitted in the picnic area.  Observe posted regulations.
 2. Make small campfires in designated fireplaces or other safe locations.
 3. Clear the ground of flammable material within 4' of the fire.
 4. Use charcoal or camp stoves when possible.
 5. Campfires must be tended at all times and must be dead before campers leave.
 6. Report forest fires to the Lee Ranger District of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Edinburg, VA, 540-984 4101 or 911.
 7. Protect natural scenery from defacement.  To preserve ground cover and prevent erosion, please refrain from cutting across trail switchbacks.
 8. Fishing and hunting are permitted.  State regulations apply.   State licenses and a National Forest stamp required.
 9. Carry out all unburnable trash.
10. Cover all body waste with 6 inches of soil.


Trail Description, North to South

Miles   Data
 0.0 From US 48/State Rt. 55 at the VA/WV state line (elev. 2140'), follow Tuscarora Trail south.  Pass gate; the trail starts out as a woods road and becomes a jeep trail and eventually a foot trail over the next 3+ miles.
 2.0 Cross powerline clearing (elev. 2580'). Views right towards Wardensville and left towards Paddy Gap.  Ahead trail undulates in elevation as it follows near, or on, ridgeline. 
 4.2 Paul Gerhard Memorial Shelter (elev. 2450').  (Side trail, white-blazed, to left descends Great North Mountain at FDR 371 in 0.6 mile.  Water may be found about 0.5 mile down side trail in gully, except in dry weather.)
 5.1 On ridgeline, reach high point for this section (elev. 2810').  There is a "cave" in the stack of rocks at high point to left here.  For next 1.8 mile trail dips and rises several times, but overall descends 440' along west slope of ridgeline. 
 6.6 Terrapin Spring; dry in late summer or early fall. 
 6.9 At local high point (elev. 2370') begin steady descent towards Waites Run. 
 7.3 Boulders to right offer overlook to NW toward Anderson Ridge and Thorpes Gap.  Ahead, descend with occasional switchbacks. 
 8.4 Turn right onto overgrown forest road.  After 80 yd, turn left onto useable forest road and continue descent. 
 8.9 Reach Waites Run Road (elev. 1510') and end of Section 3a.  Tuscarora/GET continues right on road into Section 3b. 


Trail Description, South to North

Miles   Data
 0.0 From Waites Run Road, south of bridge over Waites Run, turn left onto old forest road (elev. 1510').  In 80 yd pass USFS gate. 
 0.5 Just before crest of forest road over local rise, turn right (almost reverse direction) onto another unused forest road.  After 80 yd turn left onto footpath and begin steady climb with some switchbacks. 
 1.6  Boulders to left offer overlook to NW towards Anderson Ridge and Thorpes Gap. 
 2.0 At local high point (elev. 2370') end of steady climb from Waites Run Road.  For next 1.8 miles trail dips and rises several times but over ascends 440' along west slope of mountain. 
 2.3 Terrapin Spring; dry in late summer and early fall. 
 3.8 On ridgeline, reach high point for this section (elev. 2810').  There is a "cave" in the stack of rocks at high point to right here. 
 4.7 Paul Gerhard Memorial Shelter (elev. 2450').  (Side trail, white-blazed, to right descends Great North Mountain to FDR 271 in 0.6 mile.  Water may be found about 0.5 mile down side trail in gully, except in dry weather.)  Ahead trail undulates in elevation as it follows near or on ridgeline.  It becomes a jeep trail and becomes a woods road over the next 3-4 miles. 
 6.9 Cross power line clearing (elev. 2590').  Views left towards Wardensville and right towards Paddy Gap.  Ahead begin to follow old ridgeline forest road. 
 8.9 Reach US 48/State Rt. 55 after a gate at the Virginia/West Virginia state line (elev. 2140') at end of section 3a.  GET continues on other side of SR 55/US 48 into section 2c. 


Trail Condition Report

GET Guidebook contents

Guide to Section 2c (north)

Guide to Section 3b (south)

 

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