Great Eastern Trail

PATC Section

 

The PATC section of the Great Eastern Trail (GET) is 279 miles long. From the north, it begins where the Standing Stone Trail in Pennsylvania connects to the Tuscarora Trail in Cowans Gap State Park. From the south, it begins at the Virginia-West Virginia line where the Meadow Mountain Trail crosses from Pocahontas County, West Virginia, into Bath County, Virginia.

There are two major segments of this section of the GET: the 166-mile (158 miles in PATC territory) Headwaters Section of the Great Eastern Trail, from Meadow Mountain Trail to an intersection with the Tuscarora Trail in Virginia, and 121 miles of the Tuscarora in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. In Cowans Gap State Park, Pennsylvania, the GET doglegs toward the northwest on the Standing Stone Trail. To hike the PATC/GET section you will need, from south to north:

PATC Guidebooks

The Tuscarora Trail: A Guide to the North Half in MD and PA
The Tuscarora Trail: A Guide to the South Half in WV and VA
The Great Eastern Trail – Between SR 55/US 48 and I-64

PATC Maps

Map F, Map L, and Map K for the northern part of the Headwaters Section
Map F and the three Tuscarora Trail maps


Maps and Guides from Other Sources

National Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps 791 and 792 for the southern part of the Headwaters Section.  Some outfitters, such as REI, also carry these maps.
Monongahela National Forest map - Entering West Virginia at the south end
Allegheny Trail Guides - To connect to the Allegheny Trail consult trail guides by the West Virginia Scenic Trail Association


The PATC portion of the Great Eastern Trail includes Tuscarora Mountain (in Pennsylvania), part of the C&O Canal Trail along the Potomac River (in Maryland), Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area, Great North Mountain (on both the Tuscarora Trail and Headwaters Section), which has spectacular views and rocks, and Shenandoah Mountain (in Headwaters Section) known for pleasant trails and many wildflowers, as well as the highest point on the GET.

Maps (online) that cover the Headwaters Section

Map 1: Goes from the junction of the Tuscarora Trail and the Mill Mountain Trail on Great North Mountain, through Wolf Gap, south on Tibbet Knob Trail and VA 691, then south on the North Mountain Trail to its intersection with Orkney Springs Trail, on the Virginia/West Virginia border.

Map 2: Takes the hiker south along the North Mountain Trail, down the ridge on the Snyder Trail, along the shoulder of Virginia 259, onto State Road 820, along Forest Road 302, and along the Carr Mountain Trail to where it meets Forest Road 232.

Map 3: Continues on Forest Road 232, joining Forest Road 85-2 to US 33, and then south on the Shenandoah Mountain North Trail to Forest Road 85A, then Forest Road 85 and to where it intersects with Hone Quarry Trail.

Map 4: Continues south on Forest Road 85, North River Trail, Forest Road 95, and onto the Shenandoah Mountain Trail along the western edge of Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness, and then across U.S. 250.

Map 5: Continues south on Shenandoah Mountain Trail to VA 678 at Cowpasture River.

Map 6
: Coming off the Shenandoah Mountain Trail, continuing south on a series of road shoulders (VA 678, 625, 624, and Forest Roads 1325 and 465) to the Walnut Hollow and Piney Mountain Trails. Then it continues along road shoulders (of VA 614, US 220, and Forest Road 241).  It ends in Hidden Valley in the Warm Springs Ranger District.

Map 7: leaving Hidden Valley on the Bogan Run Trail, continue south on the shoulder of VA 600, go through the village of Mountain Grove, east on VA 39, then south on VA 600, and then use a gated road in the T.M. Gathright Wildlife Management Area to connect with the Meadow Mountain Trail in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.

One short section – 0.4 mile of the Muddy Run Trail – is incomplete. A separate section describes ways to walk around this section.

 

A northbound GET hiker arriving at the Potomac River and the town of Hancock, Maryland, has a choice. The east route is along the C&O Towpath to the east, and then proceeding north from a point just west of Licking Creek Campsite, continuing on the Tuscarora Trail. The alternate route takes the hiker west along the Towpath to Green Ridge State Forest, where a series of trails connects to the southern terminus of the Mid State Trail at the Mason-Dixon line. Refer to PATC Map K.

Great Eastern Trail website