Overnight camping trip in MD/VA/WV


New Member
Apr 26, 2016
Hi everyone,

My husband and I are looking to plan an overnight camping trip for my birthday this weekend. We're looking a moderate trail, about 12 miles total (either 6 and back or a 12 mi loop), and somewhere scenic with water access for the pups to swim. We live in Westminster, MD (close to Frederick) and would prefer driving less than 2.5 hours to the trailhead. We've been to the Harpers Ferry section on the AT and Catoctin Mountains - ideally we'd like to try somewhere new. Saw some posts on Dolly Sods which looks spectacular, but a little far away. Might have to save that one for a weekend trip.

Any recommendations are appreciated! Thanks!


Dec 11, 2015
If it were me, I would head south to the George Washington NF. It looks like a 2-hour drive for you but I am always fooled by the effects of traffic on the east coast. The Monongahela National Forest in West VA is another option, although it's a bit farther.

I'm not familiar with the GWNF in that area but I did find a link to a hike there. http://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/VeachGap/ Not sure about water access for swimming dogs, but a few stops along the local rivers and creeks might suffice. It's a tad longer than you want but I'm sure you can change the hike to fit your needs.

Hopefully others will have more experience with trails to backpack in that area!

Anyway, enjoy your weekend. And as the jokers on this site like to say, the first trip advice is free, after that it'll cost you a Trip Report!
Last edited:


May 2, 2014
This is a nice loop hike in Shenandoah Nat'l Park that I've done twice. You can camp at the AT Shelter (Gravel Springs) or find a more backcountry site. The drive from Frederick is about 2 1/2 hours. http://www.midatlantichikes.com/id119.html

If you wanted an out-and-back much closer to home, you could start at the Washington Monument State Park (near Boonsboro) and hike up the AT to Annapolis Rocks (lots of camp sites there), which is an outstanding viewpoint. About a mile past Annapolis Rocks is another really nice viewpoint. I'm not 100% sure on the mileage for that hike, but I think it's probably around 11-12.
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