AMC offers COVID conscious opportunities to enjoy the outdoors locally, visit many of our lodges and campgrounds, and join virtual events and activities. Participants of all in-person events should bring and wear face coverings, expect social distancing, and changes to our usual practices. To support contact tracing and hands-free signing of the AMC liability waiver, online registration is required for all in person AMC events.

Tuscarora Trail/Great North Mountain Loop Three-Night Backpack

Date and Time

Thursday, June 10, 2021 3:00PM - Sunday, June 13, 2021 2:00PM


Mauertown, VA,
Virginia, Northern,


Registration is required for this activity.


OVERVIEW: This is a moderately strenuous four-day, three-night backpack covering approximately 22 miles in a loop along the Virginia/West Virginia border in the George Washington National Forest (PATC Map F). The trip will begin and end at the parking area for Vance's Cove Trail. Travel includes both forest roads and trails with promising vistas on Halfmoon Trail and at White Rock Cliff. Trails are maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and well marked. PATC also maintains the Paul Gerhard Memorial Shelter and the Sugar Knob Cabin along this loop. TRIP PLAN: THURSDAY (3.6 miles) Hike south on Vance's Cove Trail to Gerard Shelter Connector Trail, climb to the Tuscarora Trail and spend the night at Gerard Shelter. There is a spring on the way near the shelter. Possible stream crossings on Vance's Cove Trail. FRIDAY (8.2 miles) Hike south on the Tuscarora Trail to a large campsite near the intersection of the Mill Mountain Trail. The Sugar Knob Cabin another 1/4 mile past the intersection, and there is a spring located near this cabin. Campsite is on the border of WV and VA near Sugar Knob. SATURDAY (6.5 miles) Hike east and north on the Tuscarora Trail to the Old Mailpath Trail stopping at White Rock Cliff along the way. Head north on Racer Camp Hollow Trail back to the intersection of Vance's Cove Trail, where there are campsites in grassy fields. This goes through the Wilson Cove Deer Study Area. Expect intermittent streams along Racer Camp Hollow and Vance's Cove Trails, and stream crossings on Vance's Cove Trail. SUNDAY (4 miles) Hike north on Vance's Cove Trail back to cars. Stream crossings. Pass Gerard Shelter Connector Trail on the way. DIFFICULTY RATING: MODERATE - Prior backpacking experience is required along with a fitness level to sustain this four day activity at a moderate pace. Expect to be active up to 4 to 6 hours/day with reasonable breaks in the action. Leaders prefer a modest hiking pace (1 to 1.5 miles per hour) with regular stops so everyone can enjoy the journey.

AMC Trip Policy



Related Link(s):

Area Map

Driving Directions

Click map for driving directions

MEETING PLACE: Parking area for Vance's Cove Trail on FR 93 (Paddy's Cove Lane) Maurertown, VA 22644 (Cold Spring Gap exit of US 48/Corridor H).

Tuscarora Trail



Offered By



Wait Listed




Adults (18+)


I grew up hiking in state parks, national forests, and wilderness areas throughout West Virginia and have been backpacking since 2015, including three section hikes on the AT in Virginia. I am interested in exploring out-of-the-way places, helping women gain confidence to be outdoors, and providing a means for everyone to experience extended trips in the wilderness. We humans need to spend time in nature in order to protect it and understand our connection with it.


I'm a retired sixty-something who enjoys being outdoors and exploring the wilderness. I've been leading small group adventures throughout Appalachia for more than twenty years. I like working with beginners and novices to help them develop their skills and confidence. Wilderness First Aid certified.