Washington, DC: Wild Oak Loop

Find your inner hermit on this 26.3-mile loop in George Washington National Forest, complete with endless scenery, heaps of wildlife, and oh-so-quiet campsites.
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Find your inner hermit on this 26.3-mile loop in George Washington National Forest, complete with endless scenery, heaps of wildlife, and oh-so-quiet campsites.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 42.2

Waypoints

From the hilltops

Location: 38.3950157165527, -79.2580413818359

Check long views from Little Bald Knob. ©Jeff Chow

Local Color

Location: 38.3317565917969, -79.1835250854492

©Jeff Chow

WOL001

Location: 38.3669700622559, -79.1641464233398

Set aside 3 days. Begin W on gray-white blazed Wild Oak Trail, climbing 1,100 feet through oak and hickory stands

WOL002

Location: 38.3668403625488, -79.1840133666992

Grindstone Mtn. (2,702 ft.). Continue along stretches of mountain laurel; stay R @ Skidmore Trail junction

WOL003

Location: 38.3721809387207, -79.1969604492188

Head E past star moss and hickories lining Chestnut Ridge

WOL004

Location: 38.3883094787598, -79.2181625366211

L @ T

WOL005

Location: 38.3952903747559, -79.2578582763672

Set up camp #1 on broad, flat Little Bald Knob (4,240 ft.), where open foliage allows views of Massanutten Mtn.

WOL006

Location: 38.3793411254883, -79.2605209350586

Begin steep descent into Horse Trough Hollow

WOL007

Location: 38.3697395324707, -79.2743377685547

Reach Camp Todd near North River; start rugged 1,700-ft. ascent of Springhouse Ridge

WOL008

Location: 38.3558197021484, -79.2973175048828

Cross plateau and clearing of Big Bald Knob; head SE around contours of Dividing Ridge

WOL009

Location: 38.3437995910644, -79.2915802001953

Head through Mitchell Branch; spend night #2 in flat spots ahead; in 1.4 mi., cross White Oak Run Rd., continue SSE

WOL010

Location: 38.3124618530273, -79.2648162841797

Keep L @ Wild Oak Draft; head E along Hankey Mtn.’s twin summits

WOL011

Location: 38.3233299255371, -79.2010192871094

R @ Y, then in .5-mi. go straight @ 4-way past Bear Draft

WOL012

Location: 38.3412818908691, -79.1759185791016

Promontory @ Lookout Mtn.; begin gentle-then-steep 2.7-mi. descent back to Camp Flather