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Three Ridges Loop Trail

Difficult
 4.6 (61) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This route follows a beautiful ridge line trail then drops down in a valley featuring a series of waterfalls.


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Map Key

13.4

Miles

21.6

KM

77%

Runnable

3,970' 1,210 m

High

1,876' 572 m

Low

3,565' 1,087 m

Up

3,564' 1,086 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall

Overview

This run starts off on the AT along a ridge line with several amazing views of the Appalachian mountains. It then drops in elevation to the Mau-Har Trail which crosses two streams with great waterfalls. The route ends with a short run back out of the valley onto the AT.

Need to Know

Much of this run is in a federally designated wilderness area, which restricts groups to 10 runners or fewer, in order to minimize impact.

Reed's Gap is often overwhelmed with vehicles on weekends.

Description

Park at Reeds Gap at the intersection of VA664 and Blue Ridge Parkway. Head south along the AT along the left side of a small field. Work your way to the intersection of the Mau-Har Trail and the AT at the Maupin Shelter, but continue left along the AT. We found a small stream about 3 miles into the loop if you need a refill (may not be available year round); the next water source isn't until the Harpers Creek Shelter. There are a few campsites at the top of this ridge.

Continuing along this ridgeline there were several great overlooks along this trail that seemed to get better as we went along. There are two large rock outcroppings with unobstructed views. The trail then drops in elevation as you head into the valley. The first point of interest is the Harpers Creek Shelter that sits along a large stream. Soon after, you'll come across the intersection of the Mau-Har Trail and the AT. Turn right to take the Mau-Har Trail. This trail comes across a series of waterfalls with campsites all around.

The Mau-Har Trail is a fairly consistent uphill climb on rocky terrain. It follows the stream at first then climbs back out of the valley. Soon enough you'll come across the Maupin Shelter and make it back to the AT. Take a left and head back to the parking lot.

Contacts

Shared By:

Damon Yeh with improvements by gavin blakey and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 61 votes

#98

Overall
  4.6 from 61 votes
5 Star
61%
4 Star
34%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#4

in Virginia

#98

Overall
328 Views Last Month
13,976 Since Jan 24, 2017
Difficult

0%
0%
11%
5%
78%
6%

Photos

Sarah crossing upper Campbell's Creek
Jan 21, 2020 near Nellysford, VA
The views keep getting better and better the higher you climb along the Three Ridges Trail.
Jan 24, 2017 near Nellysford, VA
The views of the Three Ridges Summit ridgeline are incredible.
Jun 27, 2017 near Nellysford, VA

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Check-Ins

Jul 28, 2018
Jack Cohen
Added an extra mile by accident. 14.4mi
Apr 4, 2018
Patrick Kennedy
My dog and I did this loop today. Great run/hike. I think I read 77% runnable. I would say it was closer to 50% still lots of fun!