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Three Ridges Loop Trail

Difficult
 4.5 (71) 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

Loop

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 hike 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 hike back out of the valley onto the AT.

Need to Know

Much of this hike is in a federally designated wilderness area, which restricts groups to 10 hikers 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

  4.5 from 71 votes

#84

Overall
  4.5 from 71 votes
5 Star
61%
4 Star
32%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#4

in Virginia

#84

Overall
123 Views Last Month
17,255 Since Jan 24, 2017
Difficult

0%
0%
11%
7%
77%
5%

Photos

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
Sarah crossing upper Campbell's Creek
Jan 21, 2020 near Nellysford, VA

Weather


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Check-Ins

Jun 28, 2022
Micah Swinton
5h 52m
Mar 3, 2022
Matthew Labarge
All water sources running strong. Was stalked/harassed? by a group of young deer all night and encountered them several times during my hike, lol. 14mi
Feb 12, 2022
Will Heinle
Hanging Rock out-and-back with Richmond Outdoors Club 7.5mi
Oct 10, 2021
Ryan Solomon
13.4mi
Apr 4, 2021
Will Heinle
Rarely do trails twice but this was my third time! 13.4mi — 6h 00m
Nov 4, 2020
Jamahl Garrison-Lowe
Oct 10, 2020
Andrew Campbell
Sep 5, 2020
Will Heinle
Joined by Riley Place, Alec Greven, and Jake Winter 13.4mi — 8h 00m