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Distance:
5.0 Miles / 8.0 km
Type:
Out-and-Back
Difficulty:
Moderate
Time to Hike:
2 hours, ~30 minutes
Features:
Surface Type:
Dirt
Park:
Monongahela National Forest
Town:
Roaring Plains Wilderness, West Virginia
Directions:
38.958594, -79.359324
Added:
July 16, 2018
Updated:
October 19, 2022
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361 '

Total Change
628 '

Ascent
632 '

Descent

The Hidden Passage and Pipeline Lookout Trail is a moderate 5 mile out-and-back hike in the Roaring Plains Wilderness in Tucker County, West Virginia that leads to some of the best secluded views West Virginia has to offer, including a view down upon Seneca Rocks. This trail leads out to the pipeline at Roaring Plains and the Canyon Rim Trail, which has additional campsites and more views as well.

The trailhead for the Hidden Passage Trail starts just 100 feet east of the campsite along the Roaring Plains South Prong Trail. Please note: to start this hike you need to hike in at least 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

The trail first passes another small campsite just a few hundred feet in. Just beyond that campsite, the trail makes a sharp left-hand turn and heads up a small hill - this is important to note as you could easily miss this turn. Just beyond the sharp left-hand turn the trail will ascend a steeper hill to the top of Roaring Plains. From here the hike is easy as you walk through open fields of blueberry bushes and eventually to an amazing campsite along the Allegheny Front and Roaring Plains itself at mile 1.3 - with sweeping views of West Virginian mountain ranges.

Hiking beyond the campsite, you'll find even better views and from here you can spot Seneca Rocks on a clear day far below. At mile 1.1 you'll reach another short trail on your right-hand side that leads to a conifer grove a large area for camping that could fit at least a few tents, but be careful as most of the trees surrounding the site don't look very alive.

Hiking beyond these lookout points, the trail will eventually hit the pipeline trail at mile 1.8 - take a left-hand turn here to head down the pipeline hill and toward the crest of the ridge of the pipeline.

Pipeline Lookouts: From the crest of the far hill on the pipeline (about 0.6 miles from turning onto the pipeline), you'll reach a nice viewpoint on the pipeline itself just before the pipeline heads downhill again. From here you have two options - to each side of the trail are two small deer trails - these are the lookout trails. The deer trail on the right-hand side (heading southwest) is extremely difficult to navigate at 0.1 miles one-way - this is essentially bushwhacking, but the views are well worth it. Push your way through the brush and follow the narrow trail until you reach the rocky lookout point to the southwest. You'll know you've reached the lookout point when you're standing on solid rock without any blueberry bushes to wade through anymore. From here you can walk north and south along the rocks to get better views of the mountains and Seneca Rocks below. Heading back from the first trail, you can head across the pipeline again to a shorter trail that leads out to another rock pile and lookout, but the views aren't as good.

Heading back is not as easy on the pipeline since you have to hike up a steep grade to reach the Hidden Passage Trail again, but for the most part, the entire hike isn't difficult. Make sure to make a quick 0.6 mile out-and-back trip down the Canyon Rim Trail to see a similar view of the mountains and to also get a view of the pipeline lookout points.

Campsites: Mile 0.1 - right by the trailhead. Mile 1.1 - tucked away in the woods on a small trail. Mile 1.3 - campsite with a view along the ridge of Roaring Plains. Mile 2.2 - along the flatter parts of the pipeline could be some accessible camping if needed (no fires). Mile 2.2 - on the Canyon Rim Trail (add 0.3 miles one-way to get to the campsite from here).

Be sure to checkout MidAtlanticHikes Roaring Plains trail map PDF.

Credit
This hike was originally shown to me by Tony Van Vugt who owns and runs HikingUpward.com in 2018, all credit goes to him.

Explore 31 trails near Roaring Plains Wilderness, WV
  1. Parking

    38.958594, -79.359324
  2. Main Trailhead

    38.932894, -79.365698
  3. Hike up to the top of Roaring Plains

    38.922553, -79.373039
    Hike up to the top of Roaring Plains
  4. Campsite tucked away

    38.921281, -79.374686
    Campsite tucked away
  5. Campsite with a view

    38.920314, -79.375519
    Campsite with a view
  6. View / Overlook / Vista

    38.920056, -79.376236
    View / Overlook / Vista
  7. From the top of Roaring Plains

    38.920106, -79.377578
    From the top of Roaring Plains
  8. Left-hand turn onto the pipeline trail

    38.920517, -79.383628
    Left-hand turn onto the pipeline trail
  9. View from the southern crest in the pipeline trail

    38.913169, -79.380264
    View from the southern crest in the pipeline trail
  10. View from the pipeline lookout

    38.913208, -79.381333
    View from the pipeline lookout
  11. Shorter pipeline lookout view (left-hand turn)

    38.913303, -79.379897
    Shorter pipeline lookout view (left-hand turn)
  12. Trailhead for the Canyon Rim Trail

    38.915733, -79.381456
    Trailhead for the Canyon Rim Trail
  13. Vista

    38.920083, -79.376189
    Vista
No community routes found. To add your own hike as a Community Route for this Trail guide, leave a Trip Report with an attached GPX file.

Hazards

Ticks - Lyme Disease More Info (CDC)

Seasons

Spring, Summer, Fall

Blaze Color

Blue

Photo Albums

3 Trip Reports

No Star-Ratings
Write-up by:
Admin user profile picture
5.0 miles / 8.0 km
Trail added
July 16, 2018
Hiked on
July 14, 2018
Updated on
October 19, 2022
2.7 miles / 4.3 km
July 27, 2019
Hiked out beyond the ridge campsite to the lookout point and back to the South Prong Trail. Mostly an easy hike. Amazing views into the distant mountains with an additional view of Seneca Rocks below. Hiked with Nina, Jax, Tony (HikingUpward), and Linda (HikingUpward).
Dogs Hiking
2.7 miles / 4.3 km
July 27, 2019
Hiked out to the first lookout to views of Seneca Rocks in the distance.
Dogs Hiking

Weather Forecast

In Roaring Plains Wilderness, WV

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