Once a quiet tucked away trail just west of Bluemont, VA , Bears Den offers a nice day hike for the casual hiker with incredible views at the peak. It is also a stop for hikers hiking the Appalachian Trail. Since the Covid19 Pandemic and subsequent restrictions, people are flocking to Western Loudoun County for the great outdoors to escape the solitude of their homes. What was once a quiet trail to hike is now very busy on the weekends with hardly a parking space available on a nice Saturday or Sunday.
Bears Den is located about an hour west of Washington, DC with the lower parking lot at the corner of Route 7 and Blueridge Mountain Rd in Bluemont, VA. There is an upper parking lot off of Blueridge Mountain Rd. Slightly east of the Appalachian Trail, hikers find the welcome signs pointing them in the direction of the Bears Den Trail Center. At the lodge, the hikers can find a nice shower, bunks, a kitchen and a place to catch up on email. The kitchen has two stoves, and is fully stocked with cooking utensils, pots, pans, dishes, silverware and other much needed items.
The lodge was originally built in 1933 by a physician named Huron Lawson and his wife Francesca Kaspar who was an opera singer. The large common room boasts a beautiful stone fireplace and is now a place for hikers to relax and eat.
Bears Den is now owned by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and is managed by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Center (PATC). The trail center is well know for Appalachian trail hikers needing a break and for day hikers to enjoy the trails. There are some short hikes surrounding the trail center which range in length from about a 1/4 mile to a mile…or you can reach the Summit Trail which is about 3 miles long.
As you can see, the views from the overlook are absolutely breathtaking.
Hiking at Bears Den is not the only attraction to Bluemont, VA. People also travel to the area to enjoy the variety of breweries and wineries such as nearby Bear Chase Brewery, Dirt Farm Brewery, Bluemont Vineyard and a few other wineries and breweries in the vicinity. Other close by points of interest are Harpers Ferry, WV, the Virginia State Arboretum which is off of Route 50, and Great Country Farms located in the historic village of Bluemont where you can pick your own fresh vegetables, feed the farm animals or go to the annual Pumpkin Patch festivities. In addition, the Blue Ridge Center is also worth visiting…it contains almost 900 acres with approximately 12 miles of hiking trails, a historic homestead and a farm market selling lamb, beef, poultry and eggs.
If you are looking for a nice hike near Western Loudoun County, VA, check out Bears Den!