Name: George Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area
Nearest City: Markham
Terrain: Series of steep inclines and benches to the crest of the Blue Ridge
Difficulty level: moderate
Elevation gain: 700 to 2200 ft
Size: Two parcels, totaling nearly 4,000 acres
A rare gem a short drive outside the busy bustling DC Metro Area. This was my go to hiking and camping spot for many years. Only when I moved further south did I start to visit less. It is a wonder and large area full of deer, turkey, morel mushrooms, rocky outcropping, random stone walls.
The terrain ranges from moderate to intense. Part of the AT goes through the WMA, so there will be some through hikers, a few trail runners and locals, but for the most part you will have the park to yourself. The park runs along a few wineries and has at least 1 AT Shelter. It also boasts a large lake full of fish and several streams.
No trip To GR Thompson would be complete without a stop at Marshall’s Diner a few miles up the road.