Tuscarora Trail: Biby to Pinnacle Overlook

  • Highlights: Views, waterfall, Tuscarora Trail
  • Distance: 5.8 miles out and back
  • Elevation Change 1,320 feet
  • Trail Surface: dirt with numerous rocky sections
  • Difficulty Level: Strenuous (rocky sections and elevation gain) 
  • Trailhead Parking: Tuscarora Trail/Pinnacle Overlook parking area, 199 Timber Ridge Trail, Winchester VA. Park in the designated lot at the trailhead. Do not park on the road or on nearby lawns.
  • Website: AllTrails
  • Beer Pairings: Escutcheon Brewery: Blackstrake Stout & Slip Angle IPA

The Hike:

The Tuscarora Trail stretches for 250 miles from Pennsylvania to Virginia. Established in the 1960’s as an alternate route for the Appalachian Trail, the Tuscarora offers a truly unique hiking adventure. This section of the Tuscarora Trail is well marked and maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. We were joined on this hike by Pete’s sister Nan who never passes up an opportunity for a good hike (and a cold beverage).

From the roadside parking area, follow the trailhead signs and proceed down the gravel path on the white-blazed Biby Wilderness Trail. The trail descends quickly and is steep and rocky. Switchbacks make the descent easier. At .3 miles, a short spur trail on the left leads to the Allegheny View with some partial views to the west. Better views are ahead so skip this short spur if you are pressed for time.

At .7 miles reach the junction with the blue-blazed Tuscarora Trail. Turn left here following the trail southbound towards the Pinnacle Overlook. The trail levels out but become quite rocky in sections. There are several boulder fields to cross as well as a few stream crossings.

A short unmarked spur trail on the right leads to a small waterfall at 1.7 miles. In the dry months, the flow may be just a trickle. On our hike in late March, the cascade was at its peak and the falls were worth a visit. 

The Tuscarora begins to ascend as you pass a junction with the Laurel Run Trail on the left. This will be the return for this hike. Stay right on the blue-blazed Tuscarora Trail and reach the Pinnacle Shelter at 2 miles. Continue the climb and reach the Pinnacle Overlook at 2.5 miles. Views to the west stretch out below of the Allegheny Mountains and West Virginia.

There are several overlooks here and we liked the third viewpoint. Continue on the blue-blazed Tuscarora Trail and reach an opening with overhead power lines. Stay left and follow the yellow-blazed Frye Path on the left back into the forest. 

The blazes soon change to white as the trail becomes the Laurel Run Trail before rejoining the blue-blazed Tuscarora Trail at 3 miles. Continue northbound on the Tuscarora past the boulder fields and turn right on the white-blazed Biby Trail at 4.9 miles. Begin the steady climb to return to the parking area and your vehicle.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Trail Map:

Beer Pairing: 

Escutcheon Brewery in Winchester is less than 15 miles from the trailhead. This brewery has great beer, ping pong tables, and indoor seating. These guys are all about the beer. This brewery is worth a drive from anywhere. 

Kathy enjoyed her obligatory IPA: Slip Angle IPA (7% ABV • 57 IBU) a New England style hazy IPA. This IPA is hoppy, hazy, and fruity. Kathy called it “the triple crown of tastiness”. Pete really liked Blackstrake (4.5% ABV • 40 IBU), an Irish dry stout with notes of caramel and chocolate with robust flavors from roasted malts. It’s Ireland in a glass. Nan tried Fancy Clancy’s Pilsner (4.5% ABV), an American-style pilsner, which she awarded the highly coveted “two thumbs up”.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe, be responsible, and leave no trace.