Southwest of Petersburg near Cabins in the Monongahela National Forest, the 14 mile North Fork Mountain Trail (#501) starts at North Fork Gap and hikes along the edge of North Fork Mountain. It runs along the top of a palisade, overlooking a gorge cut by the north fork of the South Branch of the Potomac and serving up magnificent views of nearby Cave Mountain and the distant Blue Ridge. The rocky and occasionally steep hiking trail takes you through oak-hickory stands and mountain laurel thickets to a radio tower on FS 79. No water along route.
To reach the hiking trailhead from Petersburg, take SR 28/55 west six miles to Cabins. Turn right on Smoke Hole Road; the trailhead is a half-mile down on the right.
Overall, North Fork Mountain Trail is the 1st most popular hiking trail of all 15 hikes in West Virginia.