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  • Writer's pictureDan Wagner

Plane Crash Hikes

The following is an evolving list of plane crash hikes in the Northeast and Southeast, each with a brief description, location, and links on how to find them. If considering hiking to one of these sites, please recognize that several of them mark the loss of life and refrain from disturbing or removing any wreckage.

United States Air Force T-28 Trojan

Location Lyndhurst, Virginia

Humpback Mountain plane crash

A May 1, 1964 plane crash site located along the eastern slope of Humpback Mountain, just a handful of miles south of Shenandoah National Park. Remarkably, both servicemen survived the crash and lived to tell their tale. This site can be combined with the 1963 Dobie Mountain crash site as a day hike or part of a great overnight backpacking route. To find out more, visit Backpacking the Blue Ridge Parkway: Dobie & Humpback Mountain Plane Crash Sites.

Army Air Force North American B-25 Mitchell

Location Bedford, Virginia

Sharp Top Mountain plane crash

Hidden along the southern slope of Sharp Top Mountain, this 1943 B-25 bomber crash occurred February 2, 1943 while performing a low-level nighttime navigational training mission. The trek to the summit of Sharp Top Mountain offers stunning views, particularly at sunrise, making it a very popular day hike. However, many hikers remain unaware to the crash site far below. To find out more, visit Hiking to Sharp Top Mountain's B-25 Bomber Crash Site.

Cessna 414 N28901

Location Cranberry Wilderness, West Virginia

Cranberry Wilderness plane crash

The sorrowful tale of Colin Campbell's ill-fated journey unfolds in one of the most secluded, yet stunning regions of the Mountain State. Following the crash on November 28, 1995, the wreckage remained hidden deep within Cranberry Wilderness for nearly six years, and Campbell's remains were never located. To find out more, visit Hiking to the N28901 Plane Crash Site in Cranberry Wilderness.

Piper PA-23

Location Spruce Knob, West Virginia

Located along the eastern slope of Spruce Knob, West Virginia's highest peak, lies the October 31, 1973 Piper PA-23 crash site, marking the tragic loss of two people, including 17-year-old Jonathan Johnson. Accessible via a day hike or an overnight backpack. To find out more, visit Backpacking the Spruce Knob/Seneca Creek Loop.

United States Air Force C-45

Location Laurel Fork Wilderness, West Virginia

Laurel Fork Wilderness plane crash

A USAF C-45 that crashed into a ravine along Middle Mountain in West Virginia's Laurel Fork Wilderness on March 22, 1960. Today, the back end of the plane, a large section of the port side wing, fragments of the starboard side wing, fragments of the fuselage, and pieces of landing gear can be found on easy day hike. To find out more, visit Hike to the USAF C-45 Plane Crash Site in Laurel Fork Wilderness.

Piper Cherokee N32777

Location Lock Haven, Pennsylvania

Lock Haven plane crash

In the summer of 1986, a Piper Cherokee crashed into Bald Eagle Mountain, located just beyond downtown Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Astonishingly, the pilot, John Yatso, emerged from the crash relatively unscathed, leaving behind his single-engine craft on the mountain's northern slope. Today, accessing the crash site presents a few challenges, such as navigating the mountain's rocky slope known for its healthy rattlesnake population. To find out more, visit Hike to Pennsylvania's Piper Cherokee N32777 Crash Site.

Allegheny Airlines Flight 371

Location Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Allegheny Airlines flight 371 plane crash

On December 1, 1959, a devastating air disaster occurred as a passenger plane plunged into the slopes of Bald Eagle Mountain, a mere mile from the Williamsport airport. Tragically, the crash claimed the lives of 25 out of 26 people aboard, among them two French and Lithuanian nationals, marking it as the deadliest incident in Allegheny Airlines' history. Today, little remains of the crash site, but for those interested in paying homage, access to the site is possible through a strictly off trail hike. To find out more, visit Hike to Pennsylvania's Allegheny Airlines Flight 371 Crash Site.

Cessna 182Q Skylane N735MB

Location Grandfather Mountain State Park, North Carolina

Calloway Peak plane crash

On May 12, 1978, a single-engine Cessna met with tragedy just beneath Calloway Peak on Grandfather Mountain. The sole occupant of the aircraft was Phillip Dupre, at the time the proprietor of the highly esteemed Seven Springs Mountain Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania. Beyond the crash site, hikers can press onward to reach Calloway Peak, where they can revel in the breathtaking views offered by the park's loftiest summit. To find out more, visit Hike to Grandfather Mountain's Cessna 182Q Skylane N735MB Crash Site.

Cessna 182H Skylane N2350X

Location Mount Mitchell State Park, North Carolina

Mount Mitchell plane crash

On June 16, 1974, a single-engine Cessna met its demise between Mount Craig, the second highest peak east of the Mississippi, and Big Tom. Two hikers traversing Mount Mitchell State Park's Black Mountain Crest Trail that fateful day witnessed crash, which claimed the life of the aircraft's lone occupant, Indiana resident James "Monk" Montgomery. Today, reaching the crash site is fairly easy. To find out more, visit Hike to the Black Mountain Crest 182H Skylane N2350X Crash Site.


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