GWNF! Fridley Gap: A 10.5 Mile Strenuous Hike with Waterfall and Swimmin' Hole

  • July 28, 2013 · 10:00 AM
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George Washington National Forest: Fridley Gap: A Waterfall Hike with Swimmin' Hole

10.5 Strenuous Miles with Optional Meal

"Some days, you can hike for miles and feel like you never left the parking lot. Other times, it can feel like you walked through four different worlds in a single afternoon. Thankfully, you’ll find Fridley Gap the latter of the two. Squeezed together accordion-like by ancient mountain-building activity, the long, parallel ridges of First, Second, Third, and Fourth mountains concentrate an awful lot of up-and-downs into a day of hiking, and, consequently, a number of different habitats. At the lower elevations, stream valleys attract deer to the water’s edge. Skinny rays of sunlight filter down to the forest floor through hemlock. A half mile away stands another world: the dry, barren ridge tops. With no tree cover, views stretch for miles. Two different worlds, one hike."

Hike Pace

This hike will be a moderate pace of about 2.5mph and the average hiking pace used as a baseline in most hiking books. (most common pace).

Trail Information

Activity Type: Hiking

Nearby City: Shenandoah, VA

Length: 10.5 total miles

Elevation Gain: 2,780 ft. with three different ascents

Trail Type: Lollipop

Skill Level: Strenuous with Steep Climbs up Third and Fourth Mountains.

Trail Surface: Dirt paths, old logging roads, and gravel forest roads wind through a hemlock grove along Fridley Run and rock outcrops along Fourth Mountain, and lead to a waterfall and swimming hole on Mountain Run.

Trailhead Elevation: 1,550 feet

Top Elevation: 2,700 feet

Season: Year round; hunting (seasonal) hunting season busiest from November to early January

Local Contacts: George Washington National Forest, Lee Ranger District, Edinburg,[masked]

Local Maps: USGS Elkton West, Tenth Legion

Topo Map: Fridley Gap Topographic Map

Land Status: National Forest

Guide Book: Hiking Virginia (Burnham) Guide Book

Facilities: None

Note to Hike Leaders Use Map: PATC H: Guide book "Hiking Virginia" If you do not have this map and/or guide, contact Kellie and she will purchase them and have them sent to you.

Weather Information
We hike rain or shine! Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.

Carpool Information
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.

DC Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the metro DC area, meetup at the Centreville Park and Ride. Click here for information and directions to the Centreville location.

If you can drive or want to carpool from any locations such as the DC area, please post your location and needs in the comment section below. Click here for suggested carpool locations complete with directions. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!

Directions to the Trailhead

Click Here for Directions to Where We Meet for This Hike

Hike is at 10:00 a.m.

Carpool meetup time from Savage Station is 7:15 a.m.

Carpool meetup time at Centerville Park and Ride is 8:00 a.m.

Park Fee: None, yay!

Gear Information
Click here for suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.

Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back and which means that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then please find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.

Fido is ONLY welcome on this hike with Prior Permission of the Leader! Click Here to View MAHGs Pet Policy

Let's have good times and please be sure to take the hike leaders numbers with you just in case


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  • Jim P.

    Thanks to Brian and everyone. This was definitely a good workout and a great hike overall.

    1 · July 30, 2013

  • Kellie C.

    Thank you Steve and Brian for planning and leading this hike!

    July 30, 2013

  • Lyndal

    Another nice hike with Steve and Brian and lots of mushrooms again:) Thanx for leading Brian! Nice to see so many new faces again, was a nice group!

    1 · July 30, 2013

  • Tom

    Thanks Brian. Great group and terrific hike.

    1 · July 29, 2013

  • Kathryn

    Thanks for organizing this great hike Brian - Loved the icy swimming hole - Lovely to meet you all! And Cooper was a fine addition. Cheers - Kathryn

    1 · July 29, 2013

  • Richard

    Thanks all. Great time

    1 · July 29, 2013

  • Jitaree T.

    Thank you Brian for leading this hike. Great hike and great group of people.

    1 · July 28, 2013

  • Gary

    excellent. great workout and beautiful view.

    2 · July 28, 2013

  • Richard

    Is there anyone else looking to share a ride? I can drive. Meet in the Chevy Chase area or Centreville.

    July 23, 2013

    • da2010

      Hi Richard, I've just switched to a different hike this weekend so you have plenty of space for Nicole.

      July 25, 2013

    • kimmie

      Richard , I carpool with Steve as I am very early at Centreville P&R

      July 28, 2013

  • Nieri

    Sorry for the last minute change of plan. I'm still trying get over whatever bugs I acquired from Hotlanta.

    July 27, 2013

  • Kellie C.

    Please update your RSVP if you are unable to go on this hike because there is a wait list. Enjoy the fantastic weather!

    1 · July 26, 2013

  • Lyndal

    Think I can make this one after work, since its at 10am and not too far away:)

    1 · July 14, 2013

  • da2010

    Looking for a ride from Centreville. But is anyone definitely coming back directly after the hike, not staying for the meal?

    July 23, 2013

    • Richard

      I can give you a ride. Could I pick someone up at Vienna metro at 8:00 and still pick up you and Kimmie and get us to the trail at 10:00?

      July 23, 2013

  • Nieri

    I am looking for someone to carpool with from the Centreville PnR. Let me know if you have room for one more?

    July 23, 2013

    • Nieri

      Thanks, Steve! I will be there by 7:50.

      July 23, 2013

  • Gary

    can I catch a ride/carpool at Centreville Park&Ride from anyone? My car's a/c not working. I can be there at 8 am. email [masked]

    July 22, 2013

    • Gary

      Thanks, Steve. I will be there at 7:50a or earlier.

      July 23, 2013

  • Brian C.

    Also this hike is a first for this group so any input on it after the hike is appreciated will be the first in a series of new hikes this fall.

    2 · July 22, 2013

  • Brian C.

    Just FYI so we are all on the same page since cell service should not exist, this hike has limited parking so if we can carpool as much as possible that's a big help. Parking for this hike: there is some on the side of 636 just before 65/65A split if its full or you don't see it park by the locked 65A gate. Worse case I know a few more spots up the road if we fill them up I can direct you. Haven't done this hike since early(march) 2012 but its a favorite of mine for this part of GWNF.

    2 · July 22, 2013

  • Kara

    Would anyone be able to pick a car-less hiker up at the Vienna/Springfield metro (whichever is more convenient) before getting to the Centreville meetup? I could be there for 7:30.

    July 18, 2013

12 went

  • Brian C.
    Certified Hike Leader
    Event Host
  • Liz
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Kathryn
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Tom
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Lyndal
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • kimmie
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • A former member
  • A former member

Your organizer's refund policy for GWNF! Fridley Gap: A 10.5 Mile Strenuous Hike with Waterfall and Swimmin' Hole

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
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