GWNF: Three Ridges - A Very Strenuous 14.4 Mile Hike in Glenwood-Pedlar District

  • July 26, 2014 · 8:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

GWNF: Three Ridges - A Very Strenuous 14.4 Mile Hike!

Hikers who love steep climbs and stunning views live for these moments: standing astride a boulder outcrop, mountain scenery stretching to the horizon, and far below, tucked in a valley, the orchard . . .

The term wilderness conjures visions of craggy peaks and untamed woodland far from the beaten track. Virginia’s newest designated wilderness area, Three Ridges and the Priest region, isn’t quite that. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Appalachian Trail bisects both peaks. The link between them, the Mau-Har Trail, follows Campbell Creek past a 40-foot waterfall and numerous smaller cascades. The treacherous terrain, soaring views, and sheer elevation gain makes this one of the most difficult and dramatic hikes in Virginia. " Hiking Virginia

Three Ridges Wilderness is located east of the Blue Ridge Parkway and north of the Tye River. Elevations range from 1000 feet at the Tye River to 4000 feet at Three Ridges. This area is generally very steep and rugged, consisting of undulating ridges with deep V-shaped hollows. Large rock outcrops are common, and there is spectacular scenery.

There are a total of 11 miles of trail within the wilderness. Also, eight miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T., FT #1) run through this very rugged terrain. Our hike is a combination of trails and will cover the most rugged areas for a most strenuous hike. Several old home sites in the Three Ridges Wilderness are gradually being reclaimed by nature.

Three Ridges Wilderness is located in Nelson County in west central Virginia. It is managed by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Glenwood-Pedlar Ranger Districts of the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests.

Very Strenuous Hike Pre-Approval Required:

Note that while this is a spectacular hike, it is very strenuous. This hike is much more challenging that Old Rag which many consider a strenuous hike. If have not earned the pre-approval "title" for our very strenuous hikes, you must contact the hike leader before signing up for this hike so you can make an informed decision together regarding this hike. It is dangerous to hike beyond your physical limitations. About 48 hours before the hike, I will check to see if anyone has signed up for this hike without contacting the leader and remove them for safety purposes. Thank you for your understanding and let's have a great time out there.

Hike Pace
This hike will be led at 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
Nearby City: Lovingston
Length: 14.4 total miles

Terrain: Dirt footpaths and old dirt forest roads run through steep mountain ridges, high-elevation rock outcrops, stream gorges, and sloping hardwood forests.

Elevation Gain: 5,053 Feet
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Very Strenuous
Duration: About 10 hours but depends on hike pace
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elev: 1,000 feet
Top Elev: 4,000 feet

Local Contacts: Anderson Marsh State Historic Park

Local Maps: USGS Massies Mill, Horseshoe Mountain, Sherando, Big Levels
Topo Map: PATC Map 12 and Three Ridges Topographic Map

Guide Book: Hiking Virginia (Burnham) Guide Book

Weather Information
We hike rain or shine!

Carpool Information
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan with the hike leader from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station.

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

If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. 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 Meetup for This Hike.

If you have any questions regarding directions, please contact the hike leader at the number provided below and not in the comment section. The comment section is more for member to member communication and arranging carpools.

Hike is at 8:00 a.m.

Carpool meetup time at Savage is 4:00 a.m.

Carpool meetup time at Centerville is 5:00 a.m.

Park Entrance Fee
None

Fido is Welcome on This Hike With Leader Approval Becuase This is Such a Strenuous Hike

Let's have good times and see you on the trail!

Edward:[masked]

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  • Mike

    Great hike and great company; really enjoyed it. What could be better? (And a super burrito, as well!). See you all at the Super Hike!

    July 29

  • Kiki

    14.5 miles with around 4,100 ft elevation gain. Great seeing everyone today at this challenging and incredible hike! Thanks Edward for leading and Mike for sweeping!

    4 · July 26

    • Edward S.

      Did you get that from your GPS? If so, we may want to revise the write-up, since it says 5000' of gain. BTW - A look at the maps is leading me to think that 4100' is accurate.

      July 27

    • Kiki

      Yes - these measurements are from my GPS.

      July 27

  • PJ

    I'm going to echo Nikki on this one!! Now, on to the Priest we go!! ;o)

    2 · July 27

    • Trisha

      What a nicw surprise to see everyone on the first ridge. Yes, the trail has everything, including some glute-kickers What time did you all finish on Saturday?

      July 27

    • Edward S.

      We finished around 4:40. So we were on the trail for 8.5 hours.

      July 27

  • Edward S.

    That was a very nice day. I enjoyed that hike and I enjoyed the group. You all were are an easy group to lead. I especially thank Mike for sweeping and Nikki for making the effort to join us.

    I also very much thank Kiki for getting accommodations at the winery. It was a very pleasant place to stay, and I enjoyed seeing the Milky Way in the evening.

    3 · July 27

  • PJ

    Kiki, special thanks to you for planning & organizing this trip!! The farmhouse & the winery were lovely, the dinner/live entertainment @ the Wild Wolf Fri night was fun & a personal chauffeur for the entire trip.....what can I say? I love the way you roll!! Thank you again for everything you did to make this trip & hike possible for Sal, Kathryn & myself. :o) :o) :o)

    2 · July 27

  • Kathryn

    What a fun get away - loved the pairing of Hiking and Monticello Wine Trails. Thanks Edward and Mike for the leading/sweeping. Great fun, great crew, great conversation. Thanks all - look forward to the next time!

    1 · July 27

  • Nikki

    Another hike that was absolutely worth the drive! Challenging distance and elevation, beautiful summer day, great trails and views and ... a rattlesnake!!! Thank you, Edward, for leading this hike with a very nice group of fellow hikers.

    4 · July 26

  • Bill

    Sophia, we are going to leave Centreville at 5:15.

    July 26

  • Bill

    I'm at Centreville in a black Dodge Dakota truck.

    July 26

  • Sophia Lim A.

    Hi! Is anyone going to be at Centerville? I'm happy to drive if you trust my driving. :)

    July 25

    • Bill

      I will be at Centerville.

      July 25

    • Rob H.

      me too.

      July 25

  • Bill

    I will be at Centreville in the morning.

    July 25

  • Trisha

    This would be a nice backpacking trip, too.

    1 · July 23

  • Kathryn

    Good excuse to go to wine country near Charlottesville on Friday ;)

    July 23

  • KathleenW

    Giving up my spot too. Not feelin leaving my house at 4AM.

    2 · July 21

  • Mark P.

    Wow - I's love to go to this, but I didn't realize the start point for this is a 4-hour drive for me. Freeing up a spot!

    July 21

10 went

  • Edward S.
    Hike Leader, Certified in Wilderness First Aid
    Event Host
  • Salvatore
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Kiki
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes
  • Kathryn
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Sophia Lim A.
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes
  • Bill
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Mike
    Hike Leader
  • PJ
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!
  • Rob H.
    Pre-Approved for Very Strenuous Hikes!

Your organizer's refund policy for GWNF: Three Ridges - A Very Strenuous 14.4 Mile Hike in Glenwood-Pedlar District

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
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Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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