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Hike and Wine! Wildcat Mountain Natural Area: Easy Side of Strenuous 5.5 Miles

  • Jun 22, 2014 · 10:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members


Transition from Moderate to Strenuous Hiking at the Wildcat Mountain Natural Area with Optional Post Hike Visit to The Barrel Oak Winery!

This is a 5.5 mile hike that will allow you to see if you are ready to move to more Strenuous level hiking. The first 1/2 mile is a steep uphill climb up the mountain. The elevation climb is 544 ft.

Wildcat Mountain is located on the western flanks of the Blue Ridge foothills between about 500 and 1,200 feet above sea level.  The Wildcat Mountain Natural Area is a small gem of a sanctuary that owes its existence and splendor to nature, a generous family, happenstance, and the Nature Conservancy.  Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, much of the 655 acre area was cleared as hardwood forests gave way to subsistence farmlands and woodlots.  But that trend was gradually reversed as the surrounding region endured first the Civil War and then the Great Depression.  Farming and Logging ended in the 1940's, and, as humans left, plants and animals slowly reclaimed the land. In the 1960's, the Arundel family donated the land to variety of wildflowers. The area is also home to deer, foxes, bobcats and smaller mammals, and bears.

Trail Information
Nearby City: Marshall, VA
Length: 5.5 miles
Trail Type: Two Loops in a figure eight pattern
Skill Level: Easy Side of Strenuous

Duration: 3 - 4 hrs
Season: Year-round
Scenery: Hilly woodlands, with some farmland views in winter
Exposure: Shady; less so in winter
Trail Surface:Mostly dirt or dirt and gravel, some grass; rocky, rooty, muddy in places. There are several stream crossings.
Facilities: None.  There are no port-o-potties either, so adjust your time for making arrangements prior to the hike.
Elevation Gain: 544 Feet in the first 1/2 mile.  Rolling hills, some up, some down
Maps:USGS Marshall; free contour map of preserve (available at trailhead).
Access: Open daily, dawn to dusk.  Parking area is off a Private road

Our RSVP Policies and Group Etiquette

Click here to review our policies

Weather Information
We hike rain, snow, or shine! Click here for up to the minute weather information for the trailhead.

Carpool Information
Suggested Carpool Locations below. It is the members responsibility to work with each other to arrange carpools. You should exchange contact information, via email, with each other to confirm the details.

Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan, people can arrange to meet at Savage Station. You should post that on the Comments section. Click here for directions to Savage Station.

D.C Centreville/VA West Area Carpool
People can also arrange to meet at the Centreville Park & Ride lot. You should post that on the Comments section. Click here for directionsto Centreville Park & Ride.

VA East Area Carpool
People can also arrange to meet at the Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station. You should post that on the Comments section. Click here for directions to Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station.

If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post that 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 meet for this hike.

Hike is at 10:00 a.m.

Savage Station Carpool meetup time is 7:45 a.m.

Centreville Park & Ride carpool time is 9:00a.m.

Vienna/Fairfax Metro carpool time is 8:45a.m.

Post Hike Get Together at The Barrel Oak Winery

This is a beautiful winery with lots of seating outside and inside.  This is a very popular winery.  There are several tables inside and many tables outside; however, they cannot be moved, so with a large group, we may not be able to sit together as a group.  The winery does offer some food for sale. Here is the link to the winery:

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

Fido is Not welcome on this Hike due to park regulations

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 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 leaving no trace.

Don't forget to take my number just in case!


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  • DocMartin

    Awesome hike, Mark (and his son the sweeper) did a great job--that "back way" (unpaved 4x4 creek road) to the winery was a bit of a surprise! Fun time and great group.

    June 22, 2014

  • Linda G.

    Great! A little mountain which took just the right amount of energy so you weren't totally wiped out - a good workout!

    June 22, 2014

  • John K

    I hate to do this because I was really looking forward to this hike, but I'm going to have to cancel.

    June 22, 2014

  • Mark

    I'm driving and can offer a ride. Pick up at Vienna Metro.

    June 20, 2014

    • Jennifer C.

      My number is[masked]

      June 21, 2014

    • Mark

      Sure. See you then.

      June 21, 2014

  • DocMartin

    I still have room for one more, Linda George and Nannan are also in our car, just show up and we'll figure it out between our car and Mark's.

    June 21, 2014

  • DocMartin

    I am driving and can take up to 3, will pick up at Vienna/Fairfax Metro north kiss-ride area at 8:45, pls email me to reserve a spot. I just noticed this hike and the temps are projected cooler by Sunday; my dad used to live in the Marshall area and I'm familiar with the vernacular houses shown in the photo and can tell the group about local building traditions (log and stone) as that's a specialty of mine, was trained in architectural history.

    June 19, 2014

    • Jennifer C.

      My lift just fell through, I will be at Vienna metro at 8:45. Hopefully either you or mark will have enough space for me.

      June 21, 2014

    • Jennifer C.

      My number is[masked]

      June 21, 2014

  • Tereena J.

    Is anyone is leaving from Vienna Metro carpool location? I'd love to go.
    I'm in Alexandria so I can meet at another location if convenient for any one that's driving.

    June 16, 2014

    • Jennifer C.

      Tereena, I will meet you at the Huntington metro stop at 9am tomorrow. Thanks! Jennifer

      June 21, 2014

    • Jennifer C.

      Tereena, my number is[masked], just in case

      June 21, 2014

  • Linda G.

    Would love to attend this hike if anyone is leaving from around the Alexandria King Street Metro area. Can chip in for gas. Thanks!

    June 15, 2014

7 went

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