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Raven Rocks

Let's take a challenging hike along the Appalachian Trail!

The route: From the trailhead, we will follow the white-blazed Appalachian Trail to the summit of Raven Rock (1,454 feet) and return. This is an out and back hike.

It is about 2.7 miles from the trailhead to the overlook and back, for a total of about 5.5 miles. Given breaks and the elevation gain, the hike should take at least 4 hours. While rated moderate, the trail is very rocky with several strenuous ascents, so wear sturdy footwear and be prepared for a challenge.

Disclaimer: As you know--we care about you! We don’t want you to get hurt or get yourself into any trouble, but it’s ultimately up to you to keep yourself safe up there. You can do this by knowing your limits, so make sure you are physically able to do this hike. If you have doubts about your physical ability, you might want to try one of our less strenuous walks/hikes.

H/T to Rick for another great hike suggestion!

Where to meet: We will meet at Vienna Metro Station North Parking Lot, Centreboro Dr & Virginia Center Blvd, Oakton, VA, GPS =[masked],-77.271582. (It's the parking lot on the north side of I-66.)

How to get to the trailhead: From the Vienna Metro Station North Parking Lot, turn right and follow Virginia Center Blvd to Nutley Street. Turn right onto Nutley, take the first right onto I-66 West, and drive west for 4 miles. Take exit 57B for US-50 W towards Fair Oaks/Winchester. Continue to follow signs for US-50 W/Lee Jackson Memorial Highway/John Mosby Highway for about 18.5 miles, passing through Chantilly and a couple of traffic circles. Just past the town of Aldie (it has a brick church on the left in the middle of town), turn right onto VA-734 / Snickersville Turnpike. Follow VA-734 for about 15 miles, then turn left onto VA-7 W / Harry Byrd Highway. In just under a mile, turn right onto VA-679 / Pine Grove Road. The parking lot for the trailhead is immediately to the right.

There is very limited parking space at the trailhead. Do not park on Pine Grove Road! The trailhead address is Harry Byrd Highway / Pine Grove Road (VA-7 / VA-679), Bluemont, VA, GPS =[masked], -77.85239. If we run short of parking at the trailhead, there is another lot nearby at the SW corner of VA-7 W/ Harry Byrd Highway and VA-601 / Blueridge Mountain Road N, GPS =[masked], [masked], so we can drop off passengers at the trailhead and shuttle drivers should that become necessary.

What to bring: Water, sturdy shoes, a lunch snack, and your furry friend if desired (leashes, please). It may be chilly and windy, so consider the layered look and ear protection, as well as something for unexpected rain. Sunscreen and a spare pair of socks are recommended. This is a kid-free zone, no one under 18 please.

Cost: None.

Administrative stuff:

  • There are no drinking fountains or restrooms at the trailhead! Philomont General Store (est. 1913) is along the way about 15 minutes from the trailhead, and has a variety of drinks, sandwiches and snacks. On the morning of our visit, they are collecting items for care packages to be sent to our men and women service members serving in Afghanistan over the holidays. If you would like to bring items to contribute, there is more information here: http://tinyurl.com/ay3gnss. (The fee noted is for the brunch, which we won't be staying for.)
  • Horseshoe Curve Restaurant is 5 minutes from the trailhead and opens at 12:00 pm.
  • Bluemont Vineyard is about 10 minutes from the trailhead along the way back, for those who would like to stop for a glass of wine after the hike. Please drive responsibly.

Notes:

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  • Fauzia J.

    Great hike and fun bunch!

    November 12, 2012

  • Margaret R.

    I'm beat! Great outing today.

    November 11, 2012

  • Doris

    Exhausted...but great, good workout with a wonderful day

    November 11, 2012

  • Mark O.

    Awesome intense, challenging and beautiful hike - thanks for organizing this John!

    November 11, 2012

  • John M

    Nice workout, great company, beautiful day! Thanks!

    November 11, 2012

  • David T

    Good job John, another fine weather weekend, great hike and wonderful group!

    November 11, 2012

  • Stuart D.

    Good n' strenuous, and good company to boot.

    November 11, 2012

  • Matt

    Thanks cu there

    November 11, 2012

  • Kay M

    Smoking willies .... Near the food lion...

    November 11, 2012

  • Kay M

    We are at smoking willy s in purceville!!!! In mall round corner

    November 11, 2012

  • Sue E.

    CHallenging hike

    November 11, 2012

  • Matt

    Stuart and I are at the McDonald's in purceville but no one ellse is here. Where is everyone?

    November 11, 2012

  • Kay M

    Hey we are eating at smokin willies in purceville

    1 · November 11, 2012

  • Gregory D.

    Heading from large lot to trailhead. Not sure if everyone has arrived here yet.

    November 11, 2012

  • Gregory D.

    Heading from large lot to trailhead. Not sure if everyone has arrived here yet.

    November 11, 2012

  • Fauzia J.

    Anyone carpooling from Alexandria?

    November 10, 2012

    • Fauzia J.

      Hi, I spoke to Kelly A., she's going to try to arrange to pick a few of us up at the King Street Metro.

      November 11, 2012

    • Kelly A

      Jennifer, call my cell if you still need a ride from Alexandria area:[masked]

      November 11, 2012

  • David T

    Hi Jennifer, yes, there's room for you. . .

    November 10, 2012

  • Doris

    David, I'm also interested to carpool from Vienna, please let me know if you still have space for me
    Thanks

    November 10, 2012

    • Doris

      Ok, Thank you David...I'll be riding with you tomorrow, what kind of acar I will be looking for?

      November 10, 2012

    • David T

      Toyota mid size SUV, black cherry with a white top. . .

      November 10, 2012

  • Olga

    Hello All . . . will try to make this hike tomorrow. Am interested in carpooling from Vienna Station and contributing towards gas. Thank you.

    November 10, 2012

    • Margaret R.

      Olga, I will be at Vienna Station tomorrow morning and can fit 2 more people in my car.

      November 10, 2012

    • Olga

      Hi Margaret and David . . . Thank you for offering a ride. I am not sure if I can make it and will see where I can fit in at Vienna if able to go. Thanks again.

      November 10, 2012

  • Sue E.

    I will meet at the trailhead with Margaret O

    November 10, 2012

  • Kelly A

    I will drive to the Vienna metro and can take 3 or pile in with an already established carpool. We can decide when we know what we need. Also, did I miss the time to meet at the metro??? Fauzia, I live in Alex; so will send you my # so we can arrange for me to pick you up somewhere.

    November 10, 2012

  • Gregory D.

    With so many people coming, even "clown car" level carpooling will fill the trailhead parking. Probably best if everyone parks in the large lot at 7 and 601 (Blue Ridge Mountain Rd.) I will be parking there.

    November 10, 2012

    • Mark O.

      Yep, got that one, thought the larger lot would be different, sounds like its very close by.

      November 10, 2012

    • John M

      The lot at the SW corner of VA-7 and 601 is the one I think Greg is talking about. It's about 1/2 mile from the trailhead, across VA-7.

      November 10, 2012

  • Mark O.

    Is anyone interested in carpooling from Gainesville to the trailhead? It's about an hour drive northwest, have room for three in my car. We could meet at Panera at 8:30. John's ok with it but we need to get as many as possible in one car due to limited parking.

    November 8, 2012

    • Kay M

      looks like a no... sorry! just three...

      November 9, 2012

    • Mark O.

      Sorry, busy day! Definitely room for one more. Since the main group won't be there till 11 we'll leave from the Gainesville Panera at 9:30 instead of 8:30. I'll send you a private message with my contact info.

      November 9, 2012

  • Sue E.

    Will be starting the hike around 11am and finishing around 3pm?

    November 8, 2012

    • John M

      That's probably too optimistic. It's at least an hour's drive to the trailhead, without allowing time for parking, assembling, etc. End time depends on pace, breaks, and how long we spend at the top, but no sooner than 3:00, to be sure.

      November 9, 2012

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