St. Patricks Day *9* Mile RT Hike to Mount Rogers (EASY/MODERATE)

Hello All!

I just thought I would share this hike with the AHG if anyone is up for an adventure. This is posted in the "Tennessee Take-a-Hike" Meetup Group as well. **"Not Going" RSVP's are unnecessary, I am more interested in who, if anyone is "Going". Thanks.

Hello All!

Since Spring has sprung lets "spring" out to Grayson Highlands State Park and do a very,very nice 9 mile round-trip hike to and from Mount Rogers starting from the Massie Gap Parking Area.

There is roughly 1100ft of elevation gain/loss in a 4.5 mile stretch heading to Mt. Rogers, so although there is a climb...it is going to be very gradual. This hike is an EASY/MODERATE hike that will offer up fantastic views,beautiful trails and unique terrain\environment. This is truly my favorite area to hike and I believe it will be yours as well!

We will meet at Perkins at 8:00am to arrange carpooling and then leave promptly at 8:15a to make the 75 mile/1 1/2 hour drive to the Massie Gap Parking and start the hike at 10am-ish. Be sure to have cash on hand,($5-10) to help with the fuel cost of your driver.

This hike will be hiked at a pleasurable pace so as to allow all of us plenty of time to soak up the land and take plenty of pictures. Overall, the hike with lunch, should take roughly 5-6 hours and have us back at Perkins at 4:30-5:30p. PLEASE leave your entire day open as I do not want anyone rushed to get back. I instead want us all to enjoy this hike in its entirety.

**HIKE DETAILS**

We will cross the field at the Massie Gap parking lot and go through the gate to start the trail.
We will now be on the Rhododendron Trail for .8 mile until it intersects the Virginia Highlands Connector Trail. Take a left on this trail for just .2 miles.
When we reach the junction with the Appalachian trail, head south. We will shortly leave Grayson Highlands State Park and enter Mount Rogers National Recreation Area through a gate – continue straight on the AT at this point. After another .25 mile, we will have the option to stay straight on the Appalachian Trail or turn left and proceed on the Wilburn Ridge Trail. The distance is about 1 mile either way. The Wilburn Ridge Trail does join back to the AT. It is a tougher rock scramble, but I would recommend doing it on the way up rather than the way down.
Once we are back on the AT, proceed for another mile until we reach a junction of trails. This area is known as Rhododendron Gap and comes to an elevation of 5526 feet. At this junction, there is a large pinnacle rock. Climbing up the rock will give us gorgeous panoramic views that are a must-see of the hike. This area joins the AT with the Pine Mountain Trail and Crest Trail. Once we enjoy the view, we will make sure you to follow the white blazes to stay on the AT.
We will then proceed on the AT for about 1.5 miles, walking through the bald area known as the Crest Zone, until we reach the Thomas Knob Shelter, protected by gates on both sides. This is a great place to grab a snack or have lunch. There are also great views behind the cabin. This cabin sleeps plenty, since there is a ladder that goes to a second floor, allowing a little light through two small windows on the side.
Once we leave the shelter through the gate, we will be entering the Lewis Fork Wilderness. Shortly after this point, to reach the summit we will need to leave the AT and proceed to the summit by taking the Mount Rogers Spur Trail for .5 mile straight ahead. The summit is marked by a simple USGS benchmark in the stone and the environment here is super lush and almost whimsical,(and quite muddy).
We will head back the way we came from here.

**BE SURE TO HAVE ON YOU FOR THIS HIKE**:

*At least a liter of water for the hike in,(there is a great water source at the Thomas Knob Shelter to refill.)

*Enough food/snacks to provide you with plenty of energy.

*Be dressed in LAYERS,(the weather can and probably will change several times during the hike, DO NOT commit to a set-temperature).

*Rain Gear

*Appropriate Hiking shoes/boots...this will provide you with the sure-footing you need.

*And last but not least, a love for nature and the willingness to enjoy this hike with others.


**Dogs are best left at home for this one as they often unintentionally scare other hikers or the Wild Ponies,(if they are out and about yet).**

Also, as this is a St. Patricks Day hike, you must wear atleast one article of clothing that is green as is the tradition. :)

I look forward to seeing you here in this beautiful part of the world so we can enjoy what I believe will be your favorite hike ever.

(All photos are actual photos taken by me last year).

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  • Chad T.

    Two great people joined me on this hike and the smiles and laughter never stopped. The weather was cruddy,(yet not a drop of rain) but we all enjoyed ourselves and still saw our share of sights even with the limited visibility of the fog. I couldn't have picked better people to hike with.

    March 18, 2013

  • Mikell M. M.

    Chad today was a FAB hike. I'm glad it didn't rain and the fog only increased my interest to see the awesome views when the sun is shining! Hopefully we can do it again soon! Peace!

    1 · March 17, 2013

    • Chad T.

      Thanks so much for coming out and it will be great to hike with you again in a month or two when I post this again. Thanks for the kind review and we will see you next time.

      March 18, 2013

  • Mikell M. M.

    No worries! I'm looking forward to great weather and an awesome hike! Thank you for the updates Chad!!

    1 · March 16, 2013

    • Chad T.

      Your welcome and I take it you are transporting all the Ashevillians?

      March 16, 2013

    • Mikell M. M.

      Hey Chad. Terry let me know earlier that she wasn't up to going. I see she posted. I haven't chatted with either Anita or Carrie. They're welcome to ride. I'll send them a quick email.

      March 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fell last weekend on a hike and kept hoping I could do it but afraid I would be more of a problem.

    March 16, 2013

    • Chad T.

      Here's to a speedy recovery!

      March 16, 2013

  • Chad T.

    Alright Folks, as of now it is looking like a high of 52 degrees with a 30% chance of rain. It will be about 50 degrees when we get there to the trailhead. I will give another update this evening but so far so good.

    March 16, 2013

  • John Z.

    Sorry unable to come due to situation change ...

    March 16, 2013

  • Chad T.

    I did forget to mention, there is a $3 Entry fee PER VEHICLE so be sure to have cash on hand and be sure to get in as few cars as possible.
    See you guys/gals there and I will give an updated weather outlook tomorrow afternoon-ish so we all have a good idea of what to expect and be prepared for. **Please change your RSVP if you see that you will not make it.**

    March 15, 2013

  • Mary K.

    I regret to cancel, but w/ now 60% chance of rain I would rather wait and do this long drive & hike in better weather.

    March 15, 2013

    • Chad T.

      Thanks for changing your RSVP. See you next time.

      March 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is there anyone going from the Asheville area

    March 8, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Does everyone live in TN checking to see if anyone is interested in carpooling

      March 8, 2013

    • Mikell M. M.

      Hey Terry! I just signed up and I do live in Asheville.

      March 12, 2013

  • Anita

    A couple ladies from St Louis Adventure Group are looking at heading out to TN this weekend. Could we join you on this hike? We would be staying in Bristol a couple of days.

    March 11, 2013

    • Chad T.

      Anita, you guys are welcome to join just please be sure to add them as guests to your RSVP, OR they all can become members of the AHG and RSVP that way. Thanks for the interest!

      March 11, 2013

  • Chad T.

    Hello all, I would just like to clarify that this hike is leaving out from Kingsport,TN which will take you roughly 1hr and 20 minutes to get there from Asheville. I HIGHLY suggest that those who are in attendance converse with each other and arrange carpooling from Asheville leaving at 6:40am so as to get to the Kingsport Meeting Spot,(above) at 8am or 8:15am at the latest.

    Thanks for your interest and please be sure to update your RSVP if anything changes between now and Sunday the 17th.

    Thanks.

    March 9, 2013

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