March 3, 2013 · 6:45 AM
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Get your head out of bed and onto the trails bright and early and let the cool winter air awake you! That's right, you don't want to miss this dayhike to one of the most popular trails in the mid-Atlantic region, Old Rag. During the winter months this 8.8 mile circuit hike, complete with long steep climbs and hand-over-hand rock scrambles, becomes even more complex and challenging to navigate to the rewarding views. Due to the potential added hazards that mother nature can bring (rain, snow, ice) in March, this hike is only for EXPERIENCED Winter hikers. I will monitor the weather and trail conditions.
To participate in this hike you MUST:
- Have participated in other Washington Backpacker trips within the last year
- Be physically fit enough for strenous hikes with rock scrambles
- Bring MICROspikes and wear hiking boots with ankle support
- Wear warm layers (we may linger and explore the summit) - no cotton!
- Bring enough water (min. 3L recommended) and snacks to stay hydrated and energized
We'll warm up by walking a mile down the road from the parking lot to the trailhead. We'll turn left onto the Ridge Trail (blue trail blazes) and ascend for 2 miles via 9 switchbacks before reaching the strenuous rock scrambles that take us to the summit. Then we'll descend by way of the Saddle trail (contiuning to rock hop), past the Byrds Nest Shelter and the Old Rag Shelter, to Weakley Hollow Fire Road for a long 4 mile hike back to the Old Rag parking area. After the hike we'll jump in our cars and head over to nearby Griffin Tavern (off Rt 522 in Flint Hill, VA) for a scrumptious post hike meal (http://www.griffintavern.com). And if time allows we'll wonder upstairs to check out the Art Gallery by local artist Ben Mason.
Visitors hiking Old Rag must have a valid Shenandoah National Park entrance permit. You can purchase permits and yearly passes from Rangers when present, or via self-pay at the Old Rag Fee Station. Links to information on the hike:
http://www.hikingupward.com/snp/oldrag/ and http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/upload/old_rag_area.pdf
Some people may have a permit (for up to 4 adults in their car), so please note if you have a permit and people can pay a few extra dollars to offset your investment.
I am going to keep this small and managable for me so I'm limiting it to 10 people. We'll meet at the carpool location at 6:30-6:45am and leave promptly at 7am.