Training Hike #7: Wild Oak Loop

  • April 19, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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This is the penultimate boss: the next to last and a brutal (Full Presi) training hike before the  Presidential Traverse. This loop runs about 27 mi with 8700 ft of elevation gain. After about 7 miles of mostly continuous uphill along a ridge, we reach the high point on Little Bald Knob where a few views are available, then plunge all the way down to North River at Camp Todd, then up a steep and consistent grade back up the other side to Bald Knob which sadly offers precious few views. From here, we dip back down again, coming eventually to FR96 around the 16 mi mark. Going up Hankey Mountain on the other side offers the steepest, most brutal climb of the loop, but there are some views of the terrain just covered when you stop to catch your breath. From there on, it is mostly downhill, with a few hope-crushing ascents. For those who like cold water, there are some beautiful swimming holes in the North River about 0.5 mi from the end of the hike.

 

The idea: Meet at 7pm Friday at the Centreville Park & Ride, group up, and head out to North River Campground which is only a few miles from the trail head. We will crash there for a few hours before driving a few miles down to the trail head to start the hike at 4:30. This nice dark start will ensure that we all have enough time to finish in the daylight. Once finished, we can head out to get a nice dinner on the way home, or those who wish may stay the night to recuperate and make more use of their car-camping gear.

 

Meet: Centreville Park & Ride

Campground: North River Campground

 

Dave put together a nice comparison of elevation changes on the Presidential traverse (and Half-Presi) compared with the Wild Oak Loop. This hike is very long and has a lot of up and down! Take it seriously!

Dave also put together a nice single-page turn-by-turn description of the route.

For the technophiles, here is a .gpx GPS file of the route (note: this is likely to be updated to a newer, and hopefully better version a week or so before the hike).

Here is another description of the loop, and a nice topographical view.

This hike is a real roller coaster in the Ridge and Valley Province of the Appalachians: a good, solid workout on the way to the 10,500' elevation gain Final Test (training hike #8) 2 weeks before the Presidential Traverse!

 

Here is a  partial map and trail description.

Here are Driving Directions.

GPS Coordinates  of the North River Campground are[masked], [masked]

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  • bryce

    Superb hike! Thanks for organizing this delightful adventure! It was awesome to meet you all and I sincerely look forward to seeing you all on the trail again in the future!!

    1 · April 22, 2013

  • Dave

    A huge congratulations to everyone that persevered through to the end of this very challenging hike! I was totally impressed with everyone's effort. I have to say that you all finished it in much better spirits than I possessed when I first did this loop. Kudoes to Joffrey for running such a tight ship as well. It is always nice to have a hike start on schedule. You did a great job getting everyone going in the morning so that we were all on the trail at the appointed time.

    4 · April 22, 2013

  • Joffrey P.

    Big shoutout to Dave for doing so much to make this trip run smoothly and efficiently, as well as for helping people manage pace and pull through such an exhausting trip! Make sure to get out and move to ease those sore muscles!

    3 · April 21, 2013

  • patricia z.

    One of the best ever!Thanks to Joffrey for hosting and organizing an incredible event and to Dave for leading TEAM EARLY. It was good to be on the trail at 4:00 AM and to be off the trail at 4 PM! Thanks to Dave for employing the Rolling Lead and staging a way station! (Joffrey, Jim, and Dave all know about my anxiety regarding my ability to do this hike.) Not only did I do it, but I had a great time enjoying the wilderness trail with my wonderful fellow hikers ... and the stars, blooming Bottle Brush, pre-dawn tweeting of the birds and drumming of the ruffed grouse.

    3 · April 21, 2013

  • Sophie

    Wow, what a wonderful hike! Thanks Joffrey and Dave for organizing and leading the groups. And thanks everybody for making it a memorable hike. See you guys soon at the trail!

    2 · April 21, 2013

  • Neal

    Sweet hike, thank you. This is a really strong group of hikers!

    4 · April 20, 2013

    • Dan S.

      I second this. A huge thanks goes to Joffrey for hike organization and leading, as well as Dave for leading our early group and being there with lots of water and his truck as necessary support for the hike. Great job everyone!

      4 · April 21, 2013

  • Dan S.

    Let's go, early group!

    2 · April 20, 2013

    • Joffrey P.

      You guys really hauled! Good job. All of you seem to be full-Presi ready!

      2 · April 20, 2013

  • Joffrey P.

    Everyone really pushed hard without overdoing it. Everything was on time and ran smoothly! Everyone who really kicked a$$ out there on the trail today!

    2 · April 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Have to miss this :-( Last minute emergency to tend to. Don't post too many amazing pictures please.

    April 19, 2013

  • Vince

    Hey guys I'm out. Just not working out for me today. Have fun or good luck!

    April 19, 2013

    • Joffrey P.

      Sad. See you out on another trail, then!

      April 19, 2013

  • Rosie

    I'll meet you at the campsite.

    April 19, 2013

  • Sophie

    Hey guys, there is a tornado watch until 10 pm issued by National Weather Service. Are we gonna be OK?
    http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/USDC0001_f.html

    April 19, 2013

    • Sophie

      Ok, needed a reassurance :). See you in a bit at Cville.

      April 19, 2013

    • Michelle A.

      be safe guys :) And kick that hike in the butt!

      2 · April 19, 2013

  • patricia z.

    Is there anyone that can pick me up at a metro stop on their way to Centreville? Vienna or other?

    April 19, 2013

    • Joffrey P.

      I'll be at Vienna at 6:40pm to pick up Matt Ramlow. I can pick you up then. We'll have to sort out carpooling at Cville, though, as I think I have a full car once I get there.

      April 19, 2013

    • patricia z.

      Great. See you at Vienna Metro. Will juggle at Centerville.

      April 19, 2013

  • matt

    Will most likely meet you at the campground so don't wait for me at Centreville. See you there.

    April 19, 2013

    • Joffrey P.

      Ok, thanks for the heads-up. See you down there! If you want to head to bed before we show up, maybe leave things you want in Dave's truck out somewhere obvious (perhaps with a note?).

      April 19, 2013

  • Joffrey P.

    It looks like thunderstorms are going to hit this afternoon and evening, but hopefully should be dissipating by the time we arrive at the campground. Be prepared for wet conditions! The weather should clear up and be beautiful, if a bit cool tomorrow. See you all soon!

    April 19, 2013

  • Joffrey P.

    I have to warn you: This is not a Half-Presi level event. I don't know of a great way to shorten this without making it an-out-and-back or car-shuttling adventure.

    February 11, 2013

    • Joffrey P.

      There is a stream at Camp Todd - we won't be at Todd Lake. You will probably want some sort of water-purification/sanit­ization system. I'll have some tablets and some bleach.

      April 18, 2013

    • Dan S.

      OK, thanks, I'll bring my katadyn

      April 19, 2013

  • Vince

    Anyone I can carpool with from Centreville? I can help with gas.

    April 15, 2013

    • Dan S.

      I'll be stopping at Centreville tomorrow too, did you still want to carpool? I can pay my way or drive.

      April 18, 2013

    • Vince

      I would need a carpool and will be at Centreville tomorrow.

      April 18, 2013

  • Matt R.

    Hey would anyone be able to stop by the Vienna metro on their way to Centreville I'm gonna need to carpool out. I can help pitch in for gas. Thanks

    April 14, 2013

    • Neal

      Joffrey, Count me in - I would appreciate it if you could.

      April 15, 2013

    • Sophie

      Thanks Joffrey, See you tomorrow at Cville.

      April 18, 2013

  • Neal

    Looking to carpool from Centreville. Will pay for gas and wear and tear.

    April 15, 2013

    • Joffrey P.

      I can take you - that means I'll have a full car!

      1 · April 15, 2013

    • Neal

      Thank you Joffrey, I will pay you kindly for your services!

      April 15, 2013

  • Dan S.

    Does anyone still need a ride? I'm leaving from Kent Island and will stop along the way to pick up others if desired.

    April 15, 2013

  • Joe L.

    Sorry, I have to back out of this. When I RSVP'd, I didn't realize that I already had a commitment on Saturday morning.

    April 12, 2013

    • Joffrey P.

      Dislike!

      April 12, 2013

    • Joe L.

      I know! Lame! I'm hoping my thing gets cancelled and that I can still join you fine folks.

      April 14, 2013

  • Kelly B.

    Hi folks, I'm changing my RSVP to an No so if you're on the wait list act fast! ;) have a great hike!

    April 10, 2013

  • Alex L.

    Sorry tough mudder saturday

    April 9, 2013

  • Kent M.

    Jim, will this be like Backpacking 101, where we return to the base camp and cars at night?

    April 9, 2013

    • Joffrey P.

      This will be a car camping trip, yes. In no other regard is this like Backpacking 101. This is one of the most brutal day hikes in the mid-Atlantic.

      April 9, 2013

  • Luke

    Are these training hikes open to anyone, or just to people going up to NH?

    February 13, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Yes, if you can show you have done hikes like this Luke

      February 13, 2013

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