Old Rag is easily among Virginia’s most scenic summits, with its billion-year-old jumbled dome of granite the key to its popularity. The trail, 8.8 miles from start to finish*, climbs over, under and around large boulders, squeezes through rock slits, and goes through the rocks by way of man made tunnels.
This is a challenging moderate to strenuous hike with the rock scramble portion requiring the use of your hands for balance and leverage. The reward at the 3,268-foot summit is a spectacular view of Virginia’s piedmont to the east and Blue Ridge Mountains to the west.
We will meet to carpool at 6:45 am in the commuter parking area behind the BP gas station at Village Square at Kiln Creek Shopping Center (Super Kmart), 5009 Victory Blvd, Newport News. A map of the carpool location with directions can be downloaded here. We will depart promptly at 7 am.
Travel time to the mountains is about three hours with day hikers expected to arrive back in Newport News approximately 9:00 pm. Bring water for the hike (2 liters recommended) as well as trail snacks and a bag lunch. An extra shirt to change into after the hike may help you feel more comfortable for the ride home. Don't forget your camera! A daypack will help with transporting these items and will keep your hands free for the rock scramble portion of the hike. Sneakers are acceptable but hiking boots are preferred for maximum traction and ankle support. There is a $5 entrance fee per person into Shenandoah National Park and participants should also bring money for a dinner break on the return home and to share in the cost of gasoline with their driver.
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