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Winter unmasks nature, revealing the architecture of our local woody plants. Join Emily Ferguson, a Charlottesville Area Tree Steward on this early winter tree walk to see and learn to identify trees using bark, branching, leaf scars, buds, and more. This is an easy walk on a paved portion of the Rivanna Trail under trees (without canopy) and through open fields.
If you are already a tree enthusiast, please bring your favorite tree ID book, hand lens, and/or binoculars as aids. Please dress warmly according to the weather conditions as we will not be walking fast, wear hiking boots or sneakers, and bring water and food, if necessary.
This walk will use the paved portion of the Rivanna Trail to look at riparian tree species before looping back through open scrubby fields. The route will be mostly sunny due to the lack of tree canopy.
Starting Point - Old Rag Parking Area
Ending Point - Old Rag Parking Area
Hike Distance/Rating - 11.5 miles/Strenuous
PLEASE NOTE - Since this hike is rated as a strenuous hike, all hikers are going to start on the wait list for this hike until I can verify the hiking experience of all hikers on the wait list. Those who have not hiked a strenuous hike with me have seven days to answer the following vetting questions.
- How often do you hike?
- What strenuous hikes have you done?
- When and what was the last strenuous hike that you completed?
Failure to answer the vetting questions within five days will move those hikers to NOT GOING. The answers to the above questions need to be emailed to me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates -[masked], [masked]
Hike Highlights - Weakley Hollow Fire Road, Robertson Mountain Trail, 270 Degree Views from Robertson Mountain Summit, Old Rag Fire Road, Corbin Mountain Trail, Indian Run Trail, Nicholson Hollow Trail
Hike Details - For the first Sunday hike in December, we are going to hike some old favorite trails near Old Rag. We are going to start the hike from the Old Rag Parking Area- We are going to walk up the Weakley Hollow Fire Road to the Robertson Mountain Trail. We are going to turn right onto the Robertson Mountain Trail. We are going to have one of the steepest trails in Shenandoah National Park to the summit of Robertson Mountain. The summit offers nearly 360 degree views of the mountains and ridges of Shenandoah National Park. After soaking in the views, we will descend the Robertson Mountain Trail to the Old Rag Fire Road. We will turn right onto the Old Rag Fire Road and hike up to the Corbin Mountain Trail. We will turn right onto the Corbin Mountain Trail and hike up to the Indian Run Trail. We will turn left onto the Indian Run Trail. We will have a steep descent down to the PATC Corbin Mountain Cabin and the Nicholson Hollow Trail. We will hike the Nicholson Trail to complete this circuit hike back at the Old Rag Parking Area.
What to Bring - Broken in Hiking Boots, Trekking Poles, Lunch/Snacks, 3 to 5 Liters of Water, First Aid Kit, Good Day Pack, Gas Money if not driving, Layers of Clothing for Cold Mountain Weather, Beanies/Gloves
Appalachian Trail - Tye River Bridge
The Priest Wilderness - established in 2000 - is a beautiful relatively secluded area in Amherst County. It is located in a region of the Blue Ridge Mountains known as the Religious Range. The mountain - aptly named The Priest - rises 4,000 feet above the valley floor and is one of the highest peaks within the Pedlar District of the George Washington National Forest. Cutting through the heart of the Priest Wilderness is the Appalachian Trail. For our hike, we will traverse and approximate 3 mile stretch of this infamous footpath.
Starting from the parking lot along Route 56, we will access the AT and begin a steady 2000 foot ascent. Along our way up we will meander through about 20 switchbacks. There will also be a couple of minor stream crossings along the way. At the conclusion of our ascent, we will reach a rock outcropping that will provide a spectacular eastern view of rural Amherst County. From this vantage point - also the mid-way point of our hike where we can soak up the scenery - we will break for lunch. After our break, we will retrace our steps back to the parking lot.
PLEASE NOTE: In the Spring of 2023, I will plan to return to this area - but this time our intent will be to reach the summit of The Priest - when we will have longer daylight hours.
At the conclusion of our outing, and for those that are interested, we can gather at a nearby brewery or restaurant for a post-hike bite to eat and drinks.
What to Wear and Bring:
> hiking apparel should include moisture wicking clothing such as polyester and/or merino wool as a base/skin layer
> a light-weight rain jacket - just in case
> a good pair of broken-in hiking shoes/boots
> wool/merino hiking socks (such as Smart Wool)
> 1.5 to 2 liters of water and/or an electro-lyte replacement drink
> snack food
> Most Importantly – Lunch – which will be eaten at a rock outcropping providing a stunning view of the valley below - this happens to be the mid-point of our hike
I look forward to the opportunity of enjoying this hike with you on what I hope will be a blue sky, sunny day.
This is a lovely out and back hike.
https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/virginia/black-rock-summit-via-browns-gap It winds through the woods with limited elevation and brings you to the Summit which is a cool archeologic pile of rocks with amazing panoramic views. I am not a scrambler but have seen lots of people climb up to the top for a photo. Our hike will start at the Browns Gap parking area (mile 83 in Shenandoah National Park) at 1:30 PM. We will cross Skyline Drive, hike along the AT, cross the road again and hike up to the Summit. We’ll stop at the Summit for a gawk and return the way we hiked up. While there is only 650 feet of elevation, I wish that I had brought my poles when we hiked it in early November as there were lots of leaves on the trail. For those interested, we can stop at a winery after the hike.
RSVP: Please update your RSVP to "Not Going" if you find that you cannot attend the event.
WEATHER: Thunder and lightning or heavy rain will cancel this activity. If there is a cancellation, attendees will be notified the evening prior to hike.
DISCLAIMER: GetHiking Charlottesville's Organizers are not professional guides. Expect the same risks and take the same precautions you would take if you were hiking alone. With your RSVP you agree with this disclaimer - Disclaimer (https://www.meetup.com/GetHiking-Charlottesville-Charlottesville-VA/pages/21088739/Disclaimer/ )