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Saint Marys Wilderness - George Washington National Forest Get wet!!!Located in the Saint Marys Wilderness of the George Washington National Forest, this a moderate 5.5 mile retrace hike that will take us up the lower Saint Marys River Trail up to Saint Marys Falls. Saint Mary Falls is spectacular, one of the top rated in all of Virginia. The hike will start at the Saint Marys parking lot at the end of FDR 41. We will hike along the beautiful Saint Marys River crossing it five times before we get to the Falls for lunch and enjoy great swimming hole. We will hike at a slower pace, with frequent stops to enjoy the incredible beauty of this wilderness area. Difficulty: moderate Note on difficulty: This hike will have only 500' of elevation gain, and none of the trail is steep. However, expect about ten total water crossings and also note that a portion of trail disappears and we will need to get wet and wade the river in water above our knees to reach the falls. For more info check out our Hike Ratings (https://www.meetup.com/GetHiking-Charlottesville-Charlottesville-VA/pages/22109834/Hike_Ratings_%28Mountain_Hikes%29) Where: I will meet you at Rockfish Gap at 9am by Kings Popcorn please arrive by 9amso that we can figure out who is riding with whom. Driving from Charlottesville head West on I-64 to Rockfish Gap exit 99 (for Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive) and parking area next to King Popcorn stand. We will meetup with others and consolidate cars at Rockfish Gap before driving as group to the Saint Marys River parking lot at end of FDR 41. If you plan on driving directly to The trailhead,, please say so in the comment section, so that we are not waiting for you at the carpool location. Please be at Rockfish Gap by 9am Fees & Such: Of course for the carpool to work, some have to offer to drive so others can ride. Riders, please give your driver $5.00 to cover their expenses. Supplies: please bring plenty of water and wear hiking boots/bring water shoes. Trekking poles are recommended for this hike. We will be taking a nice break for exploring at Saint Marys Falls - so bring lunch and snacks...! Also, pay attention to the mountain weather - a rain shell is always a good idea to have in your pack. Weather: If inclement weather necessitates canceling or postponing the hike, the decision will be made no later than 6:00 a.m. - cancellations will be posted on the hike comment section... Steady rain with not much chance for clearing will most likely call for postponing the hike. RSVP: Group is limited to 10 hikers since this is a Wilderness area. If you find that you're not going to be able to attend the hike, please update your RSVP to "No" as soon as possible. This allows those on the waitlist to have the opportunity to attend. 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- GetHiking Disclaimer (https://www.meetup.com/GetHiking-Charlottesville-Charlottesville-VA/pages/21088739/Disclaimer/)
Starting Point - Crisman Hollow Road/VA 697 Ending Point - Crisman Hollow Road/VA 697 Hike Distance/Rating/Elevation - 12.7 miles/Strenuous/2400 feet of elevation Disclaimer #1 - This hike is going to be rated as a strenuous hike in the North District of Shenandoah National Park. Since this hike is rated as a strenuous hike, all hikers are going to start the hike on the wait list. All hikers will remain on the wait list until I can verify the hiking experience of all hikers on the wait list. Those, who have not hiked with me, will need to answer the following questions before I can move those hikers onto the hike. 1. How often do you hike? 2. What strenuous hikes have you done? 3. When and what was the last strenuous hike that you completed? Answers to these questions need to be emailed to me at [masked] or via Meetup messages. Failure to answer the vetting questions within one week of the RSVP will move those hikers from the wait list to NOT GOING. Hike Highlights - Overall Falls, Heiskell Hollow Trail, amazing vistas, homestead ruins, multiple swimming holes, Tuscarora Trail, Weddlewood Trail, Matthews Arm Trail Hike Details - This is another in the exploratory hiking series for the month of August. I have done the Overall Falls/Tuscarora Trail part of this hike. I have not done the Heiskell Hollow Trail, Weddlewood Trail, or Matthews Arm Trail. We are going to meet shortly before 8:00 AM at the North Research Park out by the CHO Airport on Rt. 29. We are going to form carpools and make our way to the trailhead located on Crisman Hollow Road. We are going to start the hike by hiking the Heiskell Hollow Trail into Shenandoah National Park. About a half mile into the hike, we will reach a small waterfall and our first swimming hole of the hike. After taking some pictures and possibly going for a swim, we are going to continue on the Heiskell Hollow Trail. We will continue onto the trail junction with the Weddlewood Trail. We are going to bear left onto the Weddlewood Trail. We are going hike the Weddlewood Trail to the intersection with the Matthews Arm Trail. We will bear left onto the Matthews Arm Trail, and hike the Matthews Arm Trail to the intersection with the Overall Falls and Tuscarora Trail. The Tuscarora Trail is going to descend steeply before arriving at our lunch spot and multiple rock outcroppings with amazing views of the Overall Falls, the Shenandoah Valley, and the Massanutten Ridge. After soaking in the amazing views, we are going to continue to descend on the Tuscarora Trail to our second swimming hole/waterfall. After taking some more pictures and possibly going for a swim, we will turn left onto the Beecher Ridge Connector Trail. We will continue past the Beecher Ridge Trail back to the Heiskell Hollow Trail. We will turn right onto the Heiskell Hollow Trail and complete the hike back to our cars on Crisman Hollow Road. Please make sure to review the hike link below before signing up for this hike. https://www.hikingupward.com/SNP/OverallRunHeiskellHollow/ What to Bring - Broken in hiking boots, trekking poles, water shoes/sandals if going for a swim, change of clothes if swimming in one of the swimming holes, camera/phone, moisture wicking clothing, 4 to 5 liters of water/propel, lunch/snacks, first aid kit, $8 for your driver if not driving, sunscreen, tick repellent Disclaimer #2 - 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/)
The Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail offers a quintessential rail-trail experience in central Virginia, midway between Lynchburg and Charlottesville (less than an hour’s drive from each). The trail is an easy, picturesque ride through a beautiful, natural setting with plentiful opportunities to see unique historical sites. The Piney and Tye rivers are constant companions, and you’ll cross five bridges on the seven-mile route, including a photo-worthy covered bridge at Naked Creek. Begin your journey at the northern trailhead in Piney River, where a renovated depot serves as a visitor center and there is a new Historic Railroad Park to explore. The rail bed on which the rail-trail now rests was originally built in 1915 to haul timber to local mills. Along your journey, you’ll see other relics of this past, such as rail cars and a railroad weighing scale on display. The trail ends at the Tye River Depot, but note that there is no exit at this southern end; trail-goers will need to turn around and head back to Piney River. The trail is primarily crushed stone and much of the way is wooded, offering a cool respite even during the hot summer months. White-tailed deer and other wildlife are plentiful and, during the autumn hunting season, trail users should wear blaze-orange clothing. The trail also passes through farm country and open fields. Come in the spring to see wildflowers sprinkling color into the lush green backdrop. Parking and Trail Access To access the Roses Mill trailhead, take US 29 to SR 56 west at Colleen; turn right onto SR 56 and go abut 4 miles to LEFT turn onto Roses Mill Road/SR 674). ( Rose Union Church at 955 Tye Brook Hwy is on the right across 56). The trailhead is about 1.4 miles farther (around milepost 1.8 of the trail). We are NOT starting at the trailhead on Rt 151!!! Walk or bike as much as you like. I plan on riding my bike. Afterwards we will go to Saunders Orchards for peach ice cream!!! Dessert first day. Those who want to carpool from Charlottesville, 45 minutes, please So indicate in your RSVP. Bring family, dogs on leashes!
Hazel Falls and Caves - Shenandoah National Park This 5.5 mile hike begins at Meadow Spring Parking Area in the Parks Central District. While the falls drop is not high, the setting surrounding the falls is beautiful. The falls drop into multiple cascading pools surrounded by a towering rock wall which includes a few caves. Really a must-see spot for Shenandoah hikers. We will be taking a break at Hazel Falls for exploring, picture taking and lunch... Difficulty: Moderate Note on difficulty: This is a moderate hike, BUT the 0.2 miles of trail down to the falls is steep - you'll see this same steep 0.2 miles on the way out. Overall elevation gain is just over 1,000’. Where: For those wanting to carpool and/or caravan out together, we will meet at Barracks Road Shopping Center in front of Great Outdoor Provision Co. We will depart Barracks Road no later than 9:15 a.m - please arrive by 9:00 so that we can figure out who is riding with whom. From Barracks Road, we will take 29 North up to Madison where we will head West and connect with Hwy 211 which will take us to the Park's entrance. We will then go South on Skyline Drive for almost 5 miles - parking at Meadow Spring Parking Area (mile post 33.5). Driving time to the trail head will be about an hour and a half. If you plan on driving directly to the trail head, please say so in the comment section, so that we are not waiting for you at the carpool. Please be at the Trail Head by 10:35 Post Hike: For those interested, we can stop at Sperryville Trading Cafe & Market on the way back for food and cold beverages... Fees & Such: Of course for the carpool to work, some have to offer to drive so others can ride. Riders, please give your driver $5.00 to cover their expenses. Also, note that there is a entrance fee to the Park - $25.00 per vehicle or $50.00 for an annual pass, good for anyone in the car. If you already have a Park Pass, please bring it... Supplies: please bring plenty of water and wear hiking boots/shoes. Trekking poles are recommended for this hike. We will be taking several breaks along the way as well as a nice lunch break at the Falls - so bring lunch and snacks...! 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/) Weather: If inclement weather necessitates canceling or postponing the hike, the decision will be made no later than 7:30 a.m. - cancellations will be posted on the hike comment section... Steady rain with not much chance for clearing will most likely call for postponing the hike. RSVP: If you find that you're not going to be able to attend the hike, please update your RSVP to "No" as soon as possible. This allows those on the waitlist to have the opportunity to attend. Dog Policy: If you want to hike with your pup, please check out our - Dog Policy (https://www.meetup.com/GetHiking-Charlottesville-Charlottesville-VA/pages/22042321/Dog_Policy/). The simple basics are dogs need to be on a short (max 6', non-retractable - Park rule) leash, owners need to pick up after their dog, your pup will need plenty of drinking water, dogs need to be well behaved and capable of keeping up with the pace of the two legged hikers.