This is a moderate 6.6 mile shuttle hike in the Southern District of the Shenandoah National Park to review recovery of areas damage by fire last spring. After we setup shuttle, we will start from Brown's Mountain Overlook (MP 76.8) and hike 0.6 miles down to the Rocky Mountain Run trail. Then we will hike down along the Rocky Mountain Run trail 2.6 miles to the Big Run Portal trail. We will then hike 3.4 miles up to the Loft Mountain Wayside via the Paterson Ridge trail.
We will take a break for lunch along Big Run, for picture taking and exploring nearby.
Note on difficulty: This hike will have approximately 1,800' of elevation gain, about 800 feet of trail is steep. Four water crossings are expected to be easy due to current low water levels.
Where: For those wanting to carpool and/or caravan out together, please meet at Barracks Road Shopping Center in front of Great Outdoor Provision Co. Plan to depart Barracks Road at 8:40 am - I will meet you at Brown Mountain Overlook, since it is much closer if I drive directly to the trailhead.
Please arrive by 8:30 so that we can figure out who is riding with whom. Driving time to the trail head will be less than an hour. Car Pool Driving Directions - From Barracks Road take Route 29 north to Ruckersville, turn left on Route 33 to SNP entrance at Swift Run Gap; then South on Skyline Drive to Brown Mtn Overlook MP 76.8.
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 Brown Mountain Overlook trail head (MP 76.8) by 9:30 am
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 - $20.00 per vehicle or $40.00 for an annual pass, good for anyone in the car (if you enjoy going to the park, the annual pass is the way to go and most of these funds stay in the park for improvements). If you already have a Park Pass, please bring it...
Supplies: please bring plenty of water and wear Gore-Tex protected hiking boots or shoes. Trekking poles are strongly recommended for this hike. We will be taking a nice break for exploring and enjoying lunch along the Big Run Portal trail- so bring lunch and snacks...! Also, pay attention to the mountain weather - a rain shell and warm layer are 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: 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.