GetHiking's Annual Easy & Moderate Hike Series is back! It's time to get the legs moving and hit the trail in 2019 with a series of four familiar, fun and easy to moderate level hikes.
• (1) March 17 - Hazel Falls & Caves - 5.5 Miles - Moderate
• (2) March 24 - Browns Gap/Blackrock Summit/AT - 5 Miles - Easy
• (3) March 31 - Calf Mountain, Appalachian Trail 5.0 Miles - Moderate
• (4) April 7 - Milam Gap/Big Meadows/Appalachian Trail 5.5 Miles - Easy
Beagle Gap to Calf Mountain Shelter - Shenandoah National Park
Milam Gap to Big Meadows Hike - Shenandoah National Park
As mountain hikes go, for a 5.5 mile hike, this one is on the easy side. The hike will start at Milam Gap Parking Area in the Park's Central District, where we will hike North on the Appalachian Trail (AT). This pretty section of AT will lead us up to the backside of Big Meadows, where we will enjoy some great views from Blackrock (not the same place as the Blackrock Summit we've visited in the Park's Southern District).
From Blackrock, we'll hike down to the Lodge at Big Meadows. The next almost mile of the hike may be too pedestrian for some (this is not a hike for trail 'purest'), as we'll make our way down to Big Meadows 'Wayside' on a paved footpath. We'll stop for a break at the Wayside. Don't forget to bring lunch/snacks and/or enjoy food and beverages offered at the Wayside (the Wayside will have just opened for the 2019 season and typically offers awesome milkshakes plus burgers, hotdogs, warm coffee, etc.). We'll depart Big Meadows along Skyline Drive, where we'll catch a good look at the 'Meadows' - from here we'll reconnect with the AT and return South to the parking area.
Along this section of the AT, deer are often a common site - the trail will also take us past a mountain cemetery.
Note on difficulty: This hike will have approximately 620' of elevation gain - the hike is NOT flat, but you'll be hard pressed to find a gentler five plus miles in the Park. Whenever I describe a hike as somewhat 'easy', I always feel compelled to remind newer hikers that we're still hoofing it up and over 5.5 miles in the mountains. Please if you have any questions about the difficulty and/or your ability to do the hike, please message me.
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 at 9:15 a.m - please arrive by 9:00 so that we can figure out who is riding with whom. Driving time to the trail head will be a little over an hour. From Barracks Road, we will be heading North on 29 to Ruckersville, where we then will turn left and head West on Hwy 33. We will jump off at the Shenandoah Park entrance and go North on Skyline Drive to the Milam Gap parking area (mile post ~ 53). 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 10:15.
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 optional for this hike - I'll still be bringing mine. We will be taking a break at the Wayside picnic area - so bring lunch and snacks or purchase at the Wayside...! Also, pay attention to the mountain weather - wear & pack warm layers and a rain shell.
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/)
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/)