Starting Point - Blackrock Gap (Skyline Drive Mile Marker 87.3)
Ending Point - Blackrock Gap
Hike Distance/Elevation/Rating - 9.6 miles/2200 feet/Strenuous
Hike Highlights - Blackrock Gap, Appalachian Trail, the 360 degree views of Blackrock Summit, Trayfoot Mountain Trail, Austin Mountain Trail, Paine Run, Paine Run Trail, Rock formations on the Trayfoot Mountain Trail, Ridge line views from the summit of Trayfoot Mountain
Disclaimer #1 - This hike is dependent on Skyline Drive being open by the end of March. If Skyline Drive is not open by that time, I will have an alternative day hike ready to go for us to do.
Disclaimer #2 - Since this hike is rated as a strenuous hike, all hikers, who have not hiked with me, will need to answer the following questions. The answers to these questions need to be emailed to me at [masked] or via Meetup messages.
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?
If I do not receive the answers to these questions within one week, that new hiker will be moved to NOT GOING.
Hike Details - I have been wanting to get into the South District of Shenandoah National Park for the better part of four months. I am going to be hopeful that Skyline Drive will be open by the end of March for us to do one of my favorite circuit hikes in the South District of Shenandoah National Park. We are going to form carpools shortly before 8:15 AM at the Fontaine Research Park. We are going to enter Shenandoah National Park through the Rockfish Gap entrance. We will drive to the trailhead at the Blackrock Gap parking area on Skyline Drive. We are going to start the hike by hiking nortbound on the Appalachian Trail for 1.2 miles to Blackrock Summit. This is one of the most amazing views of the South District of Shenandoah National Park. We will have amazing views of the Massanutten Ridges, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Shenandoah Valley. After soaking in the amazing views and taking a whole lot of pictures, we are going to turn left onto the Blackrock Summit Spur Trail. We will hike the Blackrock Summit Spur Trail to the intersection with the Trayfoot Mountain Trail. We will turn left onto the Trayfoot Mountain Trail. We should still have winter time views of Skyline Drive and Furnace Mountain. We will come to our lunch spot, a rock outcropping with great winter time views. After lunch, we will descend down to a great viewpoint of Buzzard Rock. We will continue down to the junction with the Paine Run Trail. We will turn left on the Paine Run Trail. We will have a couple of crossings of Paine Run. We will close the circuit and complete the hike on the Paine Run Trail. Please make sure to review the hike link below before signing up for this hike.
As is tradition with my hikes, there will be an optional post hike at a local restaurant/brewery. Carpools can be arranged accordingly, for those, who wish to partake in the post hike.
What to Bring - broken in hiking boots, trekking poles, layers of winter time clothing (preferably not cotton), beanies, gloves, $5 for you driver, annual SNP pass if you have one, camera/phone, 3 to 4 liters of water, lunch/snacks, first aid kit
Disclaimer #3 - 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/)