Thornton River Hike-10.5 miles-Strenuous


UVA North Research Park

4105 Lewis and Clark Dr · Charlottesville, VA

How to find us

In front of building 4105 - it is the only office building on the right

Location image of event venue


Starting Point - Elkwallow Wayside (Mile Marker 24.1)

Ending Point - Elkwallow Wayside (Miler Marker 24.1)

Hike Distance/Rating/Elevation - 10.5 miles/Strenuous/2200 feet

Disclaimer #1 - Since this hike is rated as a strenuous hike, all hikers will start the hike on the wait list until I can verify the hike experience of all hikers. All hikers, who have not hiked with me, will need to answer the following questions before I can allow you on the hike.

1. How often do you hike?
2. What strenuous hikes have you completed?
3. When and what was the last strenuous hike that you completed?

All new hikers have one week of their RSVP to answer these questions. If I do not receive the answers to the above questions within one week, the hiker will be moved to NOT GOING. Answers to the questions need to be emailed to me at [masked] or via Meetup messages.

Hike Highlights - Elkwallow Wayside, Appalachian Trail, Piney Ridge Trail, Fork Mountain Trail, Thornton Hollow Trail, Thornton River Trail, Thornton River crossings, Thornton River Falls, Skyline Drive, Spring flowers starting to emerge (fingers crossed)

Hike Details - This circuit hike is one of my favorite circuit hikes to do in the early Spring. When I did this hike last year at this time, the flowers were starting to emerge along the trails. It made for an amazingly beautiful hike along the Thornton River. We are going to meet shortly before 8:00 AM at the North Research Park to form carpools. We are going to drive up to the North District of Shenandoah National Park to the Elkwallow Wayside. From the Elkwallow Wayside, we are going to cross Skyline Drive and begin our hike on the Appalachian Trail. We are going to hike the Appalachian Trail northbound about a mile to the intersection with the Range View Service Road. We will turn right and go about 150 feet to the Piney Ridge Trail. We are going to turn right onto the Piney Ridge Trail. We will hike the Piney Ridge Trail to the junction with the Fork Mountain Trail. We will stay right/straight and continue on the Fork Mountain Trail to the intersection with the Thornton Hollow Trail. We will turn right onto the Thornton Hollow Trail and take the Thornton Hollow Trail down into the valley. We will reach a four way intersection with the Thornton River Trail and the Hull School Trail. We will turn right onto the Thornton River Trail and begin the steady climb back up to Skyline Drive. We will have multiple stream crossings prior to reaching Skyline Drive. We will cross Skyline Drive and take a connector trail up to the Appalachian Trail. We will turn right onto the Appalachian Trail and complete the circuit hike back at the Elkwallow Wayside. Please make sure to review the hike link below before you sign up for this hike.

As is tradition with my hikes, there is an optional post hike at a local restaurant or brewery following the hike. Carpools can be arranged accordingly for those, who wish to partake in the post hike.

What to Bring - broken in hiking boots, trekking poles, 3 to 4 liters of water, $5 for your driver if not driving, layers of clothing for colder weather in the mountains, beanies/gloves, annual SNP pass if you have one, lunch/snacks, camera/phone, first aid kit

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 (