Saint Marys Falls - Retrace 5.5 miles (Moderate)

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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/)