Bushwhacking, Boulders & Brewery - 6.5 miles (Moderately Strenuous)
This approximately 6.5 mile hike will include a number of great views, some bushwhacking exploration to find a plane crash site, a rock scramble, miles of beautiful trail and conclude with a stop at Blue Mountain Brewery.
Mayday!!! At sunset, May 1, 1964 a Marine (T-28) military trainer with two crew members aboard lost oil pressure and crashed on the East side of Humpback Mountain. The crew, Col. Robert Bryson and Col. Joe Warren both survived by bailing out of the aircraft. Since the plane was a trainer, it was not equipped with ejection seats. Both men had to stand up in their seats and roll out of the plane, tucking their legs so as to avoid being hit by the tail of the plane.
Although many of us have hiked the stretch of AT between the cliffs overlooking Wintergreen and the trail to Humpback Rocks, few have wandered off trail to see the remains of this crash – this is not the Beechcraft that sits on the North side of Dobie Mountain. If you join in on this hike, be prepared to do a little off trail hiking to the crash site.
Our hike will start at Humpback Picnic Area, where we’ll take the Blue Blazed trail to connect with the Appalachian Trail (AT) – heading North. We’ll take in great views along the cliffs overlooking Wintergreen, bushwhack our way to the plane, stop for snacks/lunch atop Humpback Mountain, hike to Humpback Rocks and then return the way we came.
Difficulty: moderately strenuous
Note on difficulty: At just under 6.5 miles, this hike will have approximately 1,400' of elevation gain. The boulder scramble at Humpback Rocks is optional. The hike down to the plane crash is off trail and slippery (going downhill on a leaf covered hillside) - suggest trekking poles!
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 approximately 50 minutes. From Barracks Road, we will be taking the Bypass to I64 West, exiting at Afton/Rockfish Gap (exit #99), where will loop around and then head South on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We will continue South on the Parkway, past the Visitor's Center (on your right) and just a bit past mile post 8, we will take a left into the Humpback Picnic Area. We will be meeting and parking at the back of the picnic area - when you see the sign that says "Return Loop" - keep right and continue to the back. When you see the rock with the AT symbol on it, you're at the right spot (see picture below).
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 10:05.
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. We are not in the Park, so passes are not needed.
Supplies: please bring plenty of water, proper hiking boots/shoes, sunscreen, lunch and snacks. Fall/winter hiking weather can be unpredictable - please bring warm layers and rain gear. Trekking poles are recommended for this hike. We will be taking a break at Humpback Mountain - so bring lunch and snacks...!
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/)
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 and/or dangerous conditions will 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/) The simple basics are dogs need to be on a short (max 6', non-retractable - Park rule) leash, owners need to pick up after their dog, your pup will need plenty of drinking water, dogs need to be well behaved and capable of keeping up with the pace of the two legged hikers.