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George Washington National Forest: Fridley Gap: A Waterfall Hike
10.5 Strenuous Miles with Optional Meal
"Some days, you can hike for miles and feel like you never left the parking lot. Other times, it can feel like you walked through four different worlds in a single afternoon. Thankfully, you’ll find Fridley Gap the latter of the two. Squeezed together accordion-like by ancient mountain-building activity, the long, parallel ridges of First, Second, Third, and Fourth mountains concentrate an awful lot of up-and-downs into a day of hiking, and, consequently, a number of different habitats. At the lower elevations, stream valleys attract deer to the water’s edge. Skinny rays of sunlight filter down to the forest floor through hemlock. A half mile away stands another world: the dry, barren ridge tops. With no tree cover, views stretch for miles. Two different worlds, one hike."
This hike will be a moderate pace of about 2.5mph and the average hiking pace used as a baseline in most hiking books. (most common pace).
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Shenandoah, VA
Length: 10.5 total miles
Elevation Gain: 2,780 ft. with three different ascents
Trail Type: Lollipop
Skill Level: Strenuous with Steep Climbs up Third and Fourth Mountains.
Trail Surface: Dirt paths, old logging roads, and gravel forest roads wind through a hemlock grove along Fridley Run and rock outcrops along Fourth Mountain, and lead to a waterfall and swimming hole on Mountain Run.
Trailhead Elevation: 1,550 feet
Top Elevation: 2,700 feet
Season: Year round; hunting (seasonal) hunting season busiest from November to early January
Local Contacts: George Washington National Forest, Lee Ranger District, Edinburg, 540.984.4101
Local Maps: USGS Elkton West, Tenth Legion
Topo Map: Fridley Gap Topographic Map
Land Status: National Forest
Guide Book: Hiking Virginia (Burnham) Guide Book
Note to Hike Leaders Use Map: PATC H: Guide book "Hiking Virginia" If you do not have this map and/or guide, contact Kellie and she will purchase them and have them sent to you.
Special Winter Gear Requirement
Traction gear is a must in order to hike in the winter with our group on this hike for safety, and so we can hike all four seasons! The most dependable/reliable gear in our opinion is either Kahtoola Microspikes (http://www.kahtoola.com/microspikes.php) or STABILicers Originals (http://www.32north.com/Products/Play/STABILicersOriginal). YakTrax brand (has springs) are highly discouraged due to accidents we have had with them breaking or "clogging" with ice/snow. Traction gear/ice cleats come in handy for getting the mail or walking the dog, in addition to any other outdoor activity where there is ice involved! You can run on the ice with them on and many runners do just that!
We hike rain, snow, or shine (Hence the special gear required).
Click here (http://www.weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/USVA0245?begHour=8&begDay=246) to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Carpool_Directions_for_Savage_Station/) to Savage Station. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.
DC Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the metro DC area, meetup at the Centreville Park and Ride. Click here for information (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Directions_to_Centerville_Park_and_Ride_Carpool/) and directions to the Centreville location.
If you can drive or want to carpool from any locations such as the DC area, please post your location and needs in the comment section below. Click here for suggested carpool locations (http://www.midatlantichiking.com/messages/boards/thread/8958392) complete with directions. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click Here for Directions (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Directions%3A_GWNF_Fridley_Gap) to Where We Meet for This Hike
Hike is at 9:00 a.m.
Carpool meetup time from Savage Station is 6:15 a.m.
Carpool meetup time at Centerville Park and Ride is 7:00 a.m.
Park Fee: None, yay!
Click here for suggestions (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Gear_Information_and_What_to_Bring/) for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.
Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Hiking_and_Trail_Etiquette/). We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide to help make sure that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then please find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Leave_No_Trace_Hiking/) outdoor ethics.
Fido is ONLY welcome on this hike with Prior Permission of the Leader Due to the Terrain and Overall Difficulty of the Hike
Let's have good times and please be sure to take the hike leaders numbers with you just in case