Michaux State Forest and Caledonia State Park — Quarry Gap! A Moderate 7 Miles

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Holiday Hike Caledonia State Park and Michaux State Forest — Featuring Quarry Gap with Lunch Along the Trail! A Moderate 7.6 Mile Hike

Only about 80 miles from DC and even fewer from the Baltimore area so closer than driving out to SNP for most of us and a fabulous hike!

This figure-8 hike begins in Caledonia State Park, the site of iron works erected in 1837 that grew into a thriving community by the mid-1800s. Owned by US Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, a renowned abolitionist, the works were a Confederate target during the 1863 campaign that culminated at Gettysburg. Looted and burned, the works never recovered.

The first part follows an old mill race lined with rhododendron, ferns and huge pines, then climbs One Bank Hill to join the AT and enter Michaux State Forest. Leaving the AT, it descends Locust Gap Trail to Hosack Run Trail, which climbs through the narrow, rocky gorge known as "Dark Hollow" -- a virtual tunnel through rhododendron and pines (upper left corner picture is a portion of it when not in bloom!). Returning via the Appalachian Trail, it passes Quarry Gap shelters and descends through another rhododendron tunnel to Caledonia Park.

Pack Your Lunch!

Bring Along Your Lunch to Enjoy in the Cool and Refreshing Dark Hollow which is Surrounded by Rhododendron Thickets, Hemlock Trees and Massive Rock Formations.

There should be a ton of blueberries and huckleberries along this trail (in season)!

Trail Information

Nearest City: Caledonia State Park and Michaux State Forest
Length: 7.6 total miles
Trail Type: Figure 8
Skill Level: Moderate (this hike plan would be rated easy except for a couple of rather steep hills with one in particular that covers almost 400 feet of elevation gain in about .5 miles.)
Season: Year-round
Elevation Gain: 1200 Feet
Trail Notes for Leaders (http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/pages/Trail_Notes_for_Caledonia_SP_Quarry_Gap_Michaux_SP/)

Hike Pace
This hike will be led at a Moderate Pace of[masked] mph (average hiking pace)

Weather Information
We hike rain or shine! Click here for up to the minute weather (http://www.weather.com/weather/local/USVA0298?lswe=Front%20Royal,%20VA&lwsa=WeatherLocalUndeclared&from=searchbox_typeahead) information for the trailhead.

Gear Information
Here are some suggestions (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Gear_Information_and_What_to_Bring/?name=Gear_Information_and_What_to_Bring&success=pages_add) for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.

Carpool Information
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan, people can arrange to meet at Savage Station. You should post that on the Comments section. Click here for directions (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Carpool_Directions_for_Savage_Station/) to Savage Station.

DC Area Carpool
People can also arrange to meet at the Centreville Park & Ride lot. You should post that on the Comments section. Click here for directions (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Directions_to_Centerville_Park_and_Ride_Carpool/)to Centreville Park & Ride.

If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post that location in the comment section below. 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://midatlantichikinggroup.org/caledonia---at-parking-lot.html) to Where We Meet for This Hike

Meet & Greet and Sign-In — 9:45-9:55 a.m.

The Hike is at 10:00 a.m.

Savage Carpool Meetup Time: 7:45 a.m.

Carpool from Centreville Time: 7:30 a.m.

Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie while practicing good hike etiquette (http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/pages/Hiking_and_Trail_Etiquette/?name=Hiking_and_Trail_Etiquette) and Leave No Trace (http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/pages/Leave_No_Trace_Hiking/?name=Leave_No_Trace_Hiking&https=off) principles while out on the trails. As a member-focused and mission-driven group, hikes are led by our generous, dedicated, and well-credentialed members of the MAHG volunteer leadership team in addition to a volunteer “sweeper”, to help ensure that no hiker is left behind. We take breaks as necessary, so if you get upset because someone needs to rest at the top of a hill etc. then please find another group! Our volunteers and members are very supportive, encouraging, and always focus on safety, all while enjoying excellent camaraderie, the health benefits of hiking, and unplugging from the stress of day to day life. Sharing what we know and learning from each other is an important part of our core values, as is our dedication to the conservation of our natural resources and our commitment to Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group’s mission (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/).

A Well-Mannered, Leashed Fido is Welcome on this Hike!

Let's have good times and see you on the trail and don't forget to take my number just in case!

Steve:[masked]

Click Here (http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/about/) to Learn about Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group’s Mission