Hickory Ridge Trail is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sugar Grove, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
I completed this un-blazed trail as part of a 10 mile wilderness hike in the Raccoon Branch Wilderness. The trail was within 100 feet of the Dickey Gap AT trail head going northbound and intersected the AT again within 50 feet of where the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail also crosses the AT. Initially, I passed the trail hiking the AT on my way to Trimpi shelter. On the way back I took this excursion since I knew it would lead me back to the trail head at route 651. I took pics of the signs at the beginning and end of this .7 mile long trail. Basically, the trail follows the top of the ridge that the AT parallels a little lower on the east side. It was a little overgrown with a few fallen trees. There was a bit of a climb, about a 150 feet over a quarter mile. I did see some bear scat a couple times on this trail. On the whole, it was a nice change of pace from the AT but a little less maintained than the AT. If you happen to do an out and back on this section of the AT you may as well take this route either going there or coming back.