Explore summer of 18 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

summer of 18 Map
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Hiked yesterday as cold front was whipping in. Snow on the fire road was about 3” deep and it made it a little sluggish after the climb. Ascent was beautiful but trickier than my many others due to ice. Glad I had my hiking poles. Note to newcomers —park straight in, aligned with road. Lately a lot of early arrivals parking perpendicular to entrance taking up two spots. It fills up quick and road in does not accommodate more than 5 cars

Love this trail! Have done both ascend and descend. Prefer the ascend. Trail is covered in snow (roughly 12”) but pretty packed down along the traveled trail.

Had an amazing time hiking Old Rag. Did it with a group and the trip up and down totaled about 9 hours. Steady incline throughout until the last mile or so and you really being rock climbing. It was quite exhilarating sliding between boulders to get to the next part of the trail. The views at the top were like no other. I love Old Rag and look forward to going back soon!

Very Strenuous to the average person like myself (29 years old not in the best shape I could be), but it was worth it! The waterfalls on the incline and decline were all incredible.

Pretty intense in the snow

Accidentally took the blue trail and 6 miles became 11. Still a great hike on a well marked trail.

This is an interesting trail with impressive views at the top. Camping is not allowed once you reach a certain elevation (closer to the top, and signs will be posted.) When you reach the trailhead, taking a left will put you through the most difficult half of the trail. The second half is much easier. It was a very beautiful place at the top of the mountain to see the watch the sunset and sunrise.

I went to Old Rag twice I love the heights and big boulder and so much fun along the way. I will come back to it.

1/6/19: This hike was a great break from being in D.C. There is a lot to see in a relatively close proximity. I hiked counterclockwise starting with Chimney Rock and saving Cunningham Falls for last. There’s a nice bench at the Thurmont Vista for lunch and the trails are very clearly marked. I took a few side excursions and and walked all the way around Wolf Rock and ended with 11.3 miles total. Parts of the trail was extremely crowded, while the stretch between Thurmont Vista and Blue Ridge Summit Vista was empty. There is one restroom at the Hog Rock parking area along with picnic tables. The only two draw backs are crossing the road to get to Cunningham Falls and front side of the trails follows along the road. The short .5 miles stroll to the Blue Blazes Moonshine Still has an outstanding story to go along with it.

Very fun trail - mostly in the woods with a lot of ups and downs. The view at the end is great, and is an awesome picnic spot.

This is my favorite hike in Virginia (so far). It’s got amazing views and the rock scramble is so much fun! Bring enough water and take your time! The false summits have great views to rest at if you need them.

Heads up - the parking lot and the surrounding ~5 miles have no cell phone service. There is some sparse service at the summit. Try not to lose your car keys or anything

Absolutely amazing at the top! I'd hike up this trail every week and would never get bored, as I would still marvel at the beauty of God's creation!

Breathtaking views from the knob. Worth every step of the hike.

blue/white trail is moderately challenging. very well marked. beautiful views, even in winter.

hiking
17 days ago

Went out hiking today and section A of the Billy Goat Trail is closed due to flooding. Hoping to come back this summer and experience the full trail as we were looking forward to climbing over the rocks in that section.

Make sure you bring water, it is a long hike!

I love McAfee Knob. View at the top is amazing. This is a bucket list hike for many people and for that reason I give it 5 stars however I urge everyone to go out and check out the other amazing hikes this area has to offer with hikes such as tinker cliffs, dragons tooth and sharp top.

One of my all time favorites to hike any time of the year! More than the 8.6 miles listed if you hike from the parking lot and down fire trail back. The rock scramble is awesome and there’s normally people up there if you need assistance or get stuck that will help you! Beautiful view at the top, normally not that crowded. Can have some congestion at certain parts of rock climb depending on how busy the summer/spring/fall days are. (Fee free weekends get packed) Make sure you have tons of water and snacks! Takes about 4-5 hours with frequent stopping depending on how long you stay at the top. You’ll think you’re at the top 3 different times before you actually are!

Beautiful and challenging hike upstream and then easy walk down through very quiet and spooky forrest. Early January late afternoon.

hiking
19 days ago

Went in July with friends. Did it’s backwards beginning with C. B was the best part because it wasn’t as clogged as A with a bottle neck effect occurring at the steep rock face.

Great hike. Great view. Nice area at the top to do lunch and take it all in before the descent. Highly recommended.

Great hike and nice views mountain tops.

challenging hike but definitely worth it when you get to the top. the views are Great

Very rocky terrain which slows you down...but a fun challenge. Up and down throughout the whole hike. Hiking poles and good boots are helpful. View is gorgeous and has a few spots for a hammock if you bring one along.

A great New Years Day hike with my 17 & 15 year old sons. The rock scrambles were no joke! We had a blast. And this map was super helpful in helping us keep track of our progress.

22 days ago

Forever my favorite! It’s a all day affair between driving there and hiking but the hike itself is a challenge but it’s worth it

¡Excelente caminata! Fui el pasado miércoles 26 de diciembre de 2018 con mis padres y hermana de 66, 65 y 37 años respectivamente. Fue nuestra primera experiencia en un trail categoría "Hard". Comenzamos a las 8:00 am y terminamos a las 3:30 pm con más o menos 50 minutos de descanso y a un paso cómodo. Fue retante pero muy variada y divertida, especialmente el "Scramble Rock". Todo el trail está muy bien marcado y mantenido. Hay varios lugares con hermosas vistas. Definitivamente si deseas pasar un grandioso día de "hiking" lo recomiendo.

Delightful hike end of December. The hike is technical, especially toward summit. We did this with 2 active 40somethings, 3 young adults, and a 6 year old. All loved it.

As you climb the mountain you’ll cross over the stream multiple times. If you have waterproof boots I recommend wearing. If not bring a spare pair of dry socks (we needed ours).

The fire road down was lovely, very pretty forest.

Great trail!
Beautiful waterfall
The trail is pretty wet so be prepared for small crossings

Tough hike but cannot beat the view from the cliffs. The parking area is small (smaller than McAfee Knob parking area) and there are no restrooms at the trailhead. Take a moment to stop at the kiosk and read about Andy Layne for whom the trail is named after. The trail can get muddy so use caution if you are hiking after a recent rain. The trail is marked well and has some big elevation changes so give yourself time to hike it and to enjoy time at the cliffs. Once you are at the cliffs you will be rewarded with magnificent views if the weather permits. McAfee Knob can be seen from each viewpoint and take the time to hike further down for more views and a closet look at McAfee.

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