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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

muddy
snow
3 days ago

Went for a trail run/hike MLK weekend. The trail was well worn. Some areas were muddy, slick, and still snow covered, but nothing boots or goretex trail shoes with gaiters can't handle.

I started on the upper Orange ridge trail, went to the peak, and loved the view. I added a few meters of "bonus adventure trails," thanks in part to snow but mostly me not paying attention. I completely blew past both switchback areas mentioned in the comments:

-The first is a rather clearly marked switchback on Orange; there is an emblazoned forked tree trunk and a small wall of rocks to guide you though in snow it was not clear and there is a trail of sorts on the other side which can lead you heading toward the wrong side of the peak; keep the peak on your right.

-The second is the transition from Orange to Yellow after the peak..today it was marked by blue tape on the trees. I just was on a running roll and flew by it. It was nice to break new snow at least!

The yellow trail bit is best for trail running, but the whole loop was a nice way to disperse pent up energy just enough to then cozy up in a nearby cabin.

If you park at the upper parking area, it ends with a nice steep ascent that today had an odd concentration of horse tracks and manure from the lower parking area to the upper parking area back on Orange. This was the sloppiest part of the entire trail, and I admit it had me huffing and puffing. Good way to end a nice moderate loop!

Took me about 3 hrs, with some running, walking, and picture taking pauses.

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.

Good hike but also nothing special.

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!

Great hike. Challenging with all the fresh snow, but gorgeous and very rewarding.

Pretty intense in the snow

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.

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

Still very muddy, and saw a black bear near the entrance!

Great hike with beautiful views at the summit. Pay attention to the parking signs at the trail head.

hiking
17 days ago

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.

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

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.

hiking
21 days ago

Did this hike December 30. Lots of recent rain and much of the lower elevation portion was super muddy. No big deal but of note. Few small stream crossings. Even with recent rain they were easily passable with careful footing.
This was a delightful hike! Quiet on the Saturday that we went. Views were terrific- especially on the eastern portion. Waterfall is awesome. Great spots for lunch with a view of the falls. Trail is well marked. Blue blazes to yellow blazes to blue.

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.

Hiked this loop on 12-30–18, starting with Kennedy peak and looping back up from the west. Great views along the ridge and up and down Kennedy peak. The trail was in good condition for the most part. Took two of us and a dog about 4.5 hours with about 15 minutes on Kennedy Peak. It was a Sunday before New Years so there were a lot of people (with dogs) at the peak and on the trail. We passed one group of about 10 people, several families, and a dude on a horse.

The only trouble we had was the transition from the orange to yellow blazed trail along the ridge. The intersection is now marked with a stack of three stones as the path was hard to recognize with the fallen leaves. This hike is worth doing once, but if your looking for solitude, check it out on a weekday.

Gorgeous trail. Best waterfalls I've seen since moving to VA.

Really fun hike, especially if you go off trail for the waterfall. On the way up, just cross the stream then follow it to the right. There's an unofficial trail you can see forged up the side. We ended up following the AT north past the summit for a while before heading back to make it an even 5 miles. Lots of people around, but the trail was well maintained and marked.

Amazing hike. Challenging but I wouldn't say hard. Parking is very limited so try to get in early. Pretty rocky but manageable.

Gorgeous hike. Amazing in winter when views are endless.

Challenging and fun.

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