Located in southwest Virginia, the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area (NRA) manages approximately 200,000 acres of National Forest land near Mount Rogers. The area features four Congressionally designated wilderness areas; the Virginia Creeper Trail; the Mount Rogers Scenic Byway which traverses over 50 miles offering views of the National Recreation Area and open rural countryside; the 5000 acre Crest Zone featuring elevations over 4,000 feet, large rock formations, and a mixture of mountain balds and spruce-fir forests; a herd of wild, free-ranging ponies; and the highest elevated road in the state of Virginia leading to the summit of Whitetop Mountain. Many activities are available in the area including camping, picnicking, sight-seeing, bird watching, trout fishing, hunting, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and swimming. The U.S. Forest Service has 3 rental cabins and 11 campgrounds in the Mount Rogers NRA, four of which are set up for horseback riders. There are over 500 miles of trails in the area, including 60 miles of the Appalachian Trail, 18 miles of the Virginia Creeper Trail, and 67 miles of the Virginia Highland Horse Trail. Over one million visitors come to Mount Rogers every year. The Mount Rogers NRA was officially established and designated a National Recreational Area by the Secretary of Agriculture in 1966.

8 months ago

Hike of 2 parts. First part along Feathercamp Ridge trail was a steady slog uphill in a dark forest, crossing the stream multiple times. It had rained quite heavily 2 days prior which added to the oppressive atmosphere and darkness. We reached a clearing with a small campfire which was a welcome relief to see some natural light. A short section further brought us out to a gate and a road from where we turned sharp left to join the Iron Mountain bike trail. V pleasant walking with some glimpses of views through the trees. The trail either hugged the mountain side or one was walking on the ridge itself. At Beech Grove, we made a left for a short steep descent back to the main road and the parking lot for the VC trail. Not a bad hike all in all. Wish in a way we had stuck to the original plan in following Istvan's track which was a little longer and probably would have had us emerging off the AT at the same endpoint. Our route ended up being 6.8 miles as a pleasant loop.

Nice long hike. Where Chacos because you cross the creek at least 8 times.

Monday, May 08, 2017

This is a nice forest hike. If you want a bit shorter (below 7 miles) loop without walking on the road, then see my recording.