backpacking
30 days ago

The stream was fairly dry last weekend - I planned to climb the ridge first (counterclockwise) but got concerned when I crossed the dry stream bed with no visible water. I then went up the creek a few hundred feet and found some water (not much at all) and then then proceeded with plan A to climb the ridge. The ridge trail is not difficult or steep, but this is not the place for shorts, as the nettles and brambles on the ridge continue for several miles with some poison ivy mixed in, and the brambles punctured my brand new rain pants. The Bald Knob Trail did not reward with any bald views, and was entirely uninteresting except for some wooded views. I was mentally prepared for the false summits after reading these reviews, so did not find that part too bad. The accumulation of false summits totalled about a 3000 ft elevation gain on day 1, so fairly strenuous. The Hiners Spring Trail was much better and prettier, as was the top maybe 1-2 miles of the Ramsey's Draft trail, with good footing, clear trail, and old growth forest. If the entire loop was like that, I would have enjoyed the hike very much. Found a nice little campsite beside the headwaters, which was barely trickling but good enough. But the lower 3 miles of the Ramsey's Draft Trail is an exercise in avoiding poison ivy, which I could almost (but not quite) accomplish by walking like a stork in places. There were also an abundance of nettles in that section. The blowdowns were cleared except for a handful, which did not bother me, and the stream crossings were easy due to the dry creek bed. One reviewer said he caught trout in the stream; now I've caught brook trout in some pretty small streams but this stream was barely more than six inches deep in between the dry places (not that I brought any fishing gear anyway). There were a few 1 inch minnows in there, and a crayfish that I saw, but nothing more. Maybe it would be different in a different season - perhaps the trout fled downstream if they were smart. It is a wild feeling place, but I probably won't return due to nettles, brambles, and poison ivy. Maybe it's a better winter hike.

backpacking
3 months ago

A friend and I tried this one last year. It's a great trail for an overnight, but there didn't seem to be a whole lot of places to set up camp. We settled on a spot pretty close to the main trail which I wasn't too happy with, but it was fine.
Unfortunately we did not anticipate the amount of water we would need, or the physical condition I needed to be in to get to the top. I was out of shape and that way up is like an entire mile or more of steep stair like hiking. Ended up coming down the way we came up on the next day and didn't make it to the top.
What we did see of the trail was pretty great! Some great views of down below. Some parts of the trail itself opened up to small fields of some very cool scenery.
Since then I've been working out so much... Did Old Rag on Saturday and didn't break a sweat! jk..
We will do it again this Fall and get it done!

on Ramseys Draft Trail

hiking
3 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

Went up west side in loop and then came down the draft. Beautiful, if chilly, weather. Camped up at the saddle area and it has to be my favorite campsite ever. Fairly open campsite with fire ring and a spring a short walk away. Lots of fallen trees along the Draft, many giants of the forest felled by weather it appears. Clambering over the deadfall was challenging and time consuming. Since we came early the green hadn't blotted out many of the views along the ridge or in the draft. Just a good moderately challenging experience for our Scout troop.

backpacking
11 months ago

cross that Creek so many times came down off Shenandoah Mountain trail from Jerrys run backup Hiner spring and around Bald Knob to braley's pond

hiking
Sunday, June 19, 2016

hiking
Monday, April 18, 2016

I've been hiking Ramsey's Draft Wilderness area for 15 years and this last trip (April 16') was the best. The weather was perfect (High 60's Day & Low 40's Night) and Harscrabble Knob was no disappointment. Hiking the draft from the Mountain House to the knob is a beautiful and fun hike. The view from Harscrabble towards Staunton is worth it both at night and during the day. In my opinion Bald Ridge Trail is less than enjoyable. I'll take the draft trail up and back every time. Keep hiking!

camping
Saturday, April 02, 2016

fly fishing
Sunday, January 18, 2015

I brought my fly-fishing gear and caught several native brook trout.

hiking
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

awesome trail for an overnight, great places to camp alongside the river. Be mindful of the weather, it had rained a few days before we got there and the river was waist deep in spots...you'll have to cross the river several times on Ramsey's Draft trail.

camping
Friday, March 08, 2013

Great hike if you don't mind some rock-hopping to cross the draft a few times. The dying old-growth hemlock trees are something to behold. The GW wilderness has several loop trail options.