Ragged Mountain Natural Area Trail

MODERATE 68 reviews

Ragged Mountain Natural Area Trail is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Charlottesville, Virginia that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
5.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
994 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

muddy

no dogs

Very few markers. If you plan to do the full 7+ mile loop, be sure you have a fully charged smartphone. Most who wander the 5th mile will be lost.

nature trips
2 days ago

There is a new interactive ecosystem guide for this area at https://centerforurbanhabitats.com/rmnawebmapintro/

hiking
2 days ago

The city has a new trail mobile app under the Charlottesville/ParksandRec app that includes ragged mountain trails.

1 month ago

This is great all ages. Don’t come if your looking for a challenge or big views. Kind of boring.

1 month ago

Beautiful, easy access from interstate. Old signs mixed with new signs made it hard to follow. But reservoir always in sight so hard to be truly lost. I expect to keep this on my favorites list.

hiking
2 months ago

Not sure how one gets lost on these trails. The lake is almost always in view and the path is easy to see. I thought it was an enjoyable hike. Highly recommended for a nice moderately challenging day hike.

6 months ago

I went counter clockwise and was lost a few times. Almost all the markers on the west side were clockwise facing only.

I would recommend going clockwise and bringing a fully charged phone.

hiking
6 months ago

This was a solid hike, made more enjoyable for me because I like hiking near water.

The trail is now very well marked. I used a paper map and never had to refer to GPS.

I parked at the lower lot and went clockwise - and only saw one other person until the last mile. The trail is soft with almost no rocky areas which was nice on the feet. The elevation change was moderate. If you go up the Round Top loop towards the end you can add an 1/8 mile ascent - I recommend doing the Round Top spur.

The trail was slick in a few areas and I was happy I had my poles.

Adding the Round Top loop and a couple of other short detours the trail took just under 4 hours with 3 brief stops for snacks.

8 months ago

Didn't get to hike because no dogs allowed :(

9 months ago

10 months ago

Much better than all the reviews. The trail head has maps showing extensive trail network. We walked for two hours on well marked trails. Met About 10 other hikers.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike! As others said, definitely make sure your phone is charged so you can stay on the trail because it’s easy to skew off thanks to all the leaves. However, as long as you keep the reservoir in sight, it’s impossible to get lost. GPR showed a little less than 7 miles.

hiking
Sunday, September 24, 2017

Trail was poorly marked, we got lost a lot. Used smart phone to help us. Very disappointed.

hiking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Beautiful. Delightful. Coyotes and black snakes. But as the other reviewers said, very few markers. If you plan to do the full 7+ mile loop, be sure you have a fully charged smartphone. Most who wander the 5th mile will be lost. The "All Trails" app is very helpful. Wet weather makes for some steep difficult slopes.

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Not well marked

Friday, May 26, 2017

This trail is so poorly marked, it is very easy to get lost. We had our GPS, but I would not recommend using this trail until it is more well marked. We passed another hiker, and he was turned around as well. We ended up walking 10 miles and had trouble finding the trailhead where we parked. It was getting close to dusk, so it was a little scary to make it out in time.

hiking
Saturday, April 29, 2017

A nice 5+ mile loop, very close to town. The trail is not marked well, especially on the far side, but with the help of the AllTrails GPS map, I was able to make my way fairly easily. It has some hills, but nothing too difficult, and most of the trails are highly "walkable". Makes for an enjoyable 2+ hour hike/work-out.
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hiking
Monday, April 24, 2017

Trails not marked very well

hiking
Sunday, April 16, 2017

Great views of the reservoir and lovely forest make this loop close to downtown Charlottesville one of the best and a surprising gem when wildflowers are blooming. Highly recommended. Also no need to hike up to Roundtop if you just want to do the loop.

hiking
Sunday, April 16, 2017

Very nice.

hiking
Saturday, January 21, 2017

Nice easy to moderate loop. Muddy, and all trails have not been completed but easy to find your way around. Beautifully redone since it reopened. Floating bridge is nice. Land bridge that used to be there doesn't exist anymore.

hiking
Monday, July 25, 2016

I hiked a complete loop included the Round Top and the trails on the far side of the floating bridge on this Ragged Mountain Nature Area. The trails on the far side are not yet complete so they are rough and some are non existing, but I was able to hike and completed the loop in three and a half hour for a total distance of 7.3 miles and elevation of 1099 ft. I felt good after I complete the loop but it was quite challenging.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Have not hiked it. Posting because this is an inaccurate description. TRAIL IS NOT DOG FRIENDLY ACCORDING TO CITY WEBSITE.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

A nice trail, although incomplete. If you take the shorter route along the south of the lake, you can get to a spit that has some nice rocks for bouldering. This trail is challenging, and it may become one of my favorites once the loop is complete!

hiking
Monday, February 29, 2016

The loop for this trail is not quite complete and some of the trails are not sufficiently marked. However, this is a nice hiking trail with lovely scenery and good elevation changes. Round Top trail is 919 feet and puts the heart to good use. We hiked in February and there were very few others on the trail so it was very quiet. We loved the wood carving totems that we came across as you get further into the hike. Fun.

trail running
Friday, January 08, 2016

incomplete trail loop, currently 'out and back' but it does connect with the boar head trail. Fall leaves over rocks in trail are a hazard for trail running

hiking
Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A nice hike, not too crowded and not too difficult. Really pleasant in light rain if you dress appropriately for the weather.

walking
Saturday, June 28, 2014

The trail system is still closed due to a huge rebuilding of the reservoir. Looks like a beautiful area once the construction is done. 3 stars due to being closed for now.

hiking
Monday, July 22, 2013

I just tried to hike this trail, and it turns out its closed for the next year at least due to construction. Zero stars for a trail that you can't hike...

hiking
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Great hike. I think the official length is 5.5 miles but I believe it has to be further. I like how close it is to town. It's so easy to do a 5+ mile hike since it's within city limits.

hiking
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Terrible hike. Trail is not well marked after a few miles. Also it is not well maintained. There are a few mushy river crossings that had deteriorated significantly. I fell and hurt myself.

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