Virginia January 23, 2017
One Of The Most Beautiful Day Hikes In America Is Right Here In Virginia
Virginia boasts a lot of bests in terms of outdoor opportunity. Between the magnificent caverns, rolling hills, impressive mountains, and the coast, you could never run out of things to explore. And while we Virginians have always known the hikes here are out-of-this-world, it turns out we’re not alone in our opinion. According to
Adventure Journal’s 20 Best Day Hikes In America, the Ridge Trail leading to Old Rag Mountain is one of the best in the entire country. Here’s more on this phenomenal trek:
Hiking Old Rag is a bucket list for many outdoor enthusiasts in Virginia. Anyone who’s seen the view from the top can understand why.
There are many ways to tackle the hike, one of the most popular being by means of the Ridge Trail.
Before you head out, be sure to pack plenty of water and something to snack on, as you’ll be in for quite an adventure. This trail is roughly 8 miles in length, taking around 6 hours to complete at a moderate pace.
Once you have arrived at the parking area, you’ll walk about .8 miles to the trailhead.
Be sure to read all the information here before you get going. You’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the trail as well as the rare plants located in the area.
From the trailhead, continue along the pristine forests as you begin your climb upward
In these two miles alone, you’ll notice change in vegetation with the increased altitude. Also be on the lookout for beautiful wildflowers if you’re hiking during the spring or summer.
Notoriously known as "the scramble," the next segment of the hike is where things get a little tricky. But with proper caution and careful footing, it can be tons of fun too.
At this point in the hike, you’ll make your way out of the woods and onto the ridge line. For about a mile and a half, there will be a series of boulders to navigate.
The rock scramble will require you to shimmy, climb, and even do a bit of crawling.
Luckily, everything is very well-treaded and very well-marked.
But if you keep on for just a little longer…
You'll make it to the top!
Take time to enjoy this incredible view…you’ve definitely earned it.
At the top, you’ll be able to see nearly 200,000 acres of Shenandoah National Park’s protected land.
Even in the winter, the view is simply breathtaking.
If you do choose to make the trek during winter, be sure to bundle up and pack extra layers. You’ll enjoy the added visibility, but temperatures will be low at the higher altitude.
There you have it: one of America's most beautiful day hikes.
And fortunately, it's right here in our very own backyard. For more information on the hike, trail maps, and parking directions,
Have you hiked Old Rag recently? Feel free to share any tips with us! If you’re looking for some amazing views but are hoping for something a little more manageable, here are
11 Easy Hikes To Add To Your Outdoor Bucket List.