Date(s) - November 6, 2016
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Categories No Categories
No hiking season would be complete without hiking Virginia’s iconic Old Rag mountain. What better way to use the extra hour that the end of Daylight Savings brings? 🙂
Fall foliage, cooler temperatures, and (hopefully) fewer crowds should make this an enjoyable way to spend the day. Fall often brings clear skies so the view from the top will hopefully be spectacular. After completing the circuit, we’ll stop in Sperryville for a late lunch. This is a multi-group hike with Imagine, Let’s Take a Hike from Suburbia, and Catholic Hikers joining together to tackle Virginia’s most popular hike.
Length: 8.8 miles
Altitude gain: 2415 ft.
Duration: 7 hours with breaks/lunch
Difficulty – moderate+ with some challenging rock scrambles – our pace won’t be difficult, but be experienced at hikes of similar length / difficulty.
Because of the rock scrambles, you’ll want sturdy hiking boots with ankle support, very light/low-profile pack, (there are some narrow passes), gloves wouldn’t go amiss, and of course, 2 liters of water, energy snacks/light lunch, and dress appropriate to the weather. No pets are allowed.
Cancellation – be aware that rain, frost, etc may result in cancellation, as it’s not safe to hike the rock scramble in slippery conditions.
Carpool Info (tentative)
Carpools – whether “ours” or self-organized are recommended. There’s a $10 fee per car at the parking lot, and is limited to 200 spaces – let’s leave room for other hikers.
Please note – times are “departure” not “arrival” 😉
6:45 am Food Lion Parking Lot – King St, Leesburg – this car pool with make a stop at:
7:25 am – Harris Teeter Parking Lot – Crecent Drive, Gainesville
7:00 am Wegman’s Parking Lot – Columbia Place, Sterling
7:20 am – Centreville Park and Ride – 14700 Lee Highway, Centreville, VA
Update – 10/1
Having recently hiked Old Rag, thought I’d offer some additional info:
1. If you’ve never hiked Old Rag before, I suggest you search youtube for “old rag rock scramble” to get an idea of what it’s about – I think some might have the idea that the “rocks” in the rock scramble are “gravel” – not so, the “rocks” are the size of SUV’s – and up. It’s challenging, and a lot of fun – but may not be for everyone. It’s a relatively safe hike, but if you’re not prepared, physically or equipment-wise, you can get hurt. The scramble portion is about a mile and a half in length.
If you really want to summit but skip the scramble, there may be the opportunity to do that, as Tierri is (presently) planning to hike the fire road/Saddle Trail first; you may be able to hike that to the summit, then meet the main group there, and return the same way you came.
2. Equipment – I really recommend some utility-type gloves and sturdy, “grippy”, and well-broken-in hiking shoes, with ankle support, and sturdy pants for “scootching” over rocks. Not required, but if you have hiking clothing with padded elbows/knees, bring them, may save you a scrape or bruise or two.
Hiking poles are debatable – they’ll be a hindrance for much of the hike; be sure they can collapse and be safely strapped to your pack. Be prepared for changing weather conditions – the weather at the trailhead can be much different than that of the summit – wear layers.
3. The ascent on the Ridge Trail remains a “moderate+” – but throw in the rock scramble, and this can become a strenuous hike. (Rest assured, our hiking pace will be, if anything, on the slow side, and there are plenty of opportunities to rest.) Bring energy snacks and plenty of water – you’ll burn lots of calories on this one. And, if your upper-body strength could use some work, well, you have a month 🙂