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Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

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Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

What are some of the best hiking trails around Charlottesville? I'm looking for something that's about 4-5 hours with good views and decent solitude. I've heard good things about Wintergreen but that might be a little long.

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1. Re: Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

Shenandoah National Park is about 30-40 minutes from Charlottesville (Route 29 area) and there are many great trails in the Park. Check the Park website, www.nps.gov/shen and go to the plan your visit section and look for hiking trails which will give you a description of many of the popular trails. One of my favorites is Rose River Loop, about 4 mi RT, milepost 49, trailhead at Fishers Gap, moderate, lots of water views, 800' elevation change, not many people...none the day I hiked it. There are many nice trails in the southern section with great views and more solitude than central section of the Park (Skyland and Big Meadows Areas). Check out Blackrock Summit and Frazier Discovery Trail, both with great, interesting views and scenery and few people. Hope this helps.

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2. Re: Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

"..good things about Wintergreen but that might be a little long."

What do you mean? Too long to get to Wintergreen from Charlottesville, or the hikes there too long?

If you have an SUV, there is a back way into Crabtree Falls. I think the road # is 826 of Route 56 off Blue Ridge Pwy. You can park up there at the meadow and either hike down to CF, or head further up where the road to find the Appalachian Trail and hikes up to The Preist. Last time I was up there, the road was pretty much impassible past the upper parking area for Crabtree falls. Although, maps show the road going further.

Charlottesville, VA
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3. Re: Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

Two nice hikes are Old Rag Mtn. and Humpback Rocks. Humpback Rocks is down the Blue Ridge parkway a few miles south of where it crosses I-64, Old Rag is on the border of Shenandoah Nat'l. Park. Both are very close, but can get crowded. They are popular hikes due to the outstanding views. I find that if you can get there on a weekday, crowds aren't a problem. Otherwise, get a book of hikes in Shenandoah Nat'l Park, and just pick one that meets your time/difficulty restraints, there are many, most with nice views.

Charlottesville...
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4. Re: Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

The above suggestions are great. We are lucky to have to many places available to us. The National Park is $10-15, but you can get an annual pass for all national parks for $30.

A couple of other suggestions:

Sugar Hollow

Getting there: Take Barracks Rd./Garth Rd. out of town northwest for half an hour to Whitehall, where the road takes a 90-degree right turn just before a country store. Instead of following the road, go straight on to Sugar Hollow Rd. and go to the end.

Follow the river away from the reservoir for a level hike or cross the river at the parking area and go straight up to Skyline Drive. Great swimming holes either way in summer. A good place to bring the kids, and beautiful scenery along the way. No entrance fee.

White Oak Canyon Falls

www.hikingupward.com/SNP/WhiteOak/

Getting there: Rt. 29 North 30 minutes to Rt. 231 in Madison. Stay on Rt. 231 (it bears left after downtown Madison) to Banco. Left on Rt. 670 to Syria, then right on Rt. 643. Left on Rt. 600, four miles to trailhead parking.

A beautiful hike any time of the year. Spectacular falls and deep swimming holes, wildlife. Fairly level until the first big falls, so can be an easy day hike. Or make the loop all the way up to Skyline Drive for a full-day excursion. For a real treat, go up by the river, not the trail, after the first falls. Park entrance by foot: $5/person or annual pass for the whole family.

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5. Re: Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

Thanks all for the responses! It's made me even more excited about the trip.

goneagain2, I've wanted to visit Shanandoah National Park for a while so I'm excited to check it out and hike a few of the trails. I'm not sure if we'll make it up to mile 49 because we have a 5 hour drive to get there but we'll definitely check out the southern sections that you recommended.

Jwhiteree, I meant Wintergreen is a bit of a long hike. I read that it's about 11 hours (is that correct)? Unfortunately we don't have a SUV.

ForesterinVA, I definitely want to check out Humpback Rocks. We might have time to hike Old Rag mountain too but we're driving up from NC so we might not make it that far north.

laurava, have you stayed at the Inn at Sugar Hallow Farm? That's one of the places that we were looking into. I heard the area around there is breath taking.

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6. Re: Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

Bank5,

Shenandoah NP offers wonderful trails, and the Blackrock Summit/Trayfoot Mountain Trail combination might be a nice hike for you. Begin at milepost 84 on Blackrock Summit, then continue onto Trayfoot. The total round trip is probably 10-12 miles but you can hike as much as you like and return at any point....great scenery and places to stop for a rest and snack while enjoying the views.

Not sure of your route from NC to C'Ville, but if you are in the vacinity of one of the following places, consider these hikes:

Peaks of Otter, milepost 86 Blue Ridge Parkway, can't beat the views and enjoyable hiking but moderate to strenuous on Sharp Top, Harkening Hill very nice and moderate difficulty.

New River Trail, this trail is 59 miles long, previously a RR track, many miles run next to the New River, numerous starting points, ie. Fries, Galax, Draper.

I wrote hiking reviews of both Peaks of Otter and New River Trail if you are interested, just do a serch by the name or click my name to see the reviews.

Happy trails

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7. Re: Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

I wasn't thinking of Wintergreen in terms of an individual hike. I thought you meant driving up to the Resort. There is a whole network of trails up there. You can do as little or as lot as you want. I know there is a big huge loop that is 13+ miles.

hikingupward.com/GWNF/…Map.pdf

Charlottesville...
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8. Re: Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

The Sugar Hollow Inn is in a beautiful area and there's a number of trails within walking distance. I have never stayed there but we have had a lot of friends from out of this area who have- they enjoyed the Inn.

I also suggested Montfair Resort Farm on another post. These are individual cabins, also in a beautiful setting.

Big Meadows is right on Skyline Drive and has its own lodge and cabins. I'm not sure how far in advance you have to book. It is an hour from C'ville, but 30 min of that is a beautiful drive. You take 29 N to 33 W in Greene County and follow the signs to Skyline Drive. Even if you don't stay there, the lodge has a wonderful restaurant (don't confuse it with the snack place that you first see when you pull in). You can sit out on the back deck and enjoy the view or take a glass of wine out to the tables in the back and relax.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
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9. Re: Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

If you're in town, check Blue Ridge Mountain Sports in the Barracks Road shopping area. They give out a free publication featuring the best hikes in the area. Lots of experienced hikers are on staff there, too.

Charlottesville
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10. Re: Best hiking within an hour from Charlottesville

laurava is right white oak canyon is a great spot and you can stop for dinner at the graves mountain lodge on the way back which is a real treat as well. http://www.gravesmountain.com/ I recommend checking with them first because they keep weird hours.