a gathering place for the words, images and momentos of the world of adventures i've adventured, the stories i've wandered through. curriculum bella vita...a resume, of sorts, of the good life.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Three Ridges Aplenty

My "Hiking Virginia" book is dogearred with great Shenandoah and Blue Ridge hikes, but only one trail earns the title of Virginia’s newest wilderness area: Three Ridges and The Priest in the George Washington National Forest. Jon, Libby and I set out to hike the hills on a perfect Labor Day weekend. Libby and I escorted Jon half of the way to training in Georgia, then rode Amtrak back from Charlottesville on the flip side. Hip hip horray for three-day weekends well spent!

Two-night loop along Appalachian Trail and Mau-Har Trail
13.8 miles, ~4,000’ elevation gains

Southwest of Lovinston, VA, site of Bargey’s 2006 wedding!

ALPs alumni extravaganza:
L.R. Strait
J.D. Mungen
J.R. Jewett

Day 1

2.5 miles
1,000 ft elevation gain

VA56 trailhead north on AT to Harpers Creek shelter

Stead climb led to nice area with lots of campsites and tent pads, very small creek

Day 2

8.0 miles
2,000 ft elevation gain

Up and across ridgeline, down creek valley to Campbell Falls campsite. Long 3 mile, 2,000 foot gain to start the day. First great view at Chimney Rock. Unfortunately no view from peak of Three Ridges at 3,970’. While there are some campsites in the area, you’d have to haul all your water up the mountain. Hanging Rock (below) at 6.8 miles is as good as it gets.

Nice shelter, outhouse, campsites at Maupin Shelter, would make a decent resting spot instead of Campell Falls. Even smaller creek for water purposes.

Campbell Falls is rugged in and out in both directions. The area's neat, but there's not much room for tents. Two was a squeeze, there wouldn't be room for more than one hiking party...and no good back-up areas around. Swimming hole atop a 20 foot waterfall was a treat! Would be great in hot weather, a bit brisk in early September.

Day 3
3.3 miles to trailhead
1,000 ft elevation gain

Quick uphill, then gentle return to river, parking lot. :-)

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