Yesterday I went out to the Shenendoah National Park with a couple of friends to hike Old Rag. If you read the information online here or here you’ll find that from trail head to trail end it’s a 9 mile hike. Add the 0.9 mile hike from the parking area to that (times two) and you end up with an almost 11 mile round trip. As much as one friend kept thinking it would take far less time than the online information estimates, it really is an all day adventure. Well, it might not be if you go on a week day, or even on a non-holiday weekend. It was crowded!
Since part of the trail (about the top 1/3rd of the climb) was all bouldering and involved squeezing through, ducking under, climbing over, or crawling across/around massive rocks, it was a very slow-going, single-file section. That alone slowed the overall pace of the hike immensely.
On our way down the back side of the mountain we had the opportunity to make a new friend. Mind you, just because we had the opportunity, didn’t mean we actually became friends. I was paranoid the whole time that his mama was lurking somewhere nearby and way ready to pounce if we didn’t move along.
We completely the entire hike from start to finish in about 5 hours. I think. I didn’t have any service out there so I didn’t bother taking my phone up the mountain with me.
At the end of our adventure we stopped at Sharp Rock Vineyard for a bottle of white (because it’s chilled, duh!) and some munchies. We collectively agreed to the Chardonnay Reserve, some cheeses, meats, and a roll of French Bread. Taking that time to unwind after the hike and put a little something in our stomachs was the perfect end to our day.
If you enjoy hiking, wine, scenery, country, or just a nice day out with (or without) friends, I highly recommend making the trip to Old Rag.