Spring in DC metro is one hell of a fun. Shenandoah National Park offers great variety of hiking trails for almost any fitness level.
After injuring my back last fall, it’s been quite a struggle to manage pain and still keep in shape. I hope all the diligent yoga, swimming and physical therapy pay off soon.
This spring I am slowly getting out on the trail. When I say slowly, I really mean it. I did Billy goat A,B and C trail couple of weeks ago. My back didn’t feel as bad, giving me encouragement to try something a bit more strenuous.
I just returned from a kick ass and really beautiful Old Rag Mountain hike in the Shenandoah NP.
Old Rag is known for the rock scrambling that is pretty challenging and nerve-wrecking at points. If you are familiar with Billy Goat A, multiply that by 5 times for the duration, elevation, steepness, and challenge of rock scrambling.
But, this trail is absolutely doable even if you are not in a great shape.
One thing you don’t miss on this trail is people. There are a LOT of people pretty much anytime of the day. Parking lot gets filled up by 10-ish on a nice morning.
I couldn’t really convince any of my friends to wake up early on a Saturday to go with me (You suckers !!!). So, as usual I went alone.
It took me literally 10-minutes to meet a group of awesome people to spend the rest of the 6-8 hours with. You guys rock !!
What to pack ?
– Plenty of water. I took 3 bottles
– Fruit or two
– Meal bars
– Lightweight windbreaker. It gets windy at the summit.
– Sunscreen/shades/hat (I packed none of these and kinda regretted)
– A pair of thin gloves
And yes, there were kids in our group. So, don’t you complain !!!
Logistics: For directions to the trail entrance and a map, check out this link.
And once you reach the top, just kick back and enjoy the view. You can either chose to scramble the rock back to the parking lot, which is a 3.8 miles from the summit.
Or do what we did, which is going around the mountain by a 5.6 miles trail to make the hike a full loop. We started hiking at 10:30AM and returned at 4:30PM to the parking lot.