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Exploring Blue Ridge

November 6, 2020

Written by Carter Brackman, Hydaway Outdoor Center Manager

It seems like we are all pressed for time these days. We all need time where we get away from the normal schedule of each day and refresh. What is the best way to do this? How about taking a free Saturday and going on a nice day hike? With the fall weather setting in it is the perfect time to explore the outdoors! If this sounds like something you would be interested in then Virginia’s got you. This post recommends that you wake up early one day and explore two of Virginia’s most beautiful and underrated hikes.

First Things First

Hike with a Group
When exploring new places it is always a good idea to bring along some friends. There is something about being in nature that just brings people together. It also helps ensure your safety as you travel and hike. Also, make sure to tell someone outside of your group of your location and estimated hike time to just cover all your bases.

Comfort and Protection
You want the hiking experience to be as fun as possible. Comfort level is a large contributor to this. Some of the following items could be packed: snacks (trail mix, bananas, granola bars), sunscreen, mini first-aid kit, rain jacket, bug spray, water, and a backpack to store it all in!

Location

It can be difficult to find the trailheads of certain trails. We recommend using resources such The Outbound or AllTrails to learn about the difficulty, length, and location of the trail. You should also take into consideration the time it will take for the hike and the weather. And always stay on the designated trail!

Recommendation #1 – Mount Pleasant

The first stop that you have to make is Mount Pleasant. Mount Pleasant is located in Vesuvius, VA. This is a great hike for beginners who desire a longer distance hike (roughly 5 miles round trip). Most Lynchburg locals have heard of Cole Mountain right? Well, Mount Pleasant is the sister mountain of Cole Mountain. The Mount Pleasant trailhead is within a half mile of the Cole Mountain trailhead, which are both located off of Wiggins Spring Rd in Vesuvius, VA. At the summit there are two lookouts: one east facing and one west facing. Cole Mountain can be seen from this summit. The Mount Pleasant Scenic Area is part of the George Washington National Forest and does not require any passes or permits for entrance or hiking so enjoy the hike!

Recommendation #2 – Spy Rock

Spy Rock is located in Montebello, VA. The views from this hike are unbelievable. This hike is also located in the George Washington National Forest. This is a shorter hike (roughly 2 miles round trip) which provides a 360 degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Spy Rock is a great location for camping as well. The Spy Rock Trailhead is located near the Montebello Fish Hatchery which provides hikers with a small parking area. Look for signs that point out the Appalachian Trail and take a left. This trail will take you over to Spy Rock.

Hopefully after reading this you feel better prepared and more excited for a hiking trip in Virginia. Remember that the best trips start with great planning. Be safe!