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  1. #1
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    Default Looking for July 2012 Week-Long Hike Ideas (Virginia)

    Grrr... just lost the last thread, so I'll summarize.

    Last July, my roommate and I took a week off of work and spent five days hiking the AT and backcountry camping around Luray, Virginia. This year, we're doing the same thing, but trying to plan a two-car hike with a definite start and end point, but enough time to stop as we please and check out side-trails. We're taking a work week off, giving us nine days off or seven/eight to hike.

    My challenge for you: Suggest some good five/six day hikes along the AT within four hours drive from Fairfax, Virginia. I'd like lots of good vistas and hopefully near some good water crossings. Shelters aren't a must (we plan on tent/tarp camping for most of it), but wouldn't be against a cool campfire spot or two.

    I'll post once we've decided on a plan.
    Need to go NOBO.

  2. #2
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Four hours you can be at the Tinker Cliff / McAfee Knob area of the AT (north of Roanoke). Park at Catawba and hike to the James River.



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  3. #3
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    Thanks Blissful. Any particular reasons?
    Need to go NOBO.

  4. #4
    Registered User Moose2001's Avatar
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    I'd start in Damascus and go north to the Bland area. Grayson Highlands, lots of rhodo's and just a ver enjoyable section.
    GA - NJ 2001; GA - ME 2003; GA - ME 2005; GA - ME 2007; PCT 2006

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  5. #5
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuyMonday View Post
    Thanks Blissful. Any particular reasons?
    Great views, mostly. McAfee Knob is the most photographic spot on the AT. I also like the Blue Ridge parkway area



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  6. #6
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose2001 View Post
    I'd start in Damascus and go north to the Bland area. Grayson Highlands, lots of rhodo's and just a ver enjoyable section.
    He only wanted to go 4 hrs. That's closer to 6 from where he is.



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  7. #7
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    I agree with blissful. Thats a great section. We are doing a quick 3 day from McCafee's to Daleville here in a few weeks. I think it would be worth the drive.

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    If it's worth it, I don't mind waking up at 2am for the drive down. I just worry about there being too many people being such a popular spot, but it sounds like if I go NOBO, I can get a good 8 rough miles in that the day-hikers probably wouldn't want to hit, then spend some time around McAfee Knob before starting day 2. From what I've read about the area so far, it sounds awesome, I'm going to keep this as a top choice on the list.

    I know I'll be spending a day there, this July or another time, that's for sure. I always saw photos of McAfee Knob, just never made the connect to what/where it was.
    Need to go NOBO.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuch View Post
    I agree with blissful. Thats a great section. We are doing a quick 3 day from McCafee's to Daleville here in a few weeks. I think it would be worth the drive.
    The Home Place Restaurant is worth the drive with its southern hospitality and finger licking good food . Also some great hiking in them parts with Dragons Tooth another favorite vista.

    www.yelp.com/biz/home-place-restaurant-catawba
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  10. #10
    Registered User Southerner's Avatar
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    I love the Catawba area -- Dragon's Tooth, MacAfee's, and Tinker are hard to beat. But, one section I like in your target area that I think has more variety (especially for a potentially roasting hike in July) would be from the James River Face Wilderness to Rockfish Gap. You could park at the Belfast Trail on Va. 781 (Petites Gap Road), hike past Devil's Marbleyard, then hit the AT northbound for the next 82 or so miles (and there are easy ways to add or cut from the trip since parking is plentiful along the Blue Ridge Parkway).

    Highlights from the trip would include: Devil's Marbleyard (talus slope with house-size boulders, fun to explore, on Belfast Trail), the James River / Bridge (AT goes along the river for 1.5 miles before crossing, locals use the south end of the bridge as a daredevil's jump and swimming spot), Rocky Row (steep climb, but outstanding views of the James), the Lynchburg Reservoir (pretty lake even if the dam breaks the wilderness feel a bit), Cold Mountain (pasture on the mountaintop, about a mile of great views), Spy Rock, the Priest (notorious climb for SOBOs, but nice views, too), the Tye River, Three Ridges (killer NOBO climb over a rocky trail, but great views from the top), and Humpback Rock. You could also add Crabtree Falls as a side hike right before the Priest, though it is off-ridge and may not be that impressive if it's a dry summer.

    Just another great section to consider!

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