View Full Version : Old Rag parking

03-12-2010, 17:26
Per the latest PATC (http://potomacappalachian.org/index.php) newsletter, the Park is closing the "upper" i.e. closer trailhead parking lot for the trail up Old Rag:

Old Rag Trailhead “Upper Lot” to Close

The 12-space “upper lot” on the Park boundary at the popular Ridge Trailhead access for Old Rag Mountain will be permanently closed to public vehicle access and parking. Plans are to install a park gate to prevent visitor vehicle access to the lot and to install signing on R t. 600 to deter Park visitor vehicle use of the 0.8 mile section of roadway between the existing lease main lot and Park boundary. Road shoulder parking is prohibited and will be enforced by towing as necessary. All visitors to the Ridge and Nicholson Hollow Trails will be required to walk 0.8 mile along Rt. 600 to access the Ridge Trail from the leased lower parking lot.

Rick Hancock
03-12-2010, 18:51
Thanks for the info. I lead an overnight Rappelling trip to Old Rag 2-3 times a year with my club TATC. I've known for awhile that they were leaning this way, bound to happen. It's probably a good idea there have been several break ins in the upper lot including a guy in my group. I haven't heard of any problems in the lower lot. I will say that in the past (I've led this trip for over 20 years) several times there has been a scout troop camped at the upper parking lot 15/20 kids and leaders from Maryland they arrive and take all of the 12 parking spaces. Several times they had an over sized camper/van. I realize first come first served but it seems they would've left most of the vehicles below kept 1-2 in the upper lot. Reason I bring it up is because we arrive at about 11pm and hike a mile or so before camping. It's a popular destination and a fun place to rappel.

Lemni Skate
03-13-2010, 18:18
If I understand correctly they're going to build another lot not quite as close as the upper lot, but closer than the lower lot. They're also going to cut back on the total parking. It is a great hike and I intend to take my daughter for the first time very soon. I really wish people would take care of the area. It's really heavily used and we need to make an effort to keep people informed of "leave no trace" practices there. I don't really mind the extra walk as the road walk is pretty easy. There are other ways to the top, but this is the way with the super fun rock scramble.

Rick Hancock
03-14-2010, 21:10
Gosh, I'm not sure where they'd put another lot. The park boundary begins at the end of 600/602. The other properties are private not to mention the rugged terrain on one side and the drop off to the Hughes River on the other. It would be quite a feat and costly to carve out a parking area. The lower lot can hold several 100 vehicles and I have seen them turn people away on a day when the trail is saturated with hikers. It is a popular destination. I guess that some of the property owners in Nethers or further up the road might sell or lease some of the grassy areas.

Rick Hancock
03-14-2010, 21:21
Lemni Skate
My daughter was up on Old Rag when she was about 5 months old. I was teaching a rappelling class and got a picture of her "climbing" with a little harness my buddy is above her out of the picture and I'm spotting her from below! In my opinion one of the worst things they ever did was to remove the double outhouse from the Byrds Nest shelter area. A lot of people don't know how to s... in the woods and would use the outhouse. Now they just go wherever and they don't understand LNT practices. Most novices don't want to go very far off the trail. I have talked to several Rangers that I've met along the route but what can they do other than try to educate. It's a wonderful hike but it is being loved to death