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Whetstone Ridge Trail - Virginia, United States

by Javaslinger  
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Very strenuous!

First 3 miles see an ascent of 1600ft. In fact the grade of this initial climb is wonderful monderate to lull you into a sense of security. After that the remaining 9 miles are a simple ridgewalk... a simply BRUTAL ridgewalk. The descents are numerous and the ascents are STEEP.

Total Elevation Gain: 4570ft
Total Elevation Loss: 2950ft

The views are wonderful in the winter. I imagine a few would persist into the summer and full foliage. But this hike is highly recommended during seasons of leaf free trees.

Additionally there are not exits on this 12 mile hike. Consider this as injuries along the way leave you a long way from rescue. There are no cross roads.

Finally, the trail is well blazed with yellow plastic diamonds stapled to tree's. Do not mistake the numerous yellow and red pain blazes for trail markers. They are property markers.

Note the trailhead on Irish Creek Rd has moved about a 1/2 mile further up the road from that mentioned in older guides. The current trailhead features a small lot for 4 cars and a hiker sign. The trail immediately forks with the Whetstone Ridge trail bearing left.

Comments (1)
Regardless of the beginning point this is indeed a strenuous hike but a welcome challenge . The undulating ridge trail is truly that with few drops below the ridge, no switch backs. Strange rock outcrops need a geologist to describe them. Not seen the like in these parts. We began the hike from the Whetstone Ridge Ranger station but that does not mean it was any less strenuous, for the descents are steep, rocky, straight and true to the ridge line, slow going for any except a mountain goat. We've done this trail many times in all seasons. A sunny winter day is the best for views, though a warm rainy blustery day the week before made the mosses and lichen lush green-grey. As we moved along a horizontal section, a tree on the west side fell slowly from its uplifted roots, halted by the dense oaks close by. There was no dramatic crack just a shuffle of dead leaves.
by IreneEstelle on Feb 11, 2013
Trip Info
March 05, 2011
Trip Location: Vesuvius, Virginia, United States
Length: 11.7 miles
Duration: 6 hours
Activity: Hiking
Trip viewed 3,039 times
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