submitted by Jeff Monroe
A total of 8 hikers, including 4 from the PATC, 3 from the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club, and the hike leader who is an active member of both groups, met on the Blue Ridge Parkway just south of Route 56 on a cold November morning to hike the Whetstone Ridge Trail. Hikers included Iva Gillet, Marit Anderson, Andre Meyer, and Barbara Martin from the PATC, and Eddie Wayland, Laura Neale, and Herb Vreeland from the NBATC. The hike leader was Jeff Monroe. Many hikers had never before experienced the Whetstone Ridge Trail because, at about 12 miles, it isn't easily completed without a group and a car shuttle. Although the leaves were just a little past peak, the day turned beautiful and there were ridge top views to be had along much of the way, ranging from the Cole Mountain and Priest areas to the Shenandoah Valley and Jump Rock. The group completed the hike in a little over six hours, enjoying views and looking for the perfect lunch spot along the way. This is a tough hike, as it has many ups and downs during the second half of the trip.