Chimney Hollow Trail - January 27, 2019

submitted by Barbara Martin

Thirteen hikers joined hike leader Barbara Martin on one of her favorite hikes in the area, Chimney Hollow Trail.  Andre Meyer, Nancy Handley, Sharon Celsor-Hughes, Dan & Jeanne Ralston, Anne Colgate, Lynn Hatch, Claire Cline, Steven Cohen, Marie Moss, Janet Smalley, Courtney Beach and Mike Smith all journeyed from Rockfish Gap to the trailhead about 4 miles west of Churchville on Rt. 250.  Getting out of our cars at the parking lot was the hardest part of the hike! The parking area was a sheet of ice. Luckily the trail was less icy and wandered for the first mile around a lovely stream. Then we began a 2000 feet steady climb with many beautiful views along the way.  We lunched where the trail met the Crawford Knob Trail. Barbara treated everyone to her homemade cookies and as we saw a few snowflakes drifting by, we packed up and made our way back down the way we came. Several of us stopped at White's Wayside, a lovely restaurant, and sipped on coffee, hard cider and beer before making our way back to Rockfish Gap.


Fridley's Gap and Massanutten South Trails - January 19, 2019

submitted by Jeff Monroe

Considering the weather forecasters' prediction of imminent winter weather, a great turnout collected to head into the valley and join the SSVC on a joint hike of Massanutten Mountain.
Hikers included Patrick Cory, Jeff Monroe, Ann Hayes, John Brandt, Karen Ballen, and MJ Jawoisz (new via Meetup) from Charlottesville, and John Kolp, Paul Boisen, Lin Yang, and Jim Fye from the Valley.  
Jim Fye led the group to the trailhead on the western slope of Massanutten Mountain after an icy drive for the last half mile of the trip.  The group hiked into the national forest on the Fridley Gap Trail, before crossing a stream and going uphill on the southbound Massanutten South Trail.  Everyone wore or carried traction devices on a sometimes icy ascent. The group made it to an overlook before turning around as a couple of the hikers were feeling the cold.
Upon returning to the trailhead, the group helped another hiker whose Prius was not progressing on the icy access road.  They helped the driver get turned around and back down the road. Our hikers successfully returned without incident, despite the start of precipitation during the return drive.


1st Day Hike New Year Challenge: Douthat State Park - January 1, 2019

submitted by Jeff Monroe

A small crew of PATC hikers determined to start the New Year off right with a hike got together to explore trails in Douthat State Park.  Virginia State Parks were sponsoring a "1st Day Hike New Year Challenge" and parking in all state parks that day was free. The group hiked in the eastern portion of the park and despite the “Challenge,” only saw two other hikers on the trails that day.  The group hiked 7 miles that had them passing over mountains and next to the lake, through a sandy beach and past picnic areas and playgrounds. Douthat is a wonderful place to hike!

Twas the Day after the Solstice Hike, Braley Pond/Bald Ridge Trail Hike - December 22, 2018

submitted by Barbara Martin

The seven intrepid hikers Andre Meyer, Steve James, Susan Quinn, Claire Cline, Nancy Hanley, Marion Styles and Paul Henderson joined hike leader Barbara Martin for a jaunt into the Ramseys Draft Wilderness Area by way of Braley Pond and the Bald Ridge Trail. We started our hike skirting Braley Pond and heading out on a fire road.  Barbara was happily chatting away to Clair and missed the turn off to Bald Ridge Trail. Only a 1/2 mile was lost! We returned and turned on the trail and began climbing slowly to Bald Ridge. The trail here is quite lovely - covered with pine needles with lichen and moss making it very pretty. As we climbed the skies became grey and we saw snowflakes in the air.  We reached the top of the ridge and made a right onto Bald Ridge Trail. After 1/4 mile or so we were treated to a wonderful lunch spot, complete with a fire circle, logs to sit on and an outstanding view. We came back down the way we came with time to visit and enjoy the views again. A great time with a great group of hikers.


Crozet Trails: Linkinghole Basin and Soup Party - January 5, 2019

Linkinghole Basin

It was muddy, but the rain had stopped and 15 hikers ventured out on January 5 to meet up and traipse on the Crozet Greenways.  We began at the Western Ridge subdivision club house and followed along the woods to Lickinghole Basin to enjoy the waterfront and many geese resting there.  Marit Anderson was the hike leader and Mark Perschel assisted as sweep.  Marit showed the group the eagle's nest but no eagle were present this day, nor the blue heron that is often seen along the waterway. We continued beside Linkinghole Creek using the Crozet Connector Trail. We followed the detour into Westhall Subdivision briefly, as the Connector Trail is having a walking tunnel installed where the future road will be built towards Rt. 240. We then converged below the dog park at Claudius Crozet Park.  A short break and chocolate were shared.  We backtracked our route and ended up with 6 miles under our belt and a hefty appetite.  That was well timed, because all the hikers proceeded to the home of Marit Anderson and Mark Perschel in Old Trail for soup, adult beverages, crackers and cheese assortment, and desserts.  It was fun to share the time together and meet some new hikers to the PATC group, as well as see old friends. The day also turned sunny and warm, so all were glad to get outdoors. The participants included Nancy Kern, Joan Gilrain, Karen and John Ballen, Margaret Helber, Brooks Fulton, Dennis Templeton, Katharine Maus, David Crowe, CJ Woodburn, Iva Gillet, Marian Styles, and Nancy Handley. A special congratulations on the retirement of Marian Styles and John Shannon (not present)!

Soup party at Marit and Marks' house in Old Trail

We were all a muddy mess after the hike, but no one complained - a testament to this great gang of hikers!

submitted by Marit Anderson