Hike Schedule

Hikes may be canceled or changed because of weather or other factors. If the weather forecast might create hazardous hiking conditions please call or email the Hike Leader for information.

Hike start times vary - please check the schedule carefully. Based on travel time to trailhead, time of year, length of hike, etc. the hike leader will determine the optimal meeting time for carpooling to the trailhead. Hikes will NOT always begin at 9 AM as in the past.

Meeting place for hikes vary. Typical meeting spots for carpools will be Albemarle High School (AHS) in Charlottesville, Rt. 33 at Swift Run Gap, King's Popcorn stand at Rockfish Gap, and the Tastee Freeze on Rt 250 at Churchville, BUT it is the decision of the hike leader as to when and where the group will meet. If the hike leader is not meeting the group at AHS, please form carpools with other hikers, and meet the leader at the listed time and place.  If you would like to meet the group at the trailhead, please email or call the hike leader.

The hike leader can decide that a person will not go on a hike for factors such as inadequate equipment or supplies, physical condition inadequate for hike, behavior inconsistent with the smooth conduct of the hike.

Dogs may be allowed on hikes at the discretion of the Hike Leader, although there are a few trails in Shenandoah National Park, such as Old Rag and Dark Hollow Falls, where dogs are never allowed. Click here for further information and a complete list. Dogs must be restrained by a leash at all times in Shenandoah National Park.

We carpool to the trail head. Riders are expected to pay drivers $5.  However, the hike leader can determine an appropriate contribution based on current fuel prices and distance driven.

Carpooling is a part of our attempt to minimize environmental impact when we hike.  You can choose to drive or to ride with others.  As a courtesy to others carpooling with you, please bring a dry shirt and towel for the trip home. A plastic bag for muddy boots if the weather indicates such items may be required.  You must bring sufficient food and at least 2 liters of water to sustain yourself for the day.

Hike leaders: 
   Anderson, Marit - marit.gay@gmail.com,  (434) 987-0266
   Brown, Lindsay - lbrownpar72@yahoo.com, (434) 825-1199
   Davis, Howard - hsdhiker@gmail.com, 434-964-1242/434-282-8436
   Fink, Pete - roughnrocky@gmail.com, (434) 202-8259
   Garretson, Gabriel - ghb2011@hughes.net, (540) 405-7153
   Gillet, Iva - ivakayak@gmail.com, (434) 409-6203
   Holman, Bill - bi11holman@yahoo.com, (434) 409-6203
   Martin, Barbara - barbara@barbaramartinmusic.com
   Monroe, Jeff - monroejeff@gmail.com, (434) 962-1808
   Perschel, Mark - Markperschel@juno.com, (904) 460-3917
   Ralston, Dan - ipdan10@hotmail.com, (434) 981-0628
   Seth, Michael - sethmj@jmu.edu, (540) 438-1301
   Shannon, John - johnsha@lumos.net, (434) 293-2953   
   Willgruber, Andy - apwillgruber@gmail.com, (434) 589-6391

                                             ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK

May 19, Volunteers to Clear Invasive Plants at the Vining Cabin in Mutton Hollow.  The PATC is partnering with the Vining family to remove invasive plants from eight acres below the Vining Cabin, and establish a native plant meadow and shrubs in their place.  We are doing this 3-year project with guidance from the Blue Ridge PRISM and the expertise and financial assistance of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and supplementing the work of a professional contractor with volunteers.  If you haven't been to the Vining Cabin since December, you've missed an amazing transformation of most of this acreage, which is almost completely cleared and reduced to wood chips.  The barns are visible!  On May 19 and 20 we will remove more invasive plants (e.g., autumn olive, Japanese honeysuckle, multiflora rose, tree-of-heaven, princess tree) from the perimeter of the area already cleared by the forest mulcher in December, in order to further protect the acreage that will be planted as a meadow in 2019.  Make sure to bring a pair of gloves, and a pair of pruners and a handsaw if you have them.  Come and help us improve the health of the land on a PATC site we all love to visit and hike.  In a couple years you'll be able to kick back with a choice beverage on the front porch of the Vining Cabin, survey a beautiful wildflower meadow below you, and say, Yeah, I helped create that. Meet at AHS at 9am.

May 19,  Springhouse Ridge to Shenandoah Mountain Trail, Hike Leaders Lynn and Malcolm Cameron, 7.6 miles.  See painted trilliums and other wildflowers in bloom on Big Bald.  Possible 0.4 mi. side trip to Hardscrabble Knob.  Meet at Churchville TasteeFreez at 9:00 a.m.  Dinner at White’s Wayside (optional)  Hike leaders:  Lynn and Malcolm Cameron, slynncameron@gmail.com, (540) 234-6273.
May 26, Cold Mountain, Hike Leader Barbara Martin, 5.8 miles, 1500 feet elevation gain. Three hundred and sixty degree meadow views and beautiful wild flowers, make this a hike not to be missed.  We will make a circuit of the Hotel Trail and the AT.  Meet at 9 am at King Popcorn Stand, Rockfish Gap.  Please contact hike leader at  Barbara@barbaramartinmusic.com if you plan to attend.  To learn more about the hike:  www.hikingward.com/GWNF/ColdMountain/

June 2, North Mountain/Pete's Cave, Hike Leader, Barbara Martin, 8 miles, moderate. This hike in Rockbridge County has some wonderful features: beautiful overlooks at the start of the hike and incredible rock formations with another gorgeous overlook 3.5 miles into the hike.  We will do a shuttle with a short walk on the road to Andre Meyer's house, where there will be a Memorial Day weekend party.  BYOB and food to share.  Meet at 9 am at Kings Popcorn Stand, Rockfish Gap.  If you'd like to carpool from Charlottesville contact Barbara Martin at barbara@barbaramartinmusic.com and I'll connect with you with others wishing to carpool.  Let me know if you want to meet at the trail head or somewhere else along the way.  One hour and fifteen minute drive from Rockfish Gap to the trail head.   www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/NorthMountainPetesCave

June 2, National Trails Day Celebration at Bears Den Hostel from 8:30am to 4:00pm, Bluemont, VA. Come enjoy a fun-filled day of hikes, presentations, demonstrations, kid’s activities, and much more, right along the iconic Appalachian Trail. Northwest Federal Credit Union, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, and REI, are hosting a celebration of National Trails Day, at the beautiful Bears Den Hostel in Bluemont, Virginia. Enjoy numerous hikes, some with specific themes such as photography, history, birding, invasive species, and flora and fauna. There will also be trail maintenance demonstrations, multimedia presentations on hiking and invasive species, Leave No Trace information, talks about monarch butterflies, kids’ activities, entertainment, and food. The participating organizations will also have information tents set up on the grounds where attendees can speak with representatives about what their organization does to protect, preserve, and maintain the trails and wildlife that we all enjoy so much. And, you may even get to meet some A.T. thru-hikers who stop by the hostel on their long trek to Maine.

The first 100 people to visit any of the information tents receive a bandana, courtesy of REI.

This is expected to be a very popular event and parking at Bears Den is limited, so carpooling is strongly encouraged. Suggested parking fee: $3.00/car.

Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash at all times and under control. No pets are allowed in the lodge or hostel.

PLEASE, no plastic water bottles! Please bring your water in a reusable bottle to help save the environment!

Check the PATC website under “Latest News,” as well as the PATC Facebook page for updates and a complete events schedule: www.patc.net and www.facebook.com/ PotomacAppalachianTrailClub

For directions to the Bears Den Hostel, visit http://www.bearsdencenter.org

June 9, Shenandoah Mountain Trail/Benson Run Trail loop, Hike Leader Jeff Monroe, 9-10 mile moderate to strenuous hike. This is a joint hike with the PATC Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter.  This loop uses trails more regularly accessed by mountain bikes and equestrians, along the Augusta/Highland County border south of U.S. 250. The trailhead is on the Benson Run Road (FR 396)– a trip advised for high clearance vehicles only, but doable last fall in my old Outback.  The loop starts by walking down the Benson Run Road from its intersection with the Shenandoah Mountain Trail. The trail turns north on the Benson Run Trail to the Shenandoah Mountain Trail where we turn back south, and dropping gradually for approximately 4.5 miles before reaching the original trailhead. Expect to hike  through prolific stands of Eastern Turkeybeard, a flower once widespread from Georgia and Alabama north to New Jersey, but now rare or endangered throughout its range except in New Jersey and Virginia. Possible stinging nettle along Benson Run, so bring work gloves.  Meet at Albemarle High at 8:30am or the Churchville Tastee Freeze on Rt 250 at 9:30. 

June 10, Sunday, 5PM, PATC Charlottesville Chapter Potluck at Dunlodge
Join us for a PATC Spring Open House Potluck with fellow outdoor enthusiasts and a presentation by ATC’s Board Member, Shalin Desai, discussing the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's new pilot initiative to support underrepresented communities through Affinity Groups. Find out what Affinity Groups are, why they are important for the future of the Trail and how you can get involved.
 * Come learn more about the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and the Charlottesville Chapter
 * Socialize with trail maintainers, hike leaders and fellow hikers
 * Hear from Shalin Desai- Triple Crown long distance thru hiker and ATC board member
 * Come experience a modern PATC cabin
 * Bring a potluck item to share for dinner and your own beverages
Questions? Feel free to contact Iva Gillet at: ivakayak@gmail.com
Limited parking at Dunlodge, lots of parking at Zehmer Hall, Midmont Lane adjacent to the house.
Directions: From Ivy Road (Rt. 250) - Turn onto ALDERMAN ROAD for 0.3 miles. Turn right onto MIDMONT LANE before Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church at sign for Zehmer Hall. Zehmer Hall parking around right turn and park at far end of lot (right side of Zehmer Hall). Walk onto St. Anne's Road (gravel road) to a wooden gate on the LEFT with a PATC sign. Welcome to Dunlodge!

June 16, Corbin Mountain Hike, Hike Leader Marit Anderson, 11 miles, elev. gain 2,370, strenuous. This is the longer version of the Nicholson Hollow out/back hike that passes Corbin Cabin and climbs over Corbin Mountain.  Four stream crossings over the Hughes River and Brokenback Run.  Lots of beautiful water, some views, and variety of hiking.  Meet at AHS at 9 am or at the Old Rag main parking lot at 10 am.  Call Marit Anderson to confirm - 434-987-0266.  If time permits and folks are interested a stop at Sharp Rock Winery after the hike.  Bring lunch, hiking poles for stream crossing, and water.  Probably take 6+ hours.

July 7, Elliott Knob Shuttle Hike, Hike Leader Jeff Monroe, 8 mile moderate hike. Take the lesser used access routes to have lunch with spectacular views at the summit of Elliott Knob.  From the Deerfield Valley to the west, the Cold Spring Trail climbs 2500 feet over 3 miles to Elliott Knob.  After lunch, we will hike south on the North Mountain Trail a little over 4 miles to end at the Hite Hollow Road crossing.  Both directions are much nicer and more shaded than the nasty (and mysteriously popular) climb from the east. Likely stop in Staunton on the way back for a microbrew.  Joining us will be HikingUpward founder Tony Van Vugt. Meet at Albemarle High at 8:30am or the Staunton Mall at 9:15.