Shenandoah trail run/hike

Appalachian Trail/Riprap Trail/Wildcat Ridge Trail Loop

Saturday, Rebecca and I headed back up to the mountains to do some trail running on one of our favorite loops in Shenandoah National Park.

We parked at Wildcat Ridge Parking area (Skyline Drive Mile post 92).

IMG_20140322_131600_886We started and finished with 10 push ups in the parking lot.
IMG_20140322_131841_192From the parking lot, it’s about .1 miles to the intersection of the Appalachian Trail. We turned right (north) and ran up the AT, past the Riprap parking area and turned left onto the Riprap trail.

We took a short break at Calvary Rocks.
IMG_20140322_113353_362It was warm and sunny, but there were still a few patches of snow and ice.
IMG_20140322_113902_099We stopped again at Chimney Rock before the long descent.
fixed1The trail meets up with a stream (and crosses it a few times). The crossings are usually just a rock hop, but the water was higher than usual and it took some forethought and maneuvering to get across with our feet dry. Rebecca eventually just gave up trying and sloshed right through.

On the right, just after one of the stream crossings, is one of my favorite swimming holes.
IMG_20140322_121031_197It was too cold to swim, but I washed the salt off my face and Rebecca dipped her feet in.

Not too long after we passed the swimming hole, we turned left onto Wildcat Ridge trail and started climbing. We walked most of the last 2.7 (uphill) miles.
IMG_20140322_122048_106The climb felt harder than it should have (considering we were walking) but it felt so good to be outside in the mountains on such a beautiful day.

It ended up being 77 degrees in Charlottesville. I’m guessing it was 70 where we were in the mountains. The nice weather definitely got me excited about spring and getting outside more. It’s been a long, cold winter!

We took a sweaty selfie before heading back to Charlottesville.


Total Distance:
9.1 miles

ripraploopelevationIf you just want to do an out and back to the swimming hole, it’s shorter to park at Wildcat Ridge parking area and take the Wildcat Ridge trail down and turn right on the Riprap trail.

If you just want the views from Calvary Rocks and Chimney Rock, it’s shorter to park at the Riprap parking area and do an out and back on the Appalachian Trail (head north) and Riprap trail.

Author: healthyincville

Nemophilist Trail runner Introvert Animal-loving vegetarian * My ideal city would be car-free. I love my cats.

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