This is my first feature post ever! Map It Monday was an idea I had a few months ago but am finally getting off the ground. It probably won’t happen every Monday, but hopefully at least once a month!
This past Saturday, Richmond had a high in the low 70s. Knowing that as we get further into November it’s only going to get cooler, we decided to sneak out and go for a hike.
Two summers ago around our anniversary, we hiked to Spy Rock. Because of the quick decision to go hiking, we decided to revisit this spot. The first time we went to Spy Rock, it was in the middle of the week in August. We were the ONLY people on the trail. This time on a weekend in November, there were other people who were thinking the same thing. The trail wasn’t crowded, but we passed several groups and couples doing the same thing – getting out of Dodge, if only for a few hours.
You can get to Spy Rock if you’re hiking the AT because it passes right by with a little camp site. If you’re not hiking the AT, you can drive to the Montebello Fish Hatchery (I typed exactly those words into Google Maps) south of Charlottesville. Richmonders, it took us about two hours.
There is a small parking lot at the base of the trail that was so full we had to park in the field behind it. If you have a trail driving car, it might be best to take it because the drive to the parking lot is somewhat bumpy.
The 2.1 mile hike to the top starts on a access road. There are a few mountain houses on either side. The AT is about 1.6 miles up and the incline is somewhat steep. Last year, we had to stop several times, but our fitness has greatly increased because we didn’t have to stop at all this time! If you do this hike and need some breaks, there are several places to stop and sit and enjoy the nature around you.
Because of the ground level, the leaves had mostly turned and fallen covering the rocky trail. That made it a little bit slippery.
At the top of the trail, we had to follow a little path to the left of the top. After crossing some rocks, we came to a rope to hold on to while getting closer to the top. When the rope ended, we scrambled up the first gray granite rock face. It wasn’t bad as our dogs could do it without help. Then we followed the trail a little more and the real rock climbing happened. The rock that we climbed came up to my shoulder.
The dogs could make it most of the way, but I had to give them a little push once they jumped. I had to do a little hoisting and foot hold finding to make it to the top.
The top of Spy Rock is a completely open faced rock with a 360 degree view of the Piedmont region of Virginia on one side and the Shenandoah Valley on the other. It’s absolutely beautiful.
If you go, I recommend taking lunch or a nice beverage to enjoy at the top. It is such a neat place and you might as well stay awhile and enjoy it!
The hike down is always easier than the hike up. If you go, be careful of the loose rock!