Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
St Mary's Wilderness And Spy Rock
Let’s hike St Mary’s Wilderness Trail and Spy Rock Hikes on Sunday, September 29th.
St Mary’s Wilderness Trail
The St Mary’s Wilderness circuit adjacent to the Blue Ridge parkway offers a combination of streamside and mountain top scenery and an absence of crowds. The hike will be a beautiful easy trail (2.5 miles). The trail begins at the end of Forest Service Road 41, which starts on Rt 608 just opposite of the Mt. Joy church in the Shenandoah Valley. The Falls trail continues straight ahead from where the St Mary’s River trail leaves the main valley. (1.9 miles from the parking lot) It is another .7 miles to the falls with several stream crossings.
Spy Rock is considered one of the best views in central Blue Ridge. Much of the hike is on a gradual road grade, and there’s a campsite near the viewpoint. This hike is 3.2 miles in total. The trailhead begins behind the trout hatchery at Montebello. The hiking is moderate, and begins by crossing a small stream. Follow the blue blazes until the white-blazed Appalachian Trail is reached. There is a rock scramble at the end which will require a bit of an easy climb to reach the summit. The 3,700 foot elevation and 360-degree view show why this rock is believed to have been used by Confederate scouts to monitor movements of the Union troops–hence the name Spy Rock. The all encompassing summit view includes an excellent vista of the Religious Range—The Priest, The Cardinal, The Little Priest, and The Friar.
These hikes are open to those experienced or inexperienced or even those who recently joined the club.
Carpooling: If you are interested in carpooling or being a driver for carpooling, please let me know. We will leave at 9AM at Echols Dorm.
Since these hikes are located around the Blue Ridge Parkway, there is no additional fee.
What to Bring: Please be sure to bring lots of water, comfortable sturdy shoes, sunscreen, a camera and a lunch/snack for when we reach the summits! Since we are now into the Fall season, I would also recommend dressing in layers or bringing a fleece or light jacket.
Please keep in mind that you are responsible for you own safety and the activities you choose to participate in while on the hike.
In the event of inclimate weather, these hikes may be canceled and/or rescheduled.
Below are the links to the actual hikes for further information.
Note, I am also referencing “A Falcon Guide to Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway” for specific details of the hike. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
See you on Sunday!