Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway
by Randy Johnson (Falcon Guides)
© 2017 Randy Johnson/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Great hike! The "strenuous" rating got it right. Quite a workout. Did the circuit, starting from Reed's Gap in just over 6 hours. I'm a regular flat-land runner so it put me to the test. Temperatures near 80 made me use more water than I expected. I also missed the part about the "water source" at the shelter being the river so I wasn't prepared to treat it and use it. Didn't "need it" but would have enjoyed a few more bottles of water along the way. I did the north-south as recommended and it was challenging enough. Not sure how the south-north can be too much tougher. I'll do it again and find out.
A beautiful, not well known area, so once schools have begun in the fall it's a great place to hike and camp, while avoiding crowds. Some parts of the trail are up and down, and rocky. You can bathe in the waterfalls in temperate weather. Martha
A really great trail for trying out your gear. I'm relatively out of shape and was able to do the 3 Ridges circuit in about 9 hours from/to Reeds Gap parking lot. I didn't stop very along though for lunch or to take time at waterfalls along the Mar-Har trail. Had I not been so concerned about finishing before dark, I would have really enjoyed cooling off there.
Nice circuit; defintely do it from north to south. Lots of climbs and decents; some over very rocky terrain. Be prepared.
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