Ragged Mountain Natural Area

Albemarle County, Virginia 22910

Ragged Mountain Natural Area

Ragged Mountain Natural Area Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Before encircling Charlottesville Reservoir, the trail at Ragged Mountain Natural Area gets off to a rough start, gaining more than 300 feet in the first half mile. After descending from the rocky peak of Round Top, though, the trail is largely level. Seemingly remote despite the proximity of I-64, the natural area protects both boulder-studded slopes and a creek-fed marsh.

A string of peaks reaching south and west from Charlottesville, the Ragged Mountains remain true to their name: boulders jut from the hillsides, and roots crisscross the earth. Cloaked in mature forest, the hillsides must appear today much as they did when Edgar Allan Poe hiked them as respite from his studies at the University of Virginia—woodland ambles that inspired his Tale of the Ragged Mountains."

Ragged Mountain Natural Area Trip Reports

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I got the month and year correct but just picked a random day because it has been over a year since our hike. We went hiking at Ragged Mountain during the first weekend the new reservoir trail was open. The trail was not yet well developed and ‘cut in’ to the side of the mountain. Recent snow had finally melted and the ground was saturated making several places on the trail unstable and slippery. We chose this location specifically to see the old sluice that had been mentioned in the guide book “60 Trails Within 60 Miles of Richmond” but we never did find the sluice. We questioned a few of the local hikers that were on the trail, none of them had ever heard of the sluice. We gave up looking for the sluice and decided to enjoy the scenery, but it was a bit disappointing too. Being February we did not expect much flora to enjoy but there were also no signs of fauna to be seen. My impression is that it is a good hike in the woods for exercise, but not worth the trouble if you are hoping for anything more.
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Trail is combination of hiking/self guided nature, and bike trail system. The marking system is very confusing, maps are not helpful. I kept making right turns knowing I would come out somewhere. Ends up that I did majority of trails! Toilet is available at entrance but it is horrible. I emaile New Kent parks about issues and offered suggestions for improvements. I will hike there again since it is close and offers good environment to try out new equipment.
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Markers are confusing, lovely woods and more extensive than it looks from the road. Full of chiggers and ticks this time of year--take your DEET!

Ragged Mountain Natural Area Photos

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Trail Information

Albemarle County
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 hours
Additional Use
Ivy Creek Foundation (434) 973-7772.
Local Contacts
Available at park signboard and online at www.ivycreekfoundation.org/raggedmountain.html
Local Maps

Trail Log