Old Rag Fire Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Madison County, Virginia. It is within Shenandoah National Park. It is 4.3 miles long and begins at 3,329 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,984 feet. The Old Rag Fore Road parking is near the trailhead.
Old Rag Fire Road Professional Reviews and Guides
"A climb to the top of one of the park’s most famous peaks presents incredible views from the summit.The rocks of Old Rag are among the park’s oldest. Billions of years ago, the granite that forms the crest of Old Rag was thousands of feet underground.With time, the rocks uplifted to the point where they now perch atop this 3,268-foot mountain. At the same time, the igneous rock that once surrounded today’s boulders eroded and exposed them. Seeing these rocks shrouded in all the various weather conditions is one of the rewards of hiking to the summit of Old Rag. Another reward includes completing a quick self-taught course in “Rock Climbing 101” as you scramble over and under boulders. Just be sure not to climb on days when the rocks are wet. No pets are allowed on the Ridge Trail or the Saddle Trail."
--Bert & Jane Gildart, Hiking Shenandoah National Park (Falcon Guides).
"Old Rag is so popular, the park has special rules for recreational use. There’s a fee to park and use the trails on certain weekends and holidays during summer and fall. What’s the attraction? Old Rag is a quick drive from Northern Virginia and offers day-trippers a craggy knob with eye-popping views. Beating the crowds on Old Rag means hiking in the off-season.
Mountain laurel decorates the Saddle Trail with white and pink blossoms during spring. In fall, views from Old Rag across Weakley Hollow are filled with autumn colors. Whatever the season, carry a warm overshirt or jacket; wind and no tree cover can make Old Rag’s summit feel positively alpine."
--Bill and Mary Burnham, Hiking Virginia - 4th Edition (Falcon Guides).
"No other hike in the Shenandoah Valley rivals the fame of the scramble along Old Rag’s Ridge Trail. If you’re going to do only one hike in the area, this might very well be the one. But come prepared—the Class 3 terrain atop is as challenging as it is rewarding.Old Rag is one of the best hikes in the region, and everybody knows it. Mid-morning on a beautiful spring day, count on finding this parking lot full to bursting and plan on encountering a few thousand of your best friends on the mountain. For more solitude, come on a weekday or on a day when the weather is less than ideal. Even then, this is a very popular hike; expect to wait in lines at some of the obstacles. The terrain at ridgeline is challenging and will likely require you to use your hands to pull yourself up and over the rocks; if you’re uncomfortable with very rocky terrain, this may not be an ideal hike for you."
--Jennifer Adach and Michael R. Martin, AMC's Best Day Hikes in The Shenandoah Valley (Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
"Old Rag Mountain is a strenuous rock scramble on an eastern spur of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and one of the most popular hikes in the Mid-Atlantic region."
--Stephen Mauro and Beth Homicz, AMC's Best Day Hikes Near Washington, D.C. (Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
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