Saturday morning the Mr. and I jumped out of bed, anxious to hit the trails. We had decided earlier in the week to hike Rough Ridge since it is very close to our home and we had a ton of other things on our agenda for the day.
We had passed by the Rough Ridge parking area numerous times while taking the scenic route driving the parkway, but the parking lot was always too full, which means the trail was crowded and we would probably get stuck behind fanny packs (tourists) with their hiking poles, a pack with a whole weeks worth of food, and hiking boots, and “outdoorsy” attire, and, well you get the picture.
Upon arrival, we were relieved to see we had left in plenty of time as we found only a handful of cars in the parking lot. I was hoping for and looking forward to a quiet, scenic, relaxing hike.
The landscape of the trail was amazing. The contrast of the gray, rocky terrain with the bright green foliage was hard to absorb in, as it looked too perfect. I kept envisioning Bob Ross sitting in a corner somewhere placing a little tree here or a little rock there. (I loved that show as a child. I wonder if you can order it on DVD?)
From the upper lookout deck, there was a never ending sea of mountains. The cloudy day provided the perfect lighting for the Blue Ridge Mountains to uphold their namesake. We were grateful to be allowed to experience this alone, just the two of us, as we lingered here for what seemed like hours.
The rock formations you pass along the trail are very intricately carved by time and just jut out of nowhere as if precisely placed to be on display. We took our time navigating around these impressive pieces as if wandering around an art gallery. (Picture #3 was my favorite.)
We continued our climb to the very top of the mountain, which is another spectacular perspective. It offers a full 360 view of the surroundings, and full view of the ever impressive Linn Cove Viaduct.
Time was slipping away faster than we preferred, so we reluctantly made our way back down on the same path that we climbed up, and headed back into town, to the paved roads, to the stores, to the noise, and into the crowds.
How To Get There:
The Rough Ridge Hiking Trail is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, at milepost #302.8 between the Holloway Mountain Road exit and the Linn Cove Viaduct. From the parking area, the trail starts on the right. Soon, you will reach an intersection with the Tanawha Trail. Turn left, following the directions on the sign toward Linn Cove.
(This post was originally published on our sticks or stones blog, which is no longer in publication.)