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Copernicus Ridge – Edinburgh, VA


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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
2.6 mls N/A N/A
Hiking Time:
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2.0 hours including breaks
905 ft
George Washington National Forest
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After turning off Edinburg Gap Rd/675 stay right on FR374 and park directly across from the trailhead or on the side of the road at the pullout. 38.78981, -78.52680
 

Copernicus Ridge is one of the least known views in the Massanutten Range. The ridge is a short hike from FR374 at Edinburg Gap with multiple views along the trail north towards Woodstock and west through Edinburg Gap of Kennedy Peak and the Shenandoah National Park beyond that. The views from Copernicus Ridge are expansive as you look down towards Edinburg Gap, Waonaze Peak, and Kennedy Peak. The ridge also has multiple great vista points to explore.

Although this is only a 2.6 mile hike a great way to spend the day is to hike up to the overlook, then afterwards head into Woodstock to the family friendly Woodstock Brewery that servers great beer, homemade root bear, and excellent BBQ.

  • Mile 0.0 - From the parking area on FR374 hike 50 yards to where the orange blazed Massanutten Trail turns right into the woods. The trail gradually becomes more steep as it winds around the eastern side of the ridge.

  • Mile 0.8 - Pass several nice views through Edinburg Gap to the east of Waonaze Peak and Kennedy Peak. If you're hiking when the leaves are off the trees you'll also get views to the north towards Woodstock. As the Massanutten Trail winds around ridge pass a rock outcrop and turn to the south through a saddle. Continue up towards the eastern ridge and just before cresting the eastern buttress look for a faint unmarked trail on the left.

  • Mile 1.2 - Turn left towards Copernicus Ridge.

  • Mile 1.3 - Arrive at Copernicus Ridge and enjoy the spectacular views from several different outcrops. This is an out/back hike so retrace you route back to FR374.

  • Mile 2.6 - Arrive back at the parking area.

Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Copernicus Ridge hike:

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Hiker Reviews For The Copernicus Ridge Hike (5 Most Recent)
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By: DaveM Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 24, 2019
Did the hike as described and was nice. Glad to see a new hike listing pop up in this area - we have done the Waonaze peak hike in the other direction and would rate this one as better, since shorter and several spots for views at the top. We did pass 2 sets of 2 other hikers on our way back down but the hike itself was quiet. A couple of adds - we were concerned about missing the turn so we started a rock pile at the small side trail to make that more visible - wouldn't call it a Cairn since we couldn't find enough good flat rocks :) As you pass the rock wall at 0.8, note that at the top of it is where you will end up. There is just no way to get there so the trail circles around to get to a better access point for the view.

Mid March
Copernicus Ridge
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