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Whetstone Ridge Trail – Fairfield, VA


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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
12.2 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
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6.0 hours with 30 minutes of breaks
1,900 ft
George Washington National Forest
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Fairfield, VA Weather Forecast
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From:

Start: Parking on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 37.86950, -79.14814
Finish: Parking on Irish Creek Rd. VA 603. 37.81923, -79.25397

By Trail Contributor: Jeff Monroe

The Whetstone Ridge Trail is a tough ridgetop trail that requires a 25 minute (9.3 mile) car shuttle each way down twisty Irish Creek Road.  Although the trail’s first several miles are level, after five miles the trail begins a “roller coaster” section, steeply gaining elevation then losing it just as fast multiple times before taking a sharp left and steadily descending to the trail’s end on Irish Creek Road.  The trail rewards the hiker for this effort with multiple wonderful views of mountains to the east and the Shenandoah Valley to the west along much of the journey. There were no campsites visible along this hike, but several flat spots provide potential for Leave No Trace camping.

Note: The Forest Service changed the route of the southernmost section of this hike about 10 years ago. Older trail maps (including the 2007 revision of Trails Illustrated #789, current as of this writing in 2017) are incorrect and following them could mean you finish this hike nowhere near your car! For a complete set of area trails we recommend the current PATC Map #13, which is more current.

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Hiker Reviews For The Whetstone Ridge Hike (5 Most Recent)
Review the Whetstone Ridge hike here!   Average Rating:   Share Hike: 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 11, 2017
Fantastic hike with amazing views the whole way! One of my favorites on the BRP.

By: Barbara Martin Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 11, 2017
Have been wanting to do this hike for a long time, so very happy when Jeff Monroe offered to lead it.  This is a fantastic hike.  Although it's right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, you really feel like you're in the middle of the wilderness.  Many great views.

Mid November
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