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Ashby Gap - Paris, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
8.5 mls N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
4.5 hours plus a half hour for lunch
1,520 ft
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The parking area is recessed 75 yards off VA601, with the entrance obscured when heading north on VA601. 39.01688, -77.96214

Another nice spring or fall hike closer to the DC Metro area. This is a out and back hike with two side loops, the main features being the small mountain streams, wildflowers, Myron Glaser Cabin, and the Rod Hollow Shelter. The best time to do this hike is springtime when the wildflowers are out and the streams are at their fullest.

From the parking area on VA601 follow the blue blazed trail down from the end of the parking area for 0.1 miles to the intersection of the Appalachian Trail (AT). Turn right uphill/north on the AT as it passes over the first of four ridges, cross a small stream, pass over the second ridge, then arrive at the blue blazed trail that makes a side loop to the Myron Glaser cabin.

Turn left downhill on the blue blazed trail where it shortly joins a small road and turns right. Cross another stream and walk up to the Myron Glaser cabin. The cabin is maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and is available for rental to PATC members only. The blue blazed trail passes around the back of the cabin and climbs back to the AT in another 0.2 miles.

Turn left on the AT crossing the next ridge and descending through Duke Hollow. After crossing the stream in Duke Hollow it will be another 0.4 miles to the Fisher Hill Loop Scenic Trail. The trail passes over Fisher Hill without any vistas, and is more of a scenic walk in the woods. Turn left on the blue blazed Fisher Hill Loop Scenic Trail as it passes over the top Fisher Hill then descends and rejoins the AT in 1.0 miles.

Turn right/south on the AT for 0.4 miles to the junction of the Rod Hollow Shelter. The shelter is 0.2 miles from the AT and usually has a good water source next to the stream in Rod Hollow. Continue south on the AT passing the the Fisher Hill Loop Scenic Trail in 0.4 miles you ascended earlier.

From this point you can follow the AT the 2.9 miles back to the parking area blue connector trail, or retrace your hike back past the Myron Glaser cabin.

Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Ashby Gap hike:

Hiker Reviews For The Ashby Gap Hike (5 Most Recent)
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By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 17, 2017
I have walked this trail twice now. The first time was about 3 weeks ago. I was followed by horseflies for miles, stung on the head by a bee, and ended up with poison ivy on my ankles. We went again today and everything was going good until mile 2.7 there was a bee nest in a hole in the ground right on the trail (100+ bees around the opening of the hole). I didn't even see it, walked right past it, but my g/f and dog ended up getting stung multiple times each. Then we had to forge a trail through the woods to get to the other side of the hive. so I've struck out twice now. I think this will be a good walk in fall and winter though when all the bees are gone. Not sure if ill go back for more punishment though. Think ill just try a new trail.

By: Ash Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 17, 2017
On this day I wanted a well maintained "easy" hike and this met my needs. Easy is relative, however the easy part for me was not too much elevation change, no long rocky sections, no very steep inclines or declines. The first 1/2 mile is full of road noise but after that it is nice and quiet. I would hike this again.

By: Sean Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, May 2, 2017
A few dogwoods and many wildflowers in bloom. Ran into about 10 serious AT hikers, with several staying in the shelter. Wasn't sure about the relatively large (for me) elevation increase but, as you can see from the profile, the increase is not all at once and thus wasn't bad. A few times on the steepest slopes I stopped to catch my breath a few times. I like hikes that include the AT as a portion because in this area it is always in fair to excellent shape. The blue-blazed trails are rockier and narrower, also more isolated as the AT hikers stuck to the AT. I sat at the cabin on the swing by myself for a while. The Fisher Hill Loop Scenic Trail had a surreal aspect with very long views through the trees (no "vistas") and wide slopes you don't see on the AT portion -- it is a real change of pace. Many streams to cross along the whole way. It was relatively dry and I didn't need my hiking pole I had packed in my backpack. There is a lot of variety and many things to like about this hike. This is one I'd do again.

By: Jen M Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 28, 2017
Not a bad hike. I wanted to get out of the city and let the dogs off-leash, so it certainly met those criteria with a reasonable drive to squeeze in on a Friday. Parking area was really hard to see (gps is spot on, it's just really, really hard to see). Trail is very well marked. With all the rain we crossed over a handful of streams and the dogs were plenty muddy!

By: Van Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Great Hike Read my full review here:

    View all 24 reviews for the Ashby Gap hike
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