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Ashby Hollow/Rod Hollow Shelter - Mt Weather, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
7.9 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
4.0 hours, including a lunch break.
2,020 ft
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Important: Only park in the large parking area just below the Appalachian Trail crossing. 39.07287, -77.91275 There are No Parking signs on either side of the road and reports indicate if you do park there you can receive a ticket or potentially be towed.

One of several out/back hikes along this section of the Appalachian Trail this 7.9 mile hike passes through several small hollows, unique different rock formations, and two mountain streams. The first stream, Ashby Hollow, has a wooden footbridge as well as a stream side campsite. This section of the Appalachian Trail is also affectionately known as the 'Roller Coaster' as is evident from the hike profile. The Rod Hollow Shelter is a popular camping spot with several flat tent pad sites.

Caution: The entire 'Roller Coaster' section of the Appalachian Trail is prevalent with Poison Ivy. In several sections it is so thick you can see it climbing the trees on either side of the trail.

Rod Hollow Shelter/Morgan's Mill Stream
Late April
Rod Hollow Shelter
Ashby Hollow/Rod Hollow Shelter Hike Comments
Archived Comments

By: short walker Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Used to love this hike. Locals don't like day trippers, which is why they shut off parking on the side of the road. I have been going in there for years and never saw the road blocked. Those pull offs are all off the one lane road. That part is a dog park for the locals. Don't believe me? Try being in there after they get  off work and have 2 or 3 dogs in there off leash. Just ask them to put a leash on their dogs and watch the attitude develop. I have a family type car, not a suv or truck so I will not be able to park there anymore. THANKS local yokels!!

By: bambamb Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, November 19, 2018
Somewhat scenic very peaceful and serene, especially with the snow and lack of people on a weekday morning. Saw one other person at the end. The trail is in bad shape right now after all the rain. Very muddy and at one point it literally becomes a stream. Bring waterproof shoes. Also lots of downed branches that you have to find your way around. I parked on the grass-covered service road that runs parallel and just above the main road. Did not get a ticket.

By: Dave Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Newly installed “No Parking” signs on Morgans Mill Rd where the AT crosses. I think parking is allowed off the road under the power line.

By: jb Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Good workout since the hike is primarily inclines or declines. No panoramic views but saw lots of red leaves on the ground and some of the trees are already changing colors. The hike took me about 3hrs 40minutes, which included a few stops to rest. There are several rocky portions, which were a bit slippery from the rain, so use caution.

By: DB Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 3, 2016
We agree with Dawn about the estimated time being too low. We turned around at the 2nd stream crossing (Bolden Hollow). It took us 3 hours total, including about 20 minutes to eat and small rest breaks on the uphills

By: grc Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, June 9, 2016
Hit this hike up after work. My understanding is this is part of the overall "roller coaster" from 50 to Bear's Den. Saw nearly a dozen thruhikers in the first half-mile. Solid trail, good mix of some choppy rocks and worn trail. Not terribly difficult on the incline, but had to stop on the bigger incline for a breather I'm not in great shape. The 'turn around' point doesn't offer any views in the summer as mentioned... would say you can keep going further south if you want.

By: Tom & Suzy Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 25, 2015
Hiked this trail on a very warm (70F) Christmas Day.  Pretty hike with 2 streams and several seeps.  Well marked overall.  Watch for the right turn off the fire road right after the second creek.  The difficulty 3 rating is correct but deceiving because it is all up or down.  Frequent airplane noise due to being under a flight path to DC detracted somewhat from the solitude.

By: Dawn Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 28, 2014
Loved the cardio of the roller coaster but will have to do it when the leaves are gone and the views are clear.. I will say, I use this site religiously and while normally accurate -even conservative- this is definitely more than a 2.5 hr hike. Really. More like 4 hr.

By: Bonefixer Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, May 8, 2014
Completed from Rt 50 , Ashby Gap to Rt 7, Bears Den. 14 miles 3700 foot elevation gain. As noted in the logs, if you come in on Rt 605, you are basically splitting the Roller Coaster. Very hot day for me with full gear but a great accomplishment. If you want a challenge, this is the toughest section in the area. The views are nice but not spectacular. Plenty of water at all the stream crossings.

By: Tom Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 24, 2013
I found the hike as described - scenic streams and limited views.  Parking by the AT crossing is convenient.  After I finished this hike, I stopped at my car for a drink, then hiked north on the AT to Buzzard Hill.

    View all 17 archived reviews for the Ashby Hollow/Rod Hollow Shelter hike
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