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Hiker Comments for the Ashby Gap Hike - 1 to 24 of 24   
Average Rating:

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:

By: Steve from Winchester Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Contrary to a lot of the feedback, I really enjoyed this hike. You cross several streams and ridges and the trail is well marked. Given the rain of the prior day, the streams were flowing well and required several minor crossings. I can see this being a great Spring time hike for wildflowers given all the water crossings. The Fisher Loop Scenic trail was very nice except you had to watch out for the rocks hidden under the fall leaves - especially on the downhill portion prior to it joining back up with the AT. I will definitely come back and do this hike in the Spring.

By: Dan Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, July 20, 2016
If you really enjoyed the part of The Hobbit where the dwarves and Bilbo travelled through Mirkwood, or if the idea of vacationing on the Forest Moon of Endor holds a lot of appeal for you, THEN THIS IS YOUR HIKE! Otherwise this is a long, somewhat monotonous walk in the woods. It might be better in spring when there are wildflowers.

By: Henrietta the Hale Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 17, 2015
This was not an overall strenuous hike. We finished up in about 3 1/2 hours. The hike itself was fairly flat. The downside of this hike was the high number of people and dogs we encountered along the way. There were folks staying in the cabin and camping at the shelter. We also ran into folks and their pups roughly every 20-30 minutes, whether we were passing them or they were headed in the opposite direction. Quite a few of the hikers were 60+ which gives you a good indication of the actual difficulty of the hike. It was more an issue of distance than difficulty. All that said, it was still a nice hike and great to be outdoors in the fall. There is not much to see but the leaves made up for it. Hurry before they are gone!

It's a quick drive from the DC/NOVA area. The parking lot is hard to spot from the road so I would make sure to turn on your GPS so as not to miss the turn. If you're in the area, I would recommend grabbing some food and/or beer at Hunter's Head Tavern. It's roughly 10-15 minutes away and worth the trip.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, June 29, 2015
What made this hike so amazing was that for me it was the perfect combination of length and ease. It was long, so I was able to get a good day out of it, but it's just south of the infamous Roller Coaster section of the AT, so although there's obviously still a fair amount of elevation change (it IS the AT), it's not brutal like on the RC. There was lots of variety on this hike it felt like the vegetation was changing every 100 yards or so. Definitely take the little loops out to the cabin and the "scenic" Fisher Hill. The cabin is adorable and has a nice swinging bench on the porch--you might want to save it for the hike back and have lunch there, as there's a picnic table as well (of course this depends on whether anyone's staying there--no one was when I came across it) and an adorable outhouse. The Fisher Hill loop IS scenic in the sense that it's got vegetation changes, but as the description above states, there aren't really any views. I met a lot of thru-hikers on this day and chatted with a few of them I always get inspired by them. Awesome, awesome hike!

By: geomommaj Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 15, 2013
I enjoyed the warm hike today.  The AT is labeled with white blazes (not mentioned in the hike description) and the blue blazed Fisher Hill Loop Scenic Trail is very overgrown.  We opted not to hike along it since there were so many brambles and plants constantly blocking the almost overgrown path.  Instead, we continued on the AT so that we could visit the next shelter which is maybe 3/4 mile (?) from the Fisher Hill Loop Scenic Trail sign.  We met about 5 through hikers today, all but one going north.  I didn't realize that the rollercoaster part of the AT is the next section on the AT to the north of the shelter.  We followed the plan for the Ashby Gap hike, but one day, I want to say I've done the rollercoaster too.  The parking lot was a bit challenging to find.  It is unmarked and drops steeply from the entrance off of SR 601.  We stopped for a few minutes at one of the creeks to soak our feet.  The hike took us (48 and 50 year old women plus my 11 year old son) 5.5 hours which included some visiting with AT folks, lunch, and soaking our feet. It was very pleasant. I forgot to mention that the wild raspberries were out in abundance today. I snacked all along the trail.

By: T Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 25, 2013
Hiked this trail while heading to Snickers Gap at Rte 7 over Memorial Day. The hike was nice. As other reviews have stated there wasn't much to look at. We didn't take the side trails to the sites as we had a long hike ahead of us. Hike was through the woods starting with a long up hill. There isn't much parking so if you are going at a busy time, go early! We had to cram our car in next to the trees and backing out at the end of the weekend was tough.

By: Mr. O-R Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 6, 2013
Unlike my review March 13, the Rod Hollow creek crossing was no problem. Continue some miles North of the shelter for an incredible stand of red Columbine wildflowers.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, April 18, 2013
This hike may not have the vistas of many other hikes, but this hike is INCREDIBLE for wildflowers, especially right now in April. There are hundreds of VA Bluebells, Yellow and Blue Violets, Wild Geranium and many others blooming right now. The stream crossings are covered in what I think will be Large Trillium come May/June.

One caveat: The Fisher Hill section of the trail has a ton of downed trees and the trail can be faint and hard to follow, but keeping an eye on my GPS and looking for the blazes helped, but I was bushwhacking a lot.

It was wet and rainy, but totally worth the hike!

By: Mr. O-R Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Heading North from Ashby Gap on the AT, found the Rod Hollow creek (just before shelter) uncrossable. Did not try Fishers Hill loop crossing.

By: MWG Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 16, 2012
A nice hike. Not too hard but as others have said, nothing to look at. We spooked a few deer, and the bugs were a little annoying. If you like a decently forested hike, this is right up your alley. The parking lot was near full when we arrived but we never saw anyone else on the trail. A big thanks to the hiking group (2 vans full) that backed their vans right into the trail head, obscuring it and making it difficult to get back out.

Overall the terrain was mostly solid earth, not a lot of rocks to stumble on.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 26, 2012 19 of us started at Ashby Gap and headed north for a couple hours.  Some checked out PATCs cabin and surprised its weekend visitors.  Others tried out the Fisher Gap Loup.  It was enjoyable checking out this portion of the Appalachian Trail's Roller Coaster. 

Be advised the trailhead is easy to miss.  Once you leave US-50 taking a slight right onto VA-601 follow it to the right then keep a sharp eye out for trail post on your left where you will take a left down to parking.  If you pass it & turn around it is much harder to take that right down into the trailhead.  We know, we did.

By: ekg Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 26, 2011
This is a rather pointless hike, I vote that it be removed from this website. Sky Meadows is nearby and is much better for terrain, views, and access. I would not recommend this hike to anybody.

By: JV Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 25, 2011
A good hike if all you want to do is hike and camp.  I went on a rainy day and was slipping and sliding a bit, but not too bad.  Multiple camp sites here as well as the PTC cabin.  However, it is really just a walk in the woods- no overlooks, veiws, waterfalls etc. that would provide visual interest.  The parking lot for the trail head is easy to miss, its up the Blue Ridge Road just a bit on your left. 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, April 21, 2011
For starters, the parking lot entrance reminded me of the third Indiana Jones movie. "Only with a leap from the lion's head will he prove his worth.". Yes, as another mentioned, the driveway IS there.   It only looks like you're going to drive off a cliff... 

Anyway, the hike was nice.   Lot's of streams and the wildflowers are popping up everywhere.   With recent rain the streams were pretty swollen and the trail is a bit muddy.   Glad I wore my crappy shoes as I slipped into one stream and got very dirty.   One wide crossing I briefly lost the trail, but it was easy to find again.    There was a really beautiful patch of blue flowers (bluebells?) about .25 miles past the second turn off to the Glaser Cabin...   Took some good pictures.   

My only real issue was the Fisher Hill Loop which may be easy to lose on a normal day, but with the recent rain I think the downhill portion may have been washed out as I completely lost the trail and had to bushwack using my sense of direction (No GPS for this cheapskate) to get back to the AT....   I'm an amateur, so if my common sense could figure it out, I'm sure the rest of you will have no problem.     Anyway, it was a nice hike, lots o water, no real vista views to speak of.    The cabin was kind of cool and the outhouse made me chuckle a bit....   Overall not bad.

By: wazoo Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 10, 2011
Very pleasant hike.  Nothing too strenuous, or that exciting in terms of topography, vistas, or waterfalls, etc.  But a decent way to get some exercise in a picturesque setting.  Lots of wildflowers in evidence, but still not in full bloom -- probably another week.  We started early, and the fog did not fully lift till mid-morning, which added an extra dimension to the hike.  Trail was not too crowded:  4-5 cars in carpark when we started, 7-8 by the time we returned.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 3, 2011
Did this hike with my dog. We started out around 9:30am. There were 4-5 cars in the lot when we started, but we only saw the folks (3) staying in the cabin, and two other hikers (male/female with two dogs...more on THAT at the end). The parking area is very easy to miss. I was really looking for the "postage stamp" sign from the previous review. It's so straight down off the road, you have to have faith the driveway is there (since you can't really see it). The hike to Myron Glaser Cabin was just OK. Crossed a couple of runs, hiked up, then down. Passed a stone wall that was remnants of historical occupants. The cabin itself was occupied, so I didn't linger. The hike on the AT to the blue-blazed Fisher Hill scenic trail intersection was more ups & downs. We decided to take the scenic trail. There are a LOT of large downed trees right at the beginning for the first 30-40 yards. I have no doubt this would discourage 80% of hikers to skip it. We climbed over, went around, and trudged onward. This trail is really hard to follow in places...keep alert and watch for the blue blazes! I did like this trail, simply because the flora was different up higher. This time of year, I was able to see some views through the trees that you wouldn't see in summer. The summit of Fisher Hill was a nice flat area. Coming down back to the AT, once again the trail became hard to for the blazes! Once you've descended to the hollow, you have to follow a wash (it was wet now...probably dry in summer) north, and then look for a small metal post marked with blue & white blazes. Turn right at this post, look for the blue blaze, and cross the creek. Very shortly you will arrive back at the AT. This part of the AT has wooden raised planks. We turned right and finally arrived at the Rod Hollow Shelter. We had lunch there, signed the trail log, and left a little trail magic (something to keep hikers warm at night). We took the AT straight back to the parking area. When coming back and bypassing the Myron Glaser cabin, you can see a nice little waterfall below where the trail crosses a creek. We bushwhacked down and got some nice photos. We finished around 3pm (which included stopping for pics). My only complaint on this entire hike was for the couple with the two off-leash dogs, one of which (Buddy) bit my dog and broke the skin. Thanks for taking off before I could completely assess my dog's condition. You owe me $225 in emergency vet bill reimbursement.

By: Kackeroo Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 3, 2011
I forgot to mention in my review...the wildflowers are just starting to come up and show themselves.  Another few warm days and they should be at peak!

By: Luv2HikeNow Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Wonderful hike.  Lots of wildflowers and the streams and plant life were just beautiful.  A bit rocky, would recommend hiking shoes.  Did slip and fall in one of the streams on a rock that had algae but I wasn't wet for too long.  However, on the directions when it refers to the AT (App. Trail) be aware that you need to at first follow the white blazes on the trail before you come to the blue ones.  The blue blazes leading to the 2nd shelter were a bit sketchy, so just make sure you follow the blazes no matter what.  My only frustration was finding the tiny gravel driveway that dips down off of 601 which is the parking lot.  Be aware that it is very easy to drive by and if you see mailboxes off 601 you have gone too far and need to turn around and look for it again.  The parking lot sign is also the color of the tree and no bigger than an envelope.  Once I got hiking I had fun and today was absolutely the most perfect spring day to do so.  Got some really lovely pictures too.  Enjoy!

By: Wildflower Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, July 30, 2009
Really good hike. My sister, our nieghbor, and I all loved the hike. Our nieghbor was on her first hike and did fine. Complained a little bit, but was ok. I went with my dad who has finished the 4,000 footers in the White Mountains so this was an easy hike for him. Not too rocky, hiking shoes are good but normal shoes are ok. Not too many views but when you go in the spring there are many, many wildflowers. There are two cabins. I would recommend lunch at the first cabin if it is not reserved. The second cabin is ok too but a little shabby. This was a really good hike for beginners.

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