Broad Run Mountain Loop (NEW DATE)

Basics — Length: About 9.6 miles; Difficulty: Strenuous; Carpool: 15 miles, so $1.50 per rider; What to Bring: Basic hiking gear (remember the 10 essentials), lunch, money (or car) for carpool; Highlights: Winter views, ridgeline walking, a scenic creek, and a chance to get off the “beaten path.”

Detailed Route Description — I first hiked this old classic with John Merkwin and last offered this hike in April 2017. This hike starts with a steady climb along an old forestry road to the gap between Caldwell and Broad Run Mountains, then descends gradually to Stone Coal Creek in the Lee Gap area of Botetourt County. We then follow the creek on an informal trail to Stone Coal Road, then climb on the road to the saddle between North and Broad Run Mountains.

We join the Ferrier Trail to ascend to the ridge of Broad Run Mountain, then follow an abandoned trail / semi-bushwhack along the spine of Broad Run Mountain back to Va. 606, our starting / ending point. Don’t be fooled — while a “ridgeline walk,” this ridgeline has more than 20 steep knobs followed by a nose dive into the final gap.

I will likely cancel should winter weather decide to make a return visit. Also, be advised that a strange vortex exists in Botetourt County as RATC cars always seem to end up at the Ballast Point parking lot.