James River Face Wilderness Loop Hike
This is one of the easier ascents to the James River Face Wilderness Area’s highest points. The hike starts on the Petite’s Gap Road trailhead and ascends gradually using the Sulphur Spring Trail, passing arguably the best viewpoint in the entire wilderness before reaching the Appalachian Trail near the end of the Piney Ridge Trail. The hike turns southbound on the Appalachian Trail, passing the site of the old Marble Springs Shelter (a shelter site on the A.T. dating back to 1933 before it was taken apart and rebuilt on Cove Mountain). Just further south, we will turn off of the A.T. onto an unmarked trail that is the original A.T. alignment in this area, personally scouted by trail pioneer Myron Avery. We hike back to the Petite’s Gap Road and follow the road back 2 miles to our vehicles. Hike Distance: 7.7 miles. Total ascent: 1300 feet. Roanoke hikers meet at Daleville Park-and-Ride at 8:30, and meet Charlottesville-based hike leader at trailhead at 9:30. Date may be subject to change, to take advantage of optimal winter weather conditions. Limited to 10 hikers due to wilderness regulations, though we could split into two groups if there is sufficient interest. Moderate.