Hiking to Big Rocky Row
Big Rocky Row has been on my list of hikes to hit in Virginia and the other weekend I found myself with an empty Sunday so I headed down to where the James River flows through the Blue Ridge Mountains. It had been awhile since I hiked alone (Michael was studying) so I was a little nervous to tackle a new section of the Appalachian Trail by myself. I decided to do the hike up to the first overlook at the top of the mountain and then back down. The trip was about 8.2 miles up and back. The hike started off meandering beside a beautiful mountain river that was gorged with water from all the recent rainfall. My favorite part was that the water was so much colder than the surrounding air, mist was swirling off the water and creating beautiful rays in the sunlight. Also, the mountain laurel and rhododendron were in full bloom! At three miles you reach the first of TWENTY ONE switchbacks that take you up the mountain. This part of the hike is pretty challenging up until you reach Fuller Rocks. You know you have reached Fuller Rocks when you get your first clear view of the James River. From this point keep hiking- you’ll come to a signpost, keep hiking north on the Appalachian Trail and in no time you’ll be at an amazing vista of the James River and the mountains beyond. It was at this point that I turned around and headed back down the mountain.
For more information and directions on this hike check out HikingUpward.