Friday, April 29, 2011

Apple Orchard Mountain - Blue Ridge Parkway/Jefferson National Forest, VA

ABOUT THE PARK:  Apple Orchard Mountain - Wikipedia

GPS Coordinates 37.507866, -79.524040

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Apple Orchard Falls and Cornelius Creek Trails Brochure (partial: shows parking to A.T.) - US Forest Service

HIKE DISTANCE:  4.25 miles

This hike can be done in conjunction with the Apple Orchard Falls hike but since it was raining pretty hard at the higher elevations on the day I did the falls hike, I saved the mountain for a prettier day.  The mountain hike starts on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Apple Orchard Falls sign.
Follow the paved trail next to the sign which soon turns veers right into a dirt trail then comes to an intersection with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, the route to the summit of Apple Orchard Mountain.
FAA Radome at the summit.
Open grassy areas at the summit make for nice break spots with great views.

Continue across on the A.T. and descend about a quarter of a mile to see The Guillotine before heading back:

[  0.00]  Start on paved trail at overlook sign in parking lot
[  0.30]  Right on white-blazed Appalachian Trail at intersection
[  0.35]  Cross Parker Gap Road
[  1.85]  Summit of Apple Orchard Mountain; unofficial trails behind summit sign to views; continue on A.T.
[  2.05]  Stone steps descend
[  2.10]  Guillotine; retrace steps
[  2.35]  Back at summit; unofficial trails behind summit sign to views
[  3.90]  Cross Parker Gap Road
[  3.95]  At intersection turn left on Apple Orchard Falls Trail
[  4.25]  Back at parking lot

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