For something different, I drove out to Churchville early to meet up with the PATC's Southern Shenandoah Section for a hike on a trail scheduled to be part of the Great Eastern Trail
, currently under development. By the time I met up with the group at Tastee-Freez, they had changed the hike route because of high water fears along the trail. Instead, we started at the Confederate Breastworks historic site
on U.S. 250 at the top of Shenandoah Mountain, and headed south on the Shenandoah Mountain Trail.
|Heading south on the Shenandoah Mountain Trail.|
We started out by crossing U.S. 250 just before 10 AM, then hiked south for about a mile and a half on the Shenandoah Mountain Trail. The Shenandoah Mountain Trail for the entire distance we hiked is actually a gated road. Because we started on the top of the mountain, there was little elevation gain along this trail - perhaps 250 feet over a mile and a half.
We reached our turnoff for the Georgia Camp Trail at 10:30, having traveled 1.3 miles. The group regrouped here, having spread out widely in this short section of trail. The Shenandoah Mountain Trail continues south for about 25 additional miles, and becomes a real trail (not just a roadbed) about another mile and a half south of this point. I took the trail portion a few months later
|Georgia Camp Trail near Shenandoah Mountain Trail|
The Georgia Camp Trail is relatively new to the GWNF. My official maps from the early 1990's do not have it listed. Apparently, it is one of a series of trails climbing Shenandoah Mountain developed for equestrian use. Most of the trail is on old roadbed, and is visible on topographic maps
covering the trail. The trail is named after Georgia Camp Hollow, which was logically likely a camping spot during the Civil War.
We made it down to the Trailhead on U.S. 250 at about 1:30, about 3.5 hours after we started. Because we set up a car shuttle, this was one of the easier hikes I have taken in a while - mostly downhill!
April 23, 2011
PATC Difficulty Factor
Total Altitude Gain
2202 feet above sea level
3315 feet above sea level
Time 3 hours, 38 minutes
I enjoyed this "Civil War History" hike on Shenandoah Mountain. For those interested in Shenandoah Mountain and the Civil War, I highly recommend Old Alleghany: The Life and Wars of General Ed Johnson by Gregg Clemmer, a Staunton native. The Confederate Breastworks on top of Shenandoah Mountain is called Fort Edward Johnson. Confederate troops there and at Georgia Camp were under Johnson's command.ReplyDelete
The book is published by Hearthside Press, 2004. It won the Douglas Southall Freeman History Award in 2005.