A recent hike in Shenandoah National Park brought me into part of this wilderness via a loop using the Nicholson Hollow Trail, the Indian Run Trail, and the Corbin Mountain Trail. I had several reasons for taking this hike. I had never hiked a majority of the day's trails, and I am checking off unhiked trails in Shenandoah National Park. I wanted to see the park's Corbin Cabin, located along this route. I wanted to work on learning the DeLorme inReach Satellite Communicator, which I am testing out for one of the organizations I volunteer for. And I wanted to log another 10 mile hike within a wilderness area as I work toward completing 12 such hikes before September, 2015 as a part of the "Dirty Dozen Wilderness Hike Challenge" from the Wilderness Society. This would be my third hike of the dozen required.
Starting on this hike means parking at the Old Rag Parking Lot and experiencing a ton of cars and other hikers. Even at the end of December, the lot must have had 50 vehicles. Previous experience had taught me, however, that those folks would be joining me only for the road walk at the beginning. Within 500 yards of the Nicholson Hollow Trail, I was only to see a PATC Trail Maintainer (on Corbin Mountain Trail, and he thanked me for having my dog on a leash) and a group of 3 folks with a couple of dogs. Nobody else until I returned to Route 600 some 12 miles later.
|Winter woods on Corbin Mountain|
|Winter views aplenty along the Corbin Mountain Trail. This view looks down Nicholson Hollow eastward.|
|Corbin Mountain Cabin at the intersection of two trails.|
|Crossing the Hughes River proved harrowing.|
PATC Difficulty Factor: 340.3
Total Distance: 13.5 miles
Total Time: 5 hours, 08 minutes, including stops.
Steepest Uphill: from 2.3 miles to 2.8 miles; 15.2% average grade.
Starting Elevation: 835 ft.
Low Point: 826 ft.