Summary: The typical route to the Old Rag Summit is via the Summit Ridge Trail. Most hikers climb the ridge, and then return to their cars via the Weakley Hollow fire road. For this particular trip, our group intended to do some class 5.0 climbing near the summit, and then camp near the mountain, so we took the fire road instead of the ridge trail.
The fire road ends after about 2 miles, and connects with the Saddle trail which consists of a series of switchbacks to the summit. The scenery along the fire road is very wooded, but as you approach the Saddle trail, you will have some nice vistas.
I find this hike to be a bit tiring because it is uphill and direct the whole way. I prefer the ridge trail which has a balance of hiking and climbing to keep my mind off of fatique.
All in all this is a good trek for someone that wants to bag the Old Rag summit, and not get their knees dirty.
Trailhead: The trailhead is located at the far end of the upper lot. During peak times, such as weekends, you will be hardpressed to get a spot in the upper lot, so you may need to walk here from the lower lot, which adds about a mile and half to your trek.
The trailhead is located behind the gate at the head of the lot.
Trail Guides for Old Rag Weakley Hollow Fire Road:
Hiking Shenandoah National Park
by Bert & Jane Gildart (Falcon Guide)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: National Park Service
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jeffrey R. Daro, who has posted 2 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by SB on 10/10/2007
Hi! This isn't actually a review but I wonder if anyone can suggest a campground close to the trailhead for old rag. If so, that would be awesome! Thanks
Reviewed by SRE on 7/12/2007
When I hike Old Rag, I drive up from Charlottesville and approach the mountain through Criglersville and Syria, then I follow the Weakly Hollow road to the parking lot. From here, just a mile or so up the fire road you turn right to go up the saddle trail. I usually stay on the fire road, however, and hike all the way around the mountain to the main parking lot. Then go up the ridgeline trail, back down the saddle trail, and turn left back to Weakly Hollow. That way I spend more time hiking and less driving. The parking area on the Weakly Hollow side is smaller, but never crowded. From Weakly Hollow, you can also hike up White Oak canyon (I think that's about an 8 mile roundtrip).
Reviewed by Cat Z. on 5/28/2004
If you have children in tow, this is a great way to reach Old Rag summit- (be sure they can endure a very strenuous uphill battle) You completely miss the semi-dangerous sections of the hike (the Ridge trail) but you also miss 90% of the fun of Old Rag Mountain- I suggest this route as the return path- especially if you ever get caught short on time- If I remember correctly, it took us less than an hour when we were fleeing a terrible thunderstorm!
Reviewed by JC on 5/23/2003
according to the topo display, you have this trail going the back way up Old Rag Mountain. Weakly Hollow Fire Rd. ends just prior to the Saddle Trail, and is a nice pleasant hike for those not wanting to climb to the top of the mountain. This hike is especially enjoyable in the fall, with the brilliant colors, and the running stream nearby.
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Keys: Virginia Hiking, Virginia Trails, Virginia Hikes, Rappahannock County Hiking, Rappahannock County Trails, Rappahannock County Hikes