Old Rag Mountain is in Madison County, Virginia...one of the more beautiful counties I've visited (both from a historical and geographical perspective). For our Webelos day hike to complete the boys' Arrow of Light requirement, we decided to tackle Old Rag. It's about an 8-mile hike round trip...and just enough of a challenge to make it adventurous for 10-year old boys.
Old Rag is definitely not family-friendly. I would hesitate to take anyone younger than 10 years old. In addition to needing some amount of strength to pull yourself up and through various parts of the rock scramble, long legs and arms are certainly a plus, too. I've hiked a lot of trails in my life, and I don't recall a trail where I was more dependent on the markers than I was with this one. Once you reach the rock scramble, there are blue arrows painted on the granite to indicate where the trail is and, at times, which direction to go. Here's one spot where Alex (one of the Webelos) got ahead and was unsure of the next direction:
Yes, we fit through that crack in the picture above. It's a little bigger than it looks. And as you can see in the picture below, trees grow anywhere...even if there's nothing but rock (so it appears). It's really quite amazing.
This picture summarizes it well. Garrett is a good man...as good as they come. And the boys are fortunate to have him.
This was the very beginning of the rock scramble. We had no idea what was up ahead! Good thing we took this quick break to enjoy some scenery.
At times, the boys would stand back and watch Garrett work his magic. Then they tried their best to follow his footsteps. You definitely don't want to misstep on these rocks.
The views were incredible - even near the beginning of the hike. This picture was taken during our first of many breaks. We found a nice flat piece of granite in the middle of the forest just a short walk off the path. The morning sun was just beginning to rise.
During our lunch break, Scott Sims found a nice spot to sit alone and enjoy the scenery. Even in the late morning sun in the middle of August, the temperature and breeze were comfortable and refreshing. It was a perfect day.
The boys - Steven, Alex, and Mark. Steven is no longer officially a Webelos, but he's good friends with Mark and Alex and we thought he and his dad would enjoy the hike. We certainly enjoyed the extra company.
And here's the group - Steve and Steven, Scott and Alex, Garrett, and me and Mark. It was a great hike and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. And it was a great way for the boys to complete their Arrow of Light.