This time little hike , a .17 mile in-n-back trail, is nestled in the Washington and Jefferson National Forest. But to get there, it’s quite a trek.
The Rocky outcropping, gives a 360 degree view and allows the hiker a view of crests from the Religious Range: the Priest, the Fryer, Little Fryer … and Mount Pleasant. It is a spectacular view.
The name is given by Civil War Soldiers who camped there and used the rocky apex for a watching post of enemy movements.
Don’t let.17 miles make you think this is nothing. First you need to do Meadow Road … a Rocky, 4-wheel drive suggested, climb up the mountain. Mud splatter from crossing small creeks, and deeply rutted roads is the norm. It will close in bad weather. This entry way does keep traffic on the trail low. It also gave me a great chance to put the new 2008 FJ Cruiser to the test – use it for what it was built for!
Then, to get to the .17 mile spur, you hike a 3 mile section of the Appalachian Trail. Even in winter settings of barren trees and chill in the air … this was a beautiful hike of easy to moderate difficulty. The barrenness gave way to seeing further.
At the top, the rock has done great updates from the park service (or volunteers, who knows?) There was better markings, simple access to the crest, and signage that gave a little insight and history.
One interesting caveat was no trail spur to the top of Main Mountain … the adjacent peak just next to and a bit higher than Spy Rock. With approaching Spy Rock from this way (since the northern approach from the fish hatchery was now closed) … you already skirted Main Mountain, so if you want to go a bit higher, you’ll have to get off trail.
Lessons … sometimes you just have to get outside
Lessons … sometimes your objective may be small (.17 miles) but it’ll take work just to get ready to do the small objective (6 miles total trek) … never overlook the preparation
Lessons … this hike was good, but it was better for I was with a friend … Life is better with friends