Hiking Elliot Knob
When I moved to Richmond I started using the website Meetup to find some people with the same interests as me. One group I found is a group of 20-something year old hikers in the Richmond area and I decided to join. Most of us are young professionals from all over the country who wound up in Richmond. This past weekend I met with five other hikers from this group and we headed out to Staunton to hike Elliot Knob. The hike is about 8 miles long, out and back, has waterfalls and an outlook, and the first four miles are a steady uphill. The last mile hiking upward is insane. I read the reviews before doing this hike and a lot of people warned future hikers about this last section of uphill and I have to agree... Don't attempt to do this hike unless you're in GOOD physical condition. If you're not, plan to stop at least every 50 feet to catch your breath and add an extra half hour onto your trip time. I'm serious y'all, this uphill was insane and will have your heart beating out of your chest. The first two miles of the hike you're hiking along a mountain stream with lots of little cascades and waterfalls. There were a ton of branches and sticks that had been washed downstream and a lot of time they obstructed the views of some of the smaller little falls. The third mile you're hiking along the side of a mountain and then the last mile, as I mentioned before, is a grueling uphill march. But the views once you get to the top are phenomenal! There's an old watch tower that you can climb up in and really get a breathtaking 360 degree panoramic view. There's also a campsite at the very top in the middle of a clearing (in front of the tower) so there's lots of room for tents. My favorite part of the hike was while we were hiking down by the stream, at one point you cross over part of the stream and you're kinda of hiking on an island in between two streams. One of the times we were crossing a section of the stream I leaned over and my cellphone slipped right out of my side pocket and fell in the water. THANK GOD I had a Lifeproof case otherwise my phone would've been toast!
It was also really fun to hike with new people and to learn about where everyone came from and how they ended up in Richmond. I also really liked the fact that we were all young professionals because we were all able to talk about our experiences in the professional world and exchange stories and advice about jobs.
For more info on this hike go here.