Chestnut Ridge Loop Trail
Our Associate Art Director Caroline loves spending her free time outside in the fresh air. Her first post with the Roanoker blog discusses a new trail that hikers might like to check out!
I'm something of a weekend warrior, of the most fierce, competitive kind. I spend my weeks logging long hours behind the computer and then run off to the gym to unwind and exercise. But when I have more time on the weekends I'll be found hiking around the Blue Ridge region.
For my inaugural hiking post I take you to the Chestnut Ridge Loop trail on Roanoke Mountain, just past the Roanoke Mountain Campground on/near the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's an easy to moderate 5.4 mile loop and with intersecting trails to shorten the trails.
I am training for a trail 10K and decided to run the Chestnut Ridge Loop Trail a few Sundays ago. Most of the time the trail is wide and even, but in places it gains elevation and snakes up the mountain side. I found that portion of the trail the most entertaining, especially when I popped up behind 3 friendly and deceivingly fast pugs.
Most of the trail is accessible by horse, which could be another fun way to enjoy the trail. I spent a lot of time dodging fresh indicators that I was not far behind a trail ride.
As I ran I stopped and patted dogs, said hello to friendly passer-bys and noted to myself that everyone out that day had superior trail etiquette. Walkers stopped an allowed me to pass when I was on an up hill climb, dog owners quickly corralled enthusiastic runners, and everyone had a kind word. It's this kind of experience that happily keeps me chugging along and searching for new trails each weekend.
RoanokeOutside.com has some great additional information on finding and using the Chestnut Ridge Loop. http://www.roanokeoutside.com/chestnut-ridge-trail