How to Hike the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia

by Laura Kalinowski Google

The Blue Ridge Mountains are a breathtaking landmark located in Virginia. The mountains get their blue appearance from a chemical reaction that occurs between the foilage and the constantly changing atmospheric conditions. These mountains only appear blue when seen from far away. To experience their splendor and full spectrum of colors up close, hiking is an excellent way to explore the wonders of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Items you will need

  • Car
  • Gas
  • Hiking shoes
  • Bottled water
  • Granola bars
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Map
  • Pocketknife
  • Pepper spray
  • Cell phone

Hiking Preparation and Getting to the Trail

Step 1

Decide on the level of hike -- easy, moderate or challenging -- and the landmarks the hiking party would like to see, such as specific mountains, waterfalls or other landforms.

Step 2

Visit blueridgeparkway.org and select the trail to be hiked.

Step 3

Print several copies of the trail map, available for download on this site.

Step 4

Pack hiking equipment, including water, granola bars, pocket knife, copies of the map, hiking shoes and any other seasonal necessities, such as sunscreen or a coat.

Step 5

Drive to the trail head and park (indicated on the map).

Hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains

Step 1

Leave a cell phone number before beginning the hike, especially if it is a challenging hike, with a family member or a ranger and let this person know how long you will expect to be gone.

Step 2

Double-knot hiking shoes to ensure they are on securely and to prevent stumbling.

Step 3

Stop to take a drink of water every 15 to 20 minutes and to eat a snack every 45 to 60 minutes.

Step 4

Keep wild animals at bay by keeping a conversation going among the members of the hiking party, as animals do not like to be startled. Use pepper spray only in emergency situations, in which an animal is approaching someone in the hiking party.

Step 5

Keep all trash from snacks and drinks in pockets since littering on hikes in Virginia carries a fine.

Tips & Warnings

  • To enjoy as many trails as possible, consider staying overnight at an inn, hotel or campground to take in multiple trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a road that winds through the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Hiking is physical exercise and requires exertion. If unsure, check with a physician before attempting to hike a strenuous trail. The Blue Ridge Mountains are home to wild animals, including black bears, deer and bobcats. Exhibit caution if a wild animals is encountered and under no circumstances approach or feed the wild animals.

Resources

About the Author

Laura Kalinowski has been a professional writer since 2001. She has written for print, television and online publications, including "The Weekly Standard" and Wisconsin Public Television. Kalinowski holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images