Monroe County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: July 31, 2006
Author: Patrick Craft

After hiking 2 days on the AT and climbing White Rocks (the HP of Craig County VA), we enjoyed pizza and beer at Backstreets in Blacksburg. Being rather tired, we all fell asleep in our clothes (maybe the beer helped). We awoke, packed, paid and went to Hardees for some breakfast. Ever since we decided to do the AT section, I planned on bagging these highpoints: Craig and Giles VA and Monroe WV. As in previous trip reports, we drove out VA 635 to 613, across North Fork of Stony Creek and parked.

We made our way up the Forest Service road to the ridgeline and proceeded northeast along the ridge toward the HP. The previously mentioned yellow blazes on trees on the ridgeline are the Allegheny Trail. This long trail begins a few miles down the ridge at the AT at Pine Swamp Ridge and travels north to the Pennsylvania state line. We opted to follow the ridge-top jeep roads (the trail stays on the east side of the ridge, in National Forest land). About a mile or so down the ridge we came out into a huge field with a cabin at the north end. Walking across we saw about four 6-foot flags. We came to the cabin and spoke with two gentlemen, one mowing grass and one cleaning golf clubs. We had some small talk, they offered us a beer, we declined and moved on to the HP. At the second (bigger) house on the ridge, one should go right to intersect the yellow- blazed Alleghany trail. This trail is somewhat overgrown and only followed because it is blazed well. It basically follows an old jeep road along the ridge. Near the HP it was completely overgrown with ferns, really pretty. We found the cairn on top, along with many flies. Our visit was brief.

We returned on our route out and, when arriving at the first cabin, we were surprised to meet the owner and his cousin (owner of the bigger cabin). All four were preparing to play some ridge-top golf, complete with carts and beer. We visited some more, took up the generous offer of a beer, saw the Dale Jr wall in the cabin, and the group shared some of Monroe counties finest 110 proof. A nice way to enjoy a hot highpointing trip. On our walk across the field, the group launched a drive (a slice) and we made our way back to the car, picking up some beer cans along the way. I stopped at the creek crossing to obtain a large mineral sample to add to others in my front yard. We then drove across to Mountain Lake and the third HP of the weekend.