Whetstone Ridge



12.2 miles, strenuous terrain
65 miles from Daleville, 5-mile shuttle, $7.00 carpool fee

This hike begins on the BRP near MP 29 and Montebello, at the Whetstone Ridge Visitor Center. (There are flush toilets available here.) Primarily a ridge walk along Whetstone Ridge, but the South Mountain section has a series of hilltops in its section. Trail comes out onto Irish Creek Road/VA-603. Due to the challenging nature of this trail, starting at the BRP is highly recommended over a start at Irish Creek Road/VA-603.

This is the longest trail in the GlenwoodBRedlar Ranger District that is not connected to the Appalachian Trail. It will begin at Milepost 29 on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Whetstone Ridge Visitor Center. The trail runs along the spine of the ridge for approximately 8 miles and offers great views, including Three Ridges, the Priest and Adams Peak. There are many short climbs and drops along the ridge. The last few miles of the trail descends 1250 feet into the beautiful Irish Creek Valley and exits on VA- 603 northeast of Buena Vista. This is a popular mountain biking trail, so hikers should be alert to this activity on the trail. There will be a 30-40 minute shuttle from VA 603 to the Parkway but the drive into the Irish Creek Valley yields many sights.

Driving directions to Whetstone Ridge:
I-81 north to Exit 188A toward Buena Vista
Take US 60 east for 2.9 miles.
Left on Orchard St., go 0.1 mile.
Left on Culvert St./Longhollow Rd., go 0.9 miles.
Left onto VA-631/Longhollow Rd., go 2.9 miles.
Right on VA-608, go 3.7 miles.
Right on VA-603 (Irish Creek Rd.), go 5.1 miles.
Parking lot on left.

Important Note: the southern trailhead has changed in the last 10 years, and some maps (e.g. Trails Illustrated) list the wrong trailhead. Be sure to use the trailhead located at N37 49.153' W7915.238'.

Shuttle:
Continue on Irish Creek Rd. to Blue Ridge Parkway.
Park at Whetstone Ridge Visitor center at the intersection.
Hike starts here.

John's gps Driving directions to Whetstone Ridge (about 1 hour)

I-81 north to Exit 188A toward Buena Vista
Take US 60 east for 2.9 miles.
Left on Orchard St., go 0.1 mile.
Left on Culvert St./Longhollow Rd., go 0.9 miles.
Left onto VA-631/Longhollow Rd., go 1.2 miles.
Right on VA 757, go 3.5 miles.
Left on 820, go 0.1 miles.
Right on South River Road, go about 0.5 miles.
Right on VA 603 (Irish Creek Rd.), go 5.0 miles.
Parking lot on left.

Continue on Irish Creek Rd. to Blue Ridge Parkway.
Park at Whetstone Ridge Visitor center.
Hike starts here.