Old Rag Mountain Hiking Geology Road Map

With amble time on our hands, we’re planning to hike the Old Rag Mountain Trail in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Before we go, I decided to brush up on the geology and geologic history of the area. Quite interesting to say the least.

The sites you see today at Old Rag are the result of multiple orogeny events; the Grenville orogeny and Appalachian orogeny. Continents colliding and separating. The Grenville orogeny formed a mountain range that stretched from Mexico to Canada and was likely as high as the Rocky Mountains. A lot of deposition in-between followed by uplifting and deformation. Here’s an easy to read overview of Old Rag geology published by the U.S.G.S. for those interested:

A Hiker’s Guide to the Geology of Old Rag Mountain, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Old Rag Mountain is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park. The Old Rag trail leading to the top is popular; one of the most popular hikes in Virginia. You’ll encounter fantastic views and get the chance to rock scramble on your way to the summit.  Large granitic boulders provide an opportunity for bouldering, which is possible along several points in the trail. The summit elevation is 3,284 ft. and provides outstanding views of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge. Another resource for information on the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Geology, specifically Old Rag Mountain area, can be found here (William & Mary blog post).

About 10,000 years ago or so, when the last Ice Age ends, Mammoth and Mastadon roamed the Blue Ridge.

On a side note, a number of studies find that the sounds and sights of the natural environment may improve memory and improve mood. Another reason to enjoy the great outdoors more often once you are financially free and have amble time.

More to come, stay tuned.

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