Sunday, December 2, 2012

Seven Sisters - A Pleasant Walk In The Woods

On the Seven Sisters Trail. Photo by Leanne Barley
 It was another unusually pleasant day considering it was December 2, and +Leanne and I wanted to get outdoors for a few hours, but didn't want to drive a long way or do anything overly difficult. Just walking a few miles in the woods would be sufficient.

Living in Wytheville, the Seven Sisters Trail on Little Walker Mountain was only a 15 minute drive away and fit the bill perfectly. It is a little over five miles long and generally easy or moderate in grade, with only a few short, steep sections. It does require either a shuttle or a three mile roadwalk to hike the entire trail, but being so close it wasn't a big deal to take both vehicles so we could leave one at each end. And it didn't hurt that Leanne had never been on it before so that it would be something new for her.  

Anything for a view! Photo by Leanne Barley
Tree assisted view of Queens Knob

 There are no grand views, only those through the trees in Winter, though there are a few places where blowdowns have opened some holes in the trees. It is possible to see a bit clearer view in these spots, especially if you can elevate yourself a few feet. There is also a pleasant pine forest at the beginning with some sizeable trees, and higher up the trail leads through fairly open hardwoods. And the ridgeline itself is somewhat scenic in places as it narrows and makes short, steep climbs up a number of minor knobs, ostensibly the "Sisters".

We started at the eastern end which is a few hundred feet higher than the western trailhead and also climbs on a gentler grade on an old woods road. It's hands-in-pockets walking and the only thing to do was just enjoy the surroundings and the pleasant breeze as we made our way the mile up to the ridgeline. Then some ups and downs over the next 2-3 miles, stopping briefly at a couple of the minor views and eating lunch near the highest point on the trail before it leaves the ridgeline and descends to the Stony Fork Campground.

There is only one ranked peak on the entire ridge, but it lies about 3/4 mile off-trail, beyond where the trail heads down, and we didn't go there today, preferring to stick with a leisurely stroll instead. It's good to do that on occasion and this is a good place to do it.

The route of this hike. To see a larger map click here.

Hike Stats:
5.6 miles 
1,260' cumulative elevation gain

Pictures from this hike

Pictures from other hikes on the Seven Sisters Trail:
July 2009

Resources and contacts:
gpx file and topo maps

Trailhead Coordinates:

East Trailhead: 37.02029,-81.13761

West Trailhead: 37.00859,-81.18186

Google Map for Trailheads 

Scan QR code to navigate to trailheads with Google Maps on your smartphone:

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