It’s easy to forget the incredible outdoor opportunities we have in Central Virginia. Living in the Charlottesville area provides so many opportunities – better to take advantage of them when you can.
One of our favorite hikes is Spy Rock in Montebello.
There are plenty of hikes to keep you busy if you’re interested – spend some time and planning at the Hiking Upward site. (the zooming interactivity of their map is simple and awfully helpful)
@jimduncan Humpback, Old Rag, Crabtree Falls, Blue Hole, Secluded Farm Trail at Monticello, White Oak Canyon, Whiterock or Southriver Falls
— Outdoor Cville (@outdoorcville) May 23, 2013
Update March 2019
Spy Rock, with its exposed rock dome providing a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains, is very popular, too popular. Through hikers, day trippers, church and college groups, all can be found hiking to Spy Rock on any weekend.
In any natural area, hikers know that they themselves run the risk of damaging what they come to see. The best practices of hikers to protected natural areas are covered under the principles of “Leave No Trace”, and hikers should be familiar with information available from sites such as:
Leave No Trace
NPS Seven Principles
A.T.C Leave No Trace
While leave no trace is a necessary starting point, the very high level of hiker activity on Spy Rock is reaching the point of being hazardous both to the natural environment and to the hikers themselves. This level of activity calls for further intervention by the land managing agencies and the volunteer maintaining clubs. In particular, Spy Rock has two specific concerns:
– critical habitat for a rare plant community
– hazards to hikers during the climb to the summit and later descent