If you go
WHERE TO BEGIN
A 6.1-mile round trip through alpine meadows and open fields, with excellent views from the top. Located in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, the trailhead is east of Buena Vista.
Stunning views from the Blue Ridge summit, particularly at sunset, give this 6.5-mile outing one of the region’s best payoffs for the effort. Located in Vesuvius, take Interstate 81 south to U.S. 60 East toward Buena Vista.
It’s crowded, but this nine-mile hike in central Shenandoah National Park is a classic for a reason, thanks to the challenging rocky scramble to the ridgeline and its fantastic views. Pick up the trail in park’s borders, south of Sperryville.
WHERE TO END
These post-hike restaurants are popular with the D.C. Ultralight Backpacking Group for filling food and a tolerance for dirty patrons.
McMahons Irish Pub & Restaurant
Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows
Capital Ale House
The Homeplace Restaurant
4968 Catawba Valley Dr., Catawba 540-384-7252 home.comcast.net/~kevincd22/thehomeplace/ The place to go after Dragon’s Tooth, Tinker Cliffs and McAfee Knob hikes. The restaurant, which dates to 1907, serves its food family-style, with heaping platters of fried chicken, meats, Southern sides and homey desserts.