Some hiking trails, like this one, require hikers to get vertical.

Fredericksburg.com published an article by Bill Freehling about a recent hike to the summit of Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park. Old Rag is a popular hike (I’ve heard of it and I live 400 miles away) but it’s not exactly a walk in the park.

Freehling tells us the most challenging part of the hike is a an area known as the “rock scramble” where upper body strength is a must to pull oneself up the trail. To me if a hike involves more than just a little upper body strength it ceases to be hiking and morphs into mountaineering or rock climbing but that’s another story…

The Old Rag hike is a loop where the way up (the part with the rock scramble) is twice as long as the way down which begs the question: why not just go up and down the less steep way if it’s so tough? The answer, I’m sure, is that it’s the challenge that makes it such a great hike. Isn’t that what hiking is all about?

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