September 13, 2015 - Simmonsville, VA
Continuing on our Sunday hikes, I searched the internet for something fairly close up as we'd drive about an hour to Peaks of Otter the week prior. I found Kelly's Knob. It's also on the AT and not hike very often, except for by thru hikers. We decided to give it a go- picking the longer route up as we wanted a little work out.
It was a little foggy that morning and finding a place to park proved to be a little difficult. According to the interwebs there was supposed to be parking right at the trail access. Yeah in reality that did not exist- but there was a small church just down the street so we parked there and hoped for the best.
It was our first trek out in our new hydraquivers (water bottle race backpacks) and we were excited to be trying them out. Jon had been carrying his backpack with our snacks and water bottles for all our hikes until I found these- they are much lighter, have pockets for each of our snacks and can carry one 16oz water bottle each.
Starting off on the trail- we were crossing through what felt like people's yards before starting a small ascent between property lines. We walked through a couple of fields, had some nice mountain views before entering the forest edge. It was a pretty flat hike at this point as we would around one mountain then shifted down into a gap and through a rhododendron grove by a creek. Then we crossed by a shelter for thru hikers right about the time the big ascent started. It was definitely rocky and steep at this point but we climbed until we finally reached the ridgeline. A couple of hikers passed us before we found the cut off for Kelly's Knob.
It was another rocky outcropping similar to others we'd experienced on previous hikes with some nice views of catawba and blacksburg in the distance. There were more hikers than we thought up to see the view and we hung out for a bit with snacks and nuun before it was time to make the climb back down and around to head home. Another great local hike!