Life Outside Fall 2017 - 36

LEXINGTON & THE ROCKBRIDGE AREA TOURISM / BRENT MCGUIRT

HOUSE MOUNTAIN
The two peaks make for great
hikes, with stunning viewpoints.

keep their own mugs at the shop, and each table
features a vase of fresh flowers (9 W. Washington
St., Lexington, VA 24450). Don't worry, there will
be opportunities for pit stops along the ride. Look
to the ceiling for outlets to charge your phone, and
check out some hiking trails to try later in the day
(wlu.edu/outing-club/outdoor-activities).

Hiking
There is no way to go wrong when selecting a trail
in Rockbridge unless no trail is selected at all. If you
find yourself overwhelmed by the options, from the
challenge of Devil's Marbleyard to Goshen Pass,
treat yourself to an extra night at The Georges of
the Robert E. Lee Hotel, and give yourself time to
try multiple hikes (thegeorges.com; Robert E. Lee
Hotel 30 S Main St, Lexington, VA 24450). There's
also a nice Hampton Inn in town, and several other
hotels like Country Inn & Suites and a Best Western
Plus Inn. After all, you'll deserve it after all that
physical activity.
If you really can't decide, a local favorite is the
sunrise hike to Big House Mountain. You'll get a
great workout trekking uphill for three miles, but
the 180-degree view of the valley below, and the
refreshing wind at the top, will blow your sweat
away. There's a large rock that juts out over the
valley, and if you lay down and put your head just
over the edge, you achieve the sensation of flying.
Plus the way down, is just that, down (Big House
Mountain, Lexington, VA 24450).
As a bonus, it's rumored that a goat lives on the
mountain; if you're lucky, you may make a new
friend. And if you have some stamina reserved,
branch off the Big House trail to Little House

36

Fall 2017 \\ LifeOutside Magazine

Mountain. At the intersection of the trails to the
two peaks, there's a perfect place to pause called the
Saddle, a meadow with firepit. Pack a healthy, organic
wrap from Blue Phoenix (bluephoenixcafe.com). Or
try Blue Sky on Nelson St. for great sandwiches-
and save that lunch for one of the great views from
either House mountain.
If you have your own gear, you can try climbing
at Goshen Pass or Iron Gate, but as always, be
careful and don't climb alone (wlu.edu/outing-club/
outdoor-activities/climbing/iron-gate). Goshen Pass
is rather underdeveloped, though it is thoroughly
used, while Iron Gate is more climber-friendly and
has a 100-foot cliff face.

Waterfalls
For cooling off purposes, visit Crabtree or Panther
falls (Panther Falls Rd., Amherst). Crabtree Falls
(just over the county line in Nelson County) is
the largest waterfall east of the Mississippi (11581
Crabtree Falls Hwy., Montebello). And Panther Falls
(just in Amherst County) has a large jumping rock,
and the water is quite refreshing. Bring a towel and
lay out on the flat rocks around the water to dry
off and get a tan after your swim.

Orchards and Animals
For more family-oriented folks, the Virginia Gold
Orchard has 2,000 Asian pear trees with 16 different
types of pears (virginiagoldorchard.com/). Those
who visit say that the pears are sweet, but the pair
that owns the orchard is even sweeter. Walk around,
purchase a few pears, introduce yourself to the
owners and you'll leave with a warm, golden glow.
And if you're feeling extra warm and fuzzy, drive by


http://www.bluephoenixcafe.com http://www.wlu.edu/outing-club/outdoor-activities http://www.wlu.edu/outing-club/ http://www.thegeorges.com http://www.virginiagoldorchard.com/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Life Outside Fall 2017

Life Outside Fall 2017 - 1
Life Outside Fall 2017 - 2
Life Outside Fall 2017 - 3
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