Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Torry Ridge Loop

It's always special to take a hike when most of the rest of the world is working, and that is what I did last Friday (may 8).  I had the day off, my ankle does not hurt as much, and - having been a couch potato for several months resting my ankle - it was time for a hike up in the mountains.  I choose a loop hike, the Torry Ridge Loop, for my 10.6 miles of mountain hiking.  I actually hiked on about five different trails, starting and ending at mile 18.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway: the White Rock Gap Trail, Slacks Trail, Torry Ridge Trail, a blue blazed trail to Sherando Lake, the Sherando Lake road, and returning on the White Rock Gap Trail. Here is my track, starting and ending at the purple arrow and traveling clockwise (red arrow).  Total elevation gain and loss is about 1,700 feet.
Last year, I hiked part (all but Torry Ridge and the trails leading to and from it) of this on my hike of  the White Rock Falls area.
It was a beautiful spring day, although a bit warm.  I only saw a few small animals - a wood thrush and a rufous-sided towhee, an unidentified lizard, a toad, a water snake, and a gray squirrel.  But I saw many incredible wildflowers.  I will put photos of them in a future post.
Here are some photos of my joyous Friday hiking.  I was really tired when I got back to the car, although this is not an extremely hard hike.  I am just out of shape.  But I did it!
Small American (?) toad seen on the trail.

This is typical of the trails in this area - along the Torry Ridge Trail.

Pink Azalea was in bloom all over the place - so lovely!
I checked but didn't see anything living in this dead tree.

Mostly this hike was a "green tunnel" but now and then, I got a decent view.

From Overlook Rock, I had a partial view of Lower Sherando Lake.

And this is Lower Sherando Lake from a different perspective.

Just a harmless water snake along the trail.  It dove into the stream when I got a little too close to try to get a better photo.

This is where I saw the snake, less than 2 miles from my car on the hike out.

No, this is not part of the hike.  It's a visitor center on the Blue Ridge Parkway on the drive to the trailhead.


  1. Must have felt so good to get out and take a hike. You got some great pictures.
    I did get your email and I do plan on donating just haven't done it yet.

  2. Yeah, it did. My ankle hurts while hiking but it is tolerable. Thanks so much in advance Happy One K!