Yesterday, we were at Woody Gap and hiked to Preacher’s Rock and on a little further. It was cool and windy at the Gap but very nice on the top. It’s been weeks since I have been able to hike mostly due to “puppy” Wessy and the rain! What a wild last two weeks weather-wise. And no, Wessy was not on this hike. She’s not allowed to hike for several more months or longer.

Okay, about this hike: It is probably the shortest day hike on the Appalachian Trail. If not the shortest, one of the shortest. We thought it would be perfect for the first time back out and it was. It’s a great, easy hike and one that almost anyone can do. It’s a  2-miles in and out from Woody Gap. Since this is a super popular destination, it’s best to get there early on nice weekends. Always expect the parking lot to be full.

Parking is available on both sides of the highway at Woody Gap, but the trail begins on the north side with the larger parking lot and the restrooms.

Look! It’s a two-person tree!

The first half mile goes uphill at an easy pace and the last third of a mile heads up a series of steep switchbacks, climbing just over 350 feet. Super easy enough!

The whole hike reminded me of a very, very small Blood Mountain hike. Along the way, you’ll pass large rock formations.

I don’t think Anne really needed to stop, but she did. The sun was wonderful!

This is the part that reminds me of Blood Mountain—switchbacks and large outcroppings.

Blue sky lets you know you are close to the top.

You reach the large open rock outcropping of Preachers Rock at 1 mile. There’s beautiful views to the southeast, so just soak up the sun on the exposed rock before heading back the way you came or do what we did and continue a little further along the AT.

Love these views even at a shorter height—3,700 feet.

Continuing on, we came to a pathway to the right and hiked up to a camping area that I know will be filled in a few weeks. Thru hikers will begin their trek north along the AT to Maine some 2,100 miles away.

I love hiking in the winter before spring begins to return. This is the stuff that memories are made of!