Hike Report – Roaring Branch Trail

Tim Schaefer Reporting
Hike date: 12/19/2015
“It will be a tough hike with all of the downed trees and overgrown brush.” As said by Vic Hasler, or something close to that. He wasn’t too far off. Roaring Branch Trail is an in-and-out 8mi hike and a mostly uphill climb from the road to the overlook. Not having any takers to join me, possibly partly due to the below-freezing morning that was forecast, I decided to bring the dogs with me. They’re two Great Danes often mentioned in trip reports, Zoinks! and Beetle. The wiki was right. The parking area is not much more than a narrow gravel shoulder on a curve of Business 23/Roaring Branch Rd. It made for some nervous dog wrangling as trucks and cars zipped by us. The light snow cover and brisk morning, to me, was perfect for a weekend hike. Several sections of trail as warned by Vic have some significant downed tree sections. Some were simple hop overs, others could be walked around, several required climbing over and under patches of downed logs. I didn’t have too many problems, but my four legged companions had some more difficulty. A few times I thought we would have to turn back, but we eventually found a way through the mess. Also difficult were the stream crossings. Roaring Branch was flowing quite well. This was the dogs’ chance to show off an easy passing while I struggled to find a rock hopping path but managed to keep my feet dry. We made it to the High Butte overlook and enjoyed lunch. I noticed that the yellow blazed trail does continue past the overlook on the right. I thought about exploring it, but with a family out home and two tired dogs that normally spend the day napping on their bed I saved that for another day.

Falls at the trail head
Falls at the trail head
Zoinks! inspects a massive blowdown
Zoinks! inspects a massive blowdown
Who would pass up a chance to hike on a morning like this!
Who would pass up a chance to hike on a morning like this!
Beetle admires her believed kingdom
Beetle admires her believed kingdom
View south from High Butte overlook
View south from High Butte overlook
The repercussions of eight miles of hiking for our beasts of comfort.
The repercussions of eight miles of hiking for our beasts of comfort.

F/B Hike: Little Stony Creek Falls, Sunday May 25

Leader: Bill Tindall (423-357-4850)

Rating: Moderate 5 mile round trip hike up and back along a cascading stream

Experience two picturesque waterfalls hidden in a forested gorge. The narrow trail follows the cascading stream with bridges provided for all crossings. Frequent stops expected to enjoy the beauty. Bring a towel to dry your feet, if you plan on briefly wading at the upper falls.

Departure time from Colonial Heights is 1pm Sunday. William Werner will swing by McDonalds/Ingle​s location to check if anyone is there. Otherwise, Food City in Weber City is the second rendezvous point to leave at 1:30pm to the trailhead near Dungannon, VA.

For further information, check the trail wiki or call/e-mail the hike leader.