We wanted to do this hike over the summer, but it was way too hot to do this hike so we waited. We lucked out with a gorgeous Labor Day weekend.
We did this loop in Nov. 2008
and the Split Rock Trail blue markers were frustratingly hard to find; they still are. After that experience, and reading Daniela's post
about having the same issues, we opted to see if the markers were easier going the opposite way around (four birds then split rock). And the verdict... a bit better but not much.
The Reservoir from the road:
challenging loop around Split Rock Reservoir.
Suitable for experienced, fit hikers only. Even though the loop is on the low end of challenging distance wise, the relentless minor elevation changes of the Highlands terrain gives you a workout. The path is blazed but you need keen eyes to spot the markers... and requires constant vigilance.
After the hike, we figured out that part of the problem is that none of the maps are totally current. The blue trail was rerouted to Charlottesville Rd, in one section because of the new houses that went up. So if you are standing on the woods road looking at BLUE blazes on the road, but look at your map... you think you need to turn off the road back into the woods... but you don't.
But that's really only part of the problem... the blazes are really hard to spot on the whole route.
Our full blog post is here
, and hike info/photo/video is on our Splitrock Reservoir