about 4 to 5 hours. take food and water.
From Windymile Cabin, Turn left on VA-252 S for 1 mi Turn right onto VA-39 W for 7.7 mi turn right onto an unmarked dirt lane, and arrive at the Parking area.
Cross the swinging bridge. Turn Right. Follow the river downstream. (southeast) and continue about a mile. you will be along the river for this entire stretch.
Look for a little wooden sign (easy to miss) at the intersection... pointing left. up the mountain (northeast) the Chambers Ridge Trail.
The climb is steep through a couple of switchbacks, leading to to a high rock face, where there might be a sign warning of hazards.
Continue past a waterfall in a hemlock grove on the right
Continue on through the forest of chestnut oak, pitch pine and mountain laurel
Crest a ridge with nice camping spots, but no water. A great place to stop, and relax with a picnic.
Continue on...... upwards a bit and come to a ridge through an old forest with big vines hanging. Pass a black pond on the right - very small (sometimes, goes dry), no good to drink. (you are about two miles into the hike)
A view of lake Merriweather will be on your left (north) through the trees.
At the end of Chambers ridge, the trail turns right (south east) and continues downward a bit, then back upward..... a bit..... until you reach an intersection.
BE CAREFUL! Signs may be missing, or may have been turned around. dont trust them.
ONE fork, goes up, to the right (south east) "little peak" . The other fork, goes down, to the left (north) "chambers hollow"
TAKE THE LEFT trail (north) "chambers hollow" (*SeeMap* arrow)
After about, 1/2 a mile on this trail, you'll cross a stream or two, and climb a bit to intersect with the "Hunters Access" trail. There may not be a marker here. (*SeeMap* intersect at "Anderson")
Turn left (southwest) and follow generally downward for 1/2 to 3/4 miles. about 8 to 10 football fields.
Pay particular attention to this distance because you need to Intersect a well worn trail on the left for an easy 1 mile stroll or so back to the swinging bridge.
If you miss that left, The trail will continue to Lake Merriweather and cross the dam. SO.....watch for that left (west)
If you miss it, you'll just have to back track. If it is getting late in the day, this can be a bit tiring.
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