There are other places to hike but I keep being drawn back to Old Rag. If I leave at 7:30 AM then I can be back by 3:00 PM after having climbed a mountain, scrambled over rocky terrain, and taken-in stunning views. Total distance is 7.5 miles. Total elevation is 3,200 feet.
Climbing the front is a vigorous effort but your reward is the first peak where a rocky plateau greets you. The views are spectacular and it’s a good place to catch your breath. Soon again you lose your breath as you climb to the second peak across, between and under lots of rock. The descent is 4.5 miles of the total hike and three of those miles are a long fire road, uninteresting but for the three rivers you cross. At that point in the hike though, boring is good.
This hike is recommended, recommended, recommended.