“An eight mile out-and-back run following the Appalachian Trail as it climbs over 3000 ft to the summit of the Priest.
— John Phillips
Strong runners will enjoy the challenge of this climb and the views from the rock outcrops. Families or groups with slower members can set the first overview as a goal for the day.
Local hard core runners combine this section with the section of the A.T. climbing north from the Tye River to Maupin Field.
This trail is likely the most strenuous outing on the section of the A.T maintained by the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club. Sustained steep climbs and descents combined with the rocky and rooted nature of the trail make this route a bit difficult to negotiate. The challenges are well rewarded however! There are rocky overlooks on the south-east down into the Tye River Valley and north-west from the summit of the Priest. The run starts from the parking are on VA-56 beside the Tye River.
If making the return journey in the same day sounds like a bit much, there is a shelter located near the summit of the Priest.