Winter Hike to Rice Fields
Rice Fields in Giles County | A Winter Hike
Straight from the hiker herself, Mrs. Teresa Fletcher.
On a sunny but chilly winter’s day, my husband and I decided to go for a hike. We chose Rice Fields as it is a relatively easy hike with a fantastic view from the top. From Route 460 West, turn right onto Clendenin Road for about 2 miles until you see a brown sign that says Pocahontas Road on the left. There is a parking area just passed the turnoff large enough for 3 or 4 vehicles or if you turn onto Pocahontas Road, you will find another small parking area about 100 yards in, just passed the trailhead on the left.
The first section of this hike is a little steep, but you will soon find that the trail levels out and becomes a little easier as you go along. About 2 miles in you will come across a camping area and the trail will take a right onto an old logging road. After 300 yards or so, you will need to look closely for a switch-back to the left. This is marked by a small arrow painted on a rock on the ground. It is easy to miss so be careful!
At the top you will come to a ladder built over a fence. You’re almost there. At the top of that last hill you will find a beautiful view to your left. On a clear day you can see all the way from Lindside, WV to Glen Lyn, VA. The path on the right will take you to the AT shelter and a compost privy.
My favorite part of winter hiking is that when the trees and leaves are brown, the evergreens really get to show their stuff. The moss and lichens on the rocks and trail come in a thousand different shades and textures. The Mountain Laurel and Rhododendrons wait patiently for spring. The teaberry plants with their bright red berries are both beautiful and tasty! Today we even found snow and icicles along the way. The views in winter are totally different than what you can see when the trees have their leaves.
Rice Fields is part of the Appalachian Trail and as such is marked with a white blaze. The entire hike was just over 6 miles and took us approximately 3 1/2 hours. There is a water source located on this hike if you have the proper purifying equipment. As a day hiker, I usually just pack mine in. Parts of this trail traverse private property please so stay on the trail and always practice the Leave No Trace principals. Happy hiking!
For additional information on the Rice Fields Hike you can visit our page on Appalachian Trail hike in Giles, by CLICKING HERE.