The United States Congress designated the Thunder Ridge Wilderness (map
) in 1984 and it now has a total of 2,428 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Virginia
and is managed by the Forest Service.
The Thunder Ridge Wilderness is bordered by
the James River Face Wilderness
to the north.
The smallest of Virginia's Wildernesses, Thunder Ridge sits high on the northwestern slope of the Blue Ridge, separated from James River Face Wilderness by Petites Gap Road (gravel, FR #35). it is bordered on the south and east by the Blue Ridge Parkway. Elevations range from 1,320 feet on the northwest corner to 4,200 feet on Apple Orchard Mountain at the southern tip. Thunder Ridge dominates the center of the area, falling away sharply on the north slope and not as steeply on the south. The vegetation is primarily mixed upland and cove hardwoods. This wilderness contains five miles of trail including about 3.5 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T., FT #1). Trail information is available on National Geographic-Trails Illustrated Map #789 (Lexington-Blue Ridge Mts). Thunder Ridge Wilderness is located in Bedford, Botetourt, and Rockbridge Counties, in west central Virginia. It is managed by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Glenwood-Pedlar Ranger Districts of the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests.