Shenandoah National Park.
Tucked away in Virginia, it’s a hundred or so mile stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountains which is part of the bigger Appalachia range.
To be brief, it’s an amazing park. To be back among ravens and trees and granite mountains! What more could I ask for? Well, I mean, except for more time than a weekend…
Nothing restores my faith in the goodness of the world like a hard hike and clean mountain air.
Saturday we got a bit of a late start heading out of the city, but there was still enough time to jump on the short trail up to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain. At 4,051 ft., it’s the tallest peak in the park. It was a super easy 2 mile hike with some 400 feet of elevation gain. Perfect for a quick reintroduction to rocky dirt trails.
Then, on Sunday, we opted for a 9.2 mile loop that included a significant rock scramble up to the top of Old Rag Mountain. Seems like this is “the” hike to do at Shenandoah. And it was exactly the hike that I needed. Physically challenging, with that rugged mix of steep incline and boulder scrambling, and spiritually renewing, with the silence and freshness of wilderness. And all with the added bonus of beautiful weather and small crowd.
Ah, just to know there are such mountains nearby! Just knowing that makes the city not seem quite as harsh. I think I found my motivation to start driving again…