Sunday being a gorgeous fall day, it seemed like a perfect time to head to the mountains for a hike. So I asked a friend, Matt, if he wanted to go, and we headed up to Shenandoah National Park for the day. It is hard to believe that it was my first time there in 2013!
There are over 500 miles of hiking trails in the park, including more than 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Someday, it would be fun to hike all 500 of them, but Sunday, I picked out a six mile loop, Buck Ridge and Buck Hollow. The map below shows this route. We started and ended at the orange arrow on the lower left, and hiked counter-clockwise. We headed out on the Buck Ridge Trail, which had a few level sections but was mostly downhill, and came back up through the long, uphill slog on the Buck Hollow Trail.
It was shortly after lunch that we encountered a beautiful stream, which was our companion for most of the uphill hike out.
I had a great hike, and it was wonderful to return to Shenandoah National Park. This was my eighth new hike of 2013, so I have two more to reach my goal. Now that my half marathon is in the past, I hope I can make that happen. Training for a race like that consumes a lot of time and energy! (But compared to running the trail today four times, a half marathon seems kind of wimpy!)