This past Saturday was, yet again, another perfect day for hiking so Brady and I went down to Shenandoah National Park with my dad, brother, step-mom, and step-sister. It was a day full of crisp autumn air, colorful trees, and mountain views. I think the last time I was in Shenandoah was back when I was in middle school when I didn’t appreciate long drives so I can easily say that I appreciated this trip way more than I did back then. Adventuring with my husband is probably the biggest upgrade. 😉
We started our first hike just before 11 am with a .7 mile hike from the Lower Hawksbill Trailhead to Hawksbill Summit – which is the highest peak in the park. The hike was pretty much straight up hill from where we started but the views were worth the effort.
The hike downhill made my knees very wobbly feeling and I was definitely ready to sit down and have lunch. We drove to the Byrd’s Visitors Center to use the bathroom before stopping at the Tanner’s Ridge Overlook for a picnic lunch. I pulled out my Mexican blanket and body pillow for a seating area and we lunched on bean salad, cheese, crackers, hummus, carrot sticks, licorice, apples and sparkling water.
Tree climbing was our post lunch activity.
After lunch, we went back up the road to Dark Hollow Falls for our second mini hike. A couple hundred yards onto the trail, my ankle rolled and I dropped to the ground in pain. Darlene (step-mom) had an bandage with her that Brady used to wrap up my ankle and I quickly took ibuprofen to help with any swelling. I sat there for a few minutes with Brady while everyone else continued on. To Brady’s great dismay, I decided to be stubborn and continue on with the hike using both our walking sticks as aides. I don’t know if it really ended up being worth it considering it’s probably going to take longer to heal.
Luckily it only ended up being a minor sprain and my ankle didn’t end up swelling too much. It’s been stiff and puffy feeling to walk on so I’m going to try and take it easy for a few more days while it heals up.
We stopped at a few overlooks along Skyline Drive on our way out of the park. Old Rag is the farthest left peak in the next 2 photos and it’s on my hiking bucket list for hopefully sometime next year. It’s a difficult hike and is one of the most popular hikes in the whole park.
I can’t wait to do a camping trip down in Shenandoah and do some more of the the trails including White Oak Canyon and Old Rag. Some day I’d really like to backpack the whole 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Park.
Have you been to Shenandoah NP? What’s your favorite hike in the park?
Linking with Running With Spoons for this post.