George Washington National Forest: Buzzard Rock Part 3

Continued from Part 2 We encountered this Aster flower along the trail. I’ve searched for hours on the internet and in books trying to identify it, but to no avail. The detailed wildflower book that I use for reference, National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers: Eastern Region, identifies 18 types of Aster and has pictures […]

George Washington National Forest: Signal Knob Part 2

Continued from Part 1 After Fort Valley Overlook, you keep going another 1.2 miles until you reach a fork in the road. If you want to go for a slightly shorter hike, you can turn left at this point onto the Makeaka Peak Trail. However, for the longer loop, you continue along the Massanutten National Recreation […]

George Washington National Forest: Signal Knob Part 1

Just across the valley from Shenandoah National Park is George Washington National Forest, which also features many beautiful hikes and mountain vistas. We had been to Signal Knob last November, but it has been cold and rainy, so we couldn’t see any of the views and we hiked the shorter loop. On October 9 we went […]

Shenandoah National Park: Little Devils Stairs & Overlook Loop Trail Part 4

Continued from Part 3 Continuing along Keyser Run Fire Road we saw some more sights. Calico Aster Calico Aster, or Aster lateriflorus, is a member of the Aster family (Asteraceae) and blooms August to October. A native wildflower, it grows throughout eastern and central North America. It favors fields and thickets. The name comes from […]

Shenandoah National Park: Tuscarora Overall Run & Beecher Ridge Loop Part 2

Continued from Part 1 We ambled down Overall Run Trail and turned left onto the Beecher/Overall Connecting Trail. The connector goes on for 1.4 miles until you reach the Beecher Ridge trailhead. Beecher Ridge Trail itself is not that special. The Heiskell Hollow Trail loop option is far more interesting (but also 3 miles longer). Beecher […]