Dolly Sods Wilderness: Dolly Sods North Loop Day 2 – Part 3

Continued from Day 2 Part 2 Going up the hill, the grassy meadows stretched far, dotted with spruce and other trees. The sky was overcast for most of the day and the temperature was perfect for hiking. The cloudy sky was deceptive, though, and we skipped putting on sunscreen in the morning. The result later […]

Dolly Sods Wilderness: Dolly Sods North Loop Day 2 – Part 2

Continued from Day 2 Part 1 Hiking along, we passed through some forests, but most of Dobbin Glade Trail is flat or hilly meadows with marshes. This environment means there is plenty of sun for wildflowers! In this meadow you can see lots of Goldenrod and Flat-topped White Asters. At one point we passed through […]

Dolly Sods Wilderness: Dolly Sods North Loop Day 1 – Part 2

Continued from Part 1 There was much more nature to enjoy along the Dolly Sods North loop. About a mile in, there was a lovely field filled with different kinds of Goldenrod wildflowers. Tall Goldenrod Tall Goldenrod, or Solidago altissima, is a member of the Aster family (Asteraceae) and blooms in thickets and clearings August […]

Shenandoah National Park: Buck Ridge-Mary’s Rock-Buck Hollow Loop Part 1

This weekend we went hiking on one of our favorite loop trails in Shenandoah National Park. The loop is 9.4 miles. We have done this hike three times – last August, in February, and now in September. The hike starts from the Buck Ridge Trailhead parking lot just outside Sperryville, VA. You walk down a connector […]

Shenandoah National Park: Nicholson Hollow Trail Part 3

Continued from Part 2 The hike was a steady uphill, with an ascent of 4,600ft (measuring how much we climbed up and down), and the total climb starting at 800ft at the bottom, reaching 2,000ft at Corbin Cabin. Downy Rattlesnake Plantain Downy Rattlesnake Plantain, Downy Rattlesnake Orchid, or Goodyera bubescens, is a member of the […]

Shenandoah National Park: South Dickey Ridge Trail & Snead Farm Loop Part 2

Continued from Part 1   Scarlet Pimpernel Scarlet Pimpernel, Poor Man’s Weatherglass, or Anagallis arvensis, is a member of the Primrose family (Primulaceae) and blooms June to August. Naturalized from Europe, it grows around much of North America. This little beauty favors sandy soil and roadsides. We found quite a few of these along the […]

Shenandoah National Park: Hawksbill Mountain & Franklin Cliffs Loop Trail

On Saturday we went hiking a 9.2-mile loop starting from the Hawksbill Gap parking lot, wrapping around on the AT and the Big Meadows Horse Trail. Hawksbill Mountain is a great place to find all sorts of wildflowers. We anticipated high foot traffic at the Hawksbill summit, as it is the highest mountain in Shenandoah National Park at 4,050 […]