The first day we hiked at the state park which proved to be quite an adventure. This time of year can be challenging due to the leaves covering the trail (which may hide things like rocks and tree roots). But after stumbling a few times, you learn to pick up your feet. We took the Rhododendron Trail to the Lake Trail crossing a rather dry creek bed.
After enjoying the view of the lake
we had two options. We could walk up the road and catch the Lake Trail, or we could try a short cut that involved climbing up a steep, slippery hill. Guess which one we chose?
You can’t fully appreciate how steep this was. But JG went first to see if it was “doable.” He barely made it to the top after sliding and banging up his legs a little. He told me he was NOT coming back down that hill, but he was also worried that I couldn’t make it up. His suggestion was that I take the road and we meet somewhere on the Lake Trail. I quickly nixed that idea and gave it my best shot. The advantage of not going first, is that the lead person has time to scout alternate routes from up above, which we found, just a few steps down from where this was shot. With the help of a tree, and JG’s hiking stick, we managed to get me on top of the hill. By the time we returned to our cabin, we were happily exhausted from the 4 mile adventure.
The next day we decided to go toward the New River Gorge and see if we could find a good hike. We stopped at the Sandstone Visitor Center located at the southern entrance to the Gorge. What an amazing facility! It’s sustainable (green) design concepts for energy efficiency, also features a floor map of the New River watershed.
The Park Ranger on duty directed us to a hike featuring two of the best vistas available, starting at Grandview (appropriately named). The 3 mile round trip starts out as an easy hike, but just before you get to the end there are some steep ups and downs and a number of steps. Of course you can also drive to both of them, so there were quite a few people at the lookouts, but hardly anyone on the trail.
It was breathtaking!
Back at the park, we kept running into this little guy who was nice enough to pose for me.
Sunday, as we were leaving the park, we decided to drive around Pipestem Resort which was only 7 miles up the road. We had stayed at Pipestem many years ago, so we just wanted to check it out again. We arrived as the fog was layered across the canyon.
All in all, an excellent weekend getaway!