Happy Reunion

Tucked away in hills of Southwest Virgina, is a little gem hike known as The Channels.  This was my third trip out there, but a first time adventure for my Weekday Warriors.

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We have not hiked together all summer.  We took the summer off because of travels, heat, and bugs.  But now the fall weather has arrived and we had the most incredible day!  Blue skies, good friends, and the most amazing rock formations.

The Channels are 400 million year old sandstone outcroppings.  It’s probably best if I just show you.

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When you arrive at the top of the trail, you only need look for the signature fire tower to know you are heading in the right direction.

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Not everyone is aware that there is a fantastic view and a chance to stand on top of another group of rock formations, just to the left of the main hike.  We were happy to have this spot to ourselves while we enjoyed lunch together in the sun.

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There’s also a bit of a view if you are willing to climb up a sandy and somewhat slippery boulder.

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It’s always fun to take hikers to a place I’ve been before.  I get to see it anew through them.  We spent an hour exploring everything, it was a full day, and we all went home tired, but happy.

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I’m just glad to be back out on the trails with my hiking buddies.  They are the best!!

 

Channeling the Channels

Trying to plan a hike, weeks in advance, can be challenging.  For one thing, people’s plans can change – but more importantly, you cannot predict the weather that far out.  Today, gathering my working friends who can only hike on the weekend, we were gifted with a perfect fall day.

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The drive was just under 2 hours, with the last 13 miles on a twisty, winding road that led us to the trail head that would take us to The Channels.

Just a little over 3 miles up, the trail starts out as a gravel road and then splits off to a proper trail.  A little steep at times, but this is definitely doable for almost anyone.  There are a couple of views on the way up, but this one awaits you at the top

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along with this fire tower,

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and this deserted shack.

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But of course, the main attraction is the Channels themselves.  The Channels are sandstone rock formations that create a maze.

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They are beautiful, and will bring out the inner child in you as you explore each new path and squeal with delight when you realize how cool this place is.  Pictures cannot really capture these intriguing works of art.

After relaxing, exploring and feeding our faces a bit, we descended to another area that is called the “hidden channels.”  They weren’t hidden very well.

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They were also fascinating structures, but this time we were on top of them and able to enjoy the surrounding mountains.

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Me, with my weekend hikers, Beth, Debbie, and some of you may recognize fellow blogger, LB from Life on the Bike.

We had such a fun day, with the best weather we could possibly hope for, and the companionship of good friends who share a love of hiking.

As a side note:  Two years ago, almost to the day, I did this hike with JG.  Things have changed since then.  For one thing, the parking lot is bigger and fuller – people are beginning to discover this hike.  There is now a lodge, and the trail has been updated with signs (or else we just didn’t notice them before).

It’s definitely worth the trip – my friends rated it 5 stars.  I rate it as a perfect way to spend a fall day.  Thanks for stopping by.

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