Monday, June 1, 2009

Hiking Stony Man and Hawksbill Mountains

Sunday I did my first hike of the summer.  We did two short loops (about 3 miles each) near the Skyland part of Shenandoah National Park: Stony Man Mountain and Hawksbill Mountain.  We started a little before noon, while the weather was still cool and cloudy.  It made for a slightly disappointing view when we quickly summitted Stony Man.
From there we hiked along the Appalachian Trial for about a mile and had a few more vistas.  You can see from the puddle with waves that it had rained the night before (some of the footing was slick at times) and the wind was intense on the open rock faces.
After finishing up the first hike, we drove to the base of Hawksbill Mountain-- which at 4049 feet is the tallest peak in the park.  The ascent was fast (about 800' up in less than a mile), but the sky had cleared some by the time we got up there.
In addition to the great views, we saw some very tame deer
and cool-looking insects.
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Afterwards, we went to the Skyland tap room for some delicious, and well-earned, blackberry cobbler. All in all, an excellent day.

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