As I plan for a long overdue backpacking trip this weekend, I am stuck looking at the maps for Shenandoah and trying to remember all the trails I have already taken. I have sort of a bucket list life goal of hiking every single trail along skyline drive. How the hell am I supposed to get that goal down right if I can’t even remember where I hiked before? I now realize my memory can’t hold all this stuff all by itself. It is going to be a battle, a challenge, as it were. I must now go back and try to document all the hikes and trips.
So, of course, I’ve done Old Rag. It is not really conducive for camping though, more just for a nice epic day hike.
The other hike I definitely recall with fondness was the first actual backpacking trip I did. The crew was mixed with people who were out of shape and in shape and my buddy Joe brought a full on air mattress. It must have weighed about 50 pounds. It was no wonder he barely made it out alive.
The Hike: Piney Branch and Little Devils Stairs
We parked at the Hogback Mountain overlook and travelled down to the trailhead for the Piney Branch Trail. We took that all the way down to the Hull School Trail and ended up camping there at a beautiful stream intersection. The bad part was, we did all the down hill the first day and had a ton of up hill left. We traveled up the Hull School Trail and when we got to the fire road, those that were out of shape took it up. My buddy Jesse and I hiked up the Little Devil’s Stairs. It was glorious and beautiful. We barely made it out alive with all four of us.
The Hike: Millprong Trail to Laurel Prong Trail
We parked at Milam Gap parking. This was a pretty brutal hike for the three of us that went, but fortunately, we were all in pretty decent shape. The first day of hiking was pretty boring. The Laurel Pront Trail was pretty though, and good for camping next to a fresh water supply. At the top, when you get to the split to Cat Knob, I thought it was breath taking. It looked like a little secluded glade. Then, the rest of the trip was a pretty easy hike back down the Appalachian Trail. Once we got to the top of Hazeltop Mountain, the rest of the journey was a relaxing walk along the AT. Also, the Rapidan Camp and Five Tents were an interesting little foray in the middle of the woods. Random museum.
The Hike: Beecher Ridge Trail and Overall Run Trail
We parked at the amphitheater and got lost trying to find our way through the camp grounds. Once we did, we hiked through a rainy, dreary day, but that didn’t make it any less fun. The Overall Run Falls were pretty, and they were a nice reward for a hard day of hiking. It was just my buddy Jon and I and I can’t remember where exactly we camped or how it was.
The Hike: There was this other hike that I can’t remember the trails.
The hike ended up being a 17-miler overnight. If anyone other than Jon or I had done that hike, we might not have made it out. We did about 15 miles the first day and the last two on the next morning, we LIMPED out of there. Me more than him. I need to figure out which trails that was because that was obviously a lot more I can mark off my list that I have hiked. (I think that it was AT to Neighbor Mountain Trail to Jeremy’s Run and back up, but I can’t be 100% certain)
I need to use my mapping abilities to actually just get a big map of all the trails and highlight them as I do them all. That would make things one hell of a lot easier. Cheers to the future of making this goal a reality I can complete. With the blog, it’ll certainly make it easier to keep track of all these trails.