The Limberlost Trail is a flat crushed-gravel path through what used to be a hemlock forest, a very accessible hike through some lush nature, with lots of wildlife if you walk at the right time. We were there in the late morning so all we saw were a chipmunk and a duskywing butteryfly on some wildflowers. Lots of ferns, too.
Geologically interesting halfway around the loop were these basalt fragments forming columnar joints:
Over at Big Meadows we encountered three adolescent fawns grazing on the brush. One was bold/stupid enough to approach within a few feet. (Remember that it is unlawful to feed wildlife in the park.)
The downward-sloping southwest end of the meadow afforded lovely views of Shenandoah Valley beyond.
Lunch at Big Meadows Lodge only runs till 2PM — we missed it, but it was worth tarrying at the lodge for a bit to see the view from the rear balcony.
For lunch we ended up at the Wayside food stop instead, where we had some very good old-fashioned fried chicken, atop Old Dominion placemats.
After Big Meadows it was time to ascend Hawksbill Summit. There are two trails up: upper and lower. We opted for the far more relaxing upper route, which was far more green and lush than last time I was there. The view from the top was lovely as always.
On the way down I noted this interesting twisted tree trunk.
There are still so many Shenandoah hikes I wish I had time to do. Maybe next time we’ll try horse rides.