Shenandoah National Park (May 2015)

Saturday was a perfect day to go back up to Shenandoah over the weekend for a few short hikes: the super-easy Limberlost Trail, a walk around Big Meadows, and the upper trail to Hawksbill Summit.

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.

Butterfly on Wildflowers

Geologically interesting halfway around the loop were these basalt fragments forming columnar joints:

Interesting rock formations, Limberlost Trail, Shenandoah #throughglass

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.

Big Meadows, Shenandoah National Park

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.

View from rear of Big Meadows Lodge, Shenandoah National Park

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.

Virginia placemat, Big Meadows Wayside Restaurant, Shenandoah

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.

View from Hawksbill Summit

On the way down I noted this interesting twisted tree trunk.

Twisted Tree Trunk, Upper Hawksbill Trail, Shenandoah #throughglass

There are still so many Shenandoah hikes I wish I had time to do. Maybe next time we’ll try horse rides.

Full May 2015 Shenandoah photo album, and some Google Glass POV video.