Happy 100th birthday, National Park Service!
How nice! Instead of expecting a gift from its guests, NPS gave a gift to the public: free admission at national parks.
Hubby and I took advantage of the free entry by visiting Shenandoah National Park for a hike.
We parked at the Little Stonyman Trailhead Parking Lot, intending to hike just the Little Stonyman trail or perhaps the trail to Stonyman Summit. It was such a beautiful morning that after we started walking, we decided to take the longer Passamaquoddy trail loop.
After viewing the Page Valley from the overlook at Little Stonyman, we headed down the Passamaquoddy trail. This was a nice hike without too much of a rise, though we did get to navigate a fairly large downed tree. (As a clumsy person, this is not normally a good idea!)
This trail had a lot of beautiful wildflowers. There was a pink mallowish plant that I couldn’t capture. It was too far away to get a good picture. I have to ID a few of these in more detail to get the actual name, but we saw yellow jewelweed, some asters, and a sunflower.
The Furnace Spring Horse Trail was a little more “uphill,” but still not strenuous. Because we took the long way, by the time we arrived at the trail to the Stonyman summit, the trail was packed. This gives us a reason to return soon (and we’ll park in the Stonyman parking lot for that hike). The last part was of the loop was the Appalachian Trail, and that portion was mostly downhill. In all, the hike is described as moderate, and I think that’s a great description for someone who doesn’t hike regularly!
If you have time this weekend, please consider visiting a National Park. Along the way, consider visiting National Historic Sites, Monuments, Memorials, and Recreation Areas. We have a goal of seeing them all some day. We’re on our way! We even have the National Park Service’s little Passport Book. The Passport Stamp Cancellations are great (free) souvenirs of trips. <Link Coming Soon>
What’s your favorite National Park?*** This personal blog is comprised solely of the opinions, views, projects, and travels of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She is lucky enough to have loving family and friends whom she drags along with her on her adventures and whom she puts to work on her little farm. She uses this blog to help promote living in the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.**