Field Trip: Three Fall Destinations For The Outdoor Enthusiast


The Shenandoah Valley is home to some of the best hiking trails, the most well known being the Appalachian Trail. Virginia hosts a full quarter of the 2,135-mile Appalachian Trail. Along this particular segment of the AT, hikers will find overlooks, waterfalls, and preserved historical homesteads.

Here in Virginia, we love being outdoors this time of year. With the weather cooling off and the leaves turning brilliant colors it's the perfect opportunity to take a hike and explore someplace new. If you are looking for a great place to hike or camp this fall, check out some of our favorite destinations below.

Humpback Rock

Humpback Rock is a popular hike destination located near Afton Mountain in the Shenandoah Valley. This unique overlook is made up of a large cluster of rocks shadowing the Shenandoah and Rockfish Valleys.

There are several different trails you can take to get to the top of Humpback Rock, the most popular one being a 1-mile hike ascending around 800ft.

Not for the faint of heart, this hike is well worth the views at the top.
The rock, so named for the hump it creates on the side of the mountain, gives you a spectacular view of the surrounding valleys, and on a good day, you can see for miles.
 
This trail also includes a picnic area near the summit where you can take in the views while you refuel. We recommend this hike for anyone, as there are options for both the serious and casual hiker.

Bearfence Mountain


Photo by hikingshenandoah.blogspot.com

Another great hike with amazing views is Bearfence Mountain. This trail is located off of Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park.

This hike has two different levels of difficulty; easy and moderate. The easy loop leads you to a viewing point, where you have a 360 view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The moderate hike takes you on the same trail, but before you reach the overlook you will encounter a rock scramble before reaching the top.

Note: pets are not allowed on the rock scramble and children are discouraged from this particular trail.

Douthat State Park


Photo by dcr.virginia.gov

Although not in the Shenandoah Valley, Douthat State Park sits just to the West and is situated in the Allegheny Mountains.

Douthat was one of six original State Parks in Virginia. Opening in 1936, the cabins, roads, and facilities were all built by young unemployed men during the Great Depression. Under the CCC Act created by President Franklin Roosevelt, the Civilian Conservation Corps worked to reverse deforestation and preserve the natural land.

This park is a hidden gem and just a few hours drive from Harrisonburg, VA. Featuring a camping area, cabins, and a 50-acre lake, this spot is perfect for a weekend getaway. Douthat also has more miles of hiking trails than any other Virginia state park.

Supplies

If you are heading out into the wild for the weekend, be sure you go prepared with some of our favorite outdoor products.

Our Opinel No. 8 Pocket Knife features an anti-corrosive blade that is 3.35" long and includes a locking safety ring and natural beech wood handle. This knife will see you through any adventure, whether you are foraging for mushrooms or sharpening a marshmallow stick.

Speaking of foraging, the next time you are out trudging through the leaves, pull on a pair of American Trench socks. These socks are made of American sourced merino wool reinforced with anti-microbial silver in the toe and heel of the sock to reduce odor.

And for those who like to rough it under the stars, we have enamelware for all your over-the-fire needs. Our Falcon Enamelware mug is the perfect vessel for drinking that hot cup of coffee with just a hint of campfire smoke. We also carry several other enamel products including plates and bowls. Durable and hardwearing, these dishes will not break when dropped. Perfect for the outdoors.

John Muir said it best, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn."


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