Dense fog on LHHT

Autumn in Shenandoah National Park

I know it’s been a long time since my last post. I’m catching up on editing and life really, which sometimes gets in the way. Inspiration has been tough to come by and sleep has been winning out. There are two great seasons to visit Shenandoah National Park, Spring and Autumn. Usually I’m there in the Spring, early spring when the trees are still bare, there is sometimes lots of snow and sometimes not. The streams are starting to gurgle and the waterfalls flow is increasing. It’s a lovely time. This time I got to enjoy the park in autumn. The leaves were starting to turn beautiful bright colors of yellow and orange. The mornings were the typical foggy morning one thinks about when they think Shenandoah. Usually exploring the central section of Shenandoah, this time I started to explore the southern section. This came with the prospect of checking out two new waterfalls and several cascades along the stream that meanders the trail. Shenandoah is strenuous at least compared with most things on my side of Pennsylvania, this hike was no different. If you go down, you’re gonna have to go back up. We started almost at the southern most trail head taking a fire road down to the trail, effectively cutting off a mile or so. That dropped me down to Doyle’s River, a cool and clear mountain stream that runs along the trail, the water was alluring and immediately I setup in the middle of the stream looking to capture the rushing water, mossy rocks and the most beautiful leaves starting to turn yellow.

Cool Mountain Stream

Further down the trail I came upon a small waterfall surrounded by a pool of water and fallen leaves, this area I had to myself as the main attraction on this trail was the 28-ft main falls was just 0.1 below. Continuing on I next wanted to catch the next waterfall along the loop. This one at 42-ft drops nearly vertical over a steep cliff which one can feel the sprays of water off the rocks below upon arriving. The trail leading up to the falls was beautiful but it was also my ascent which meant I kept my head down and hiked as fast as possible nearly missing everything along the path. One special moment that I absolutely didn’t miss was a young whitetail jump onto the trail just ahead of me. It was as unconcerned with me as long as I stood still, which I did, to watch. Shenandoah is beautiful most anytime of the year, but even more-so in Spring and Autumn. I’m so grateful to have spent the day on the trail even if I was more tired then I’d have have been before. Even so being in nature is always refreshing. I absolutely cannot wait for our usual spring trip and I will make it a point to head back to this trail to take in the beauty once more.

Small waterfall off the stream with fallen tree
SLB Photography
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