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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Will Be Hard to Beat

~Thursday, May 27, 2021~

Day 347

Just lovin’ our campsite at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park. Jeff and I were comparing notes about our favorite national parks. I guess at some point, maybe when we’re done with this little excursion of ours, we’ll have to assemble a few top 5 lists such as top 5 national parks, top 5 campgrounds, top 5 memorable moments, top 5 memorable moments we’d like to forget, etc., etc. What I will reveal today is our favorite hike of the trip and have to say, it is the one we took today. Hiking these trails in this beautiful national park just begs you to do more. Sadie is really diggin’ it too (no pun intended), as dogs are allowed on most of the trails (kind of surprising since most national parks do not allow dogs on trails). As I wrote the other day, a park ranger had given us three trail maps; hiking trails that were his favorites in the park, so now we can share and compare now that we’ve done all three. As usual, Jeff and I agree on the order. The hike today is #1, the hike yesterday to Rapidan Camp is #2 and the Hawksbill Gap Trail to the scenic overlook is #3, all in terms of beauty. And we’re sure there are more since there are over 600 miles of trails in the entire park.

The hike today…….the Rose River Trail-a 4-mile loop trail that again, is just minutes from our campsite beginning at Fisher’s Gap. On a hunch, we decided to take the fire road section first, which put us in a counter-clockwise direction. It was the right decision, since the heavy rock trail portion was on the uphill (less chance of slipping). We don’t recall ever seeing such a beautiful fire road, since its gravel path was completely surrounded by wildflowers and Hemlock trees as far as the eye could see.

The fire road was pretty level until we started making a gentle descent to the Rose River. It’s at that point the fire road ends and the main trail begins, following the curves of the Rose River until you get to the 60 foot Rose River Falls. We stopped here to have a light snack and hydrate before the remainder of the hike (knowing it would all be up hill). We really couldn’t get enough of the cascading waterfalls that seemed to repeat one after the other. There was only one main river crossing, with a very sturdy, steel bridge held up by one large stone foundation to help you get across. It looks like a lot of effort must have gone into building it and maybe even helicoptered in?

The remainder of the trail was rocky and steep in portions, but we must be getting used to the higher altitude by now since we didn’t think it was that difficult. Bring on the next trail! One thing's for sure….it will be hard to beat these hikes we’ve done in stunning Shenandoah National Park.

Our last day in the park wouldn’t be complete without visiting the lodge one last time. No rain after all and nice temperatures allowed us to enjoy the views for a few hours. While Jeff started a new book, I worked on my journaling and booked a few reservations…...need to take advantage of the internet while you can. The campground is really filling up now with Memorial Day right around the corner. At least until the Fall, every place we stay will be full due to summer break. We’re thankful we planned everything way in advance.

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