Sunday, February 13, 2011
It was a nice day for a hike. We got a late start so we decided to go someplace that wasn't too awful far away that we hadn't visited in a while, and Valley Falls won! I don't think Delia had ever been there before - she thought the falls would be taller.
The sun was shining but there was still a chill in the air. No ice on the Tygart Valley River though. We walked a little section of the River Trail until we came upon a patch that was snow covered, and the consensus was to turn around and go back. Nobody wanted to slip on the ice and fall into the rushing river!
Before we left home I uploaded a trail map to my iPhone so we would have it if we needed it. Very Handy. After a quick scan we settled on one that looked like fun. We set out up the park road in search of the Deer Trail trailhead and found it in a few minutes. The lower section of the Deer Trail is broad and wide, mostly well graveled and very easy to walk. It follows the river a little ways above the railroad tracks.
We came to a switchback which is near the edge of the park boundary, and the trail climbs steeply uphill from there. There are no blazes, markings or signs after the switchback, and the trail narrows to about a foot wide and has no gravel. A seasoned hiker probably wouldn't have much trouble following it in good weather, but novices beware! After it crossed the little stream pictured above, Keith and Delia couldn't find it again and thought about turning back. A mountain bike track in the mud on the other side gave us a good clue, and we eventually found the trail again.
The steep uphill climb was pretty hard on us all, so out of shape from being inside all winter. Delia wasn't particularly happy with us when I snapped the above picture. She began to get concerned that we would be walking in the woods FOREVER. It wasn't long before we spotted the park road and began our relatively easy mile or so downhill back to the parking lot. The snacks (that we forgot to carry on our hike) were ravenously consumed!
All these pictures were taken with my new iPhone (thank you Keith, second best Valentine EVER). I love it so much, it can keep my trail maps and flora/fauna identification guides small and handy. It even has a compass. Anybody know of a good trail map app?