It’s our last day to explore the Shenandoahs. It’s going to be a beautiful, sunny, breezy 75F summer day, the perfect weather for the hikes we picked out.
Mary’s Rock Summit Trail from the Meadow Spring Parking Area. (2.9 miles, 830’ elevation). You do have to earn this summit (hence the feature image, that was a tough way to wake up!) but it’s worth it with almost 360 views.
Dark Hollow Falls (1.4 total miles out and back, 440’ elevation. This is the tallest waterfall in the park with 70’ of cascades. I’m glad we did it once but I don’t expect to hike it again. It’s very crowded and a tough enough climb on an unappealing, utilitarian trail to make it not worth it to me to ever go again.
Blackrock Summit (1 mile loop, 175’ elevation). The exposed rocks of Blackrock formed the seabed of the lapetus Ocean, an ancient body of water that predates the Appalachian Mountains. The geological forces that created the mountains changed the seabed into solid quartzite rock. You can see the layers of sand and quartzite on the rocks. Blackrock is still changing. Weathering has caused what was once a cliff to crumble into a talus slope, a river of moving rock.
This awesome trail takes you right through the talus rock. We climbed to the top for 360 degree views.