RICHMOND, Va. — Every Tuesday, members of the Virginia This Morning team share a list of six of their favorite things.
The topic changes, but the goal remains the same — to inspire you to try something new!
This week, we asked Keep Virginia Cozy to take over our Top 6 Picks! Keep Virginia Cozy works to conserve our land through outreach, restoration and research. Its mission is to protect wilderness and inspire all Virginians to care for our wild places. One great way to get immersed in nature in by hiking! So we asked Brian Bell of Keep Virginia Cozy to share six of his favorite trails to explore in the Commonwealth. Thanks for the fantastic recommendations, Brian!
1. Emerald Pond (Massanutten Mountain) - This low mile ridge hike straddles the peak of Massanutten Mountain! Wonderful views of the Shenandoah valley to the west as you traverse pine floored forests and rocky outcroppings! The hike ends at the aptly named Emerald Pond, a spring fed pond that sits in the shadow of Massanutten Summit! Want to see the brightest stars you’ve ever seen? Be sure to check this gem out in the fall!
2. Blackrock Summit (SNPS) - This 2 mile out and back trail, in the southern section of Shenandoah National Park, offers views for miles and miles! Keep your eyes peeled for snakes in the summer, as the rocks are a wonderful place for them to warm up!
3. Rose River Falls (SNPS) - This 6 mile loop, in the central district of Shenandoah National Park, offers views of Rose River Falls (pictured) and Dark Hollow Falls! This hike is in the backcountry of Shenandoah and it is highly likely you’ll see a bear or three while hiking it! Dip your feet in cool mountain water to re-energize your hiking legs and listen closely for the sounds of the leaves letting go and floating down the river!
4. Upper Falls/Hone Quarry (GWNF) - This short but rewarding trail to hone quarry falls is located in the George Washington National Forest, just west of Harrisonburg Virginia, and is waiting for you to explore it! Be sure to bring a snack or packed lunch so you can enjoy a picnic by these stair stepping falls!
5. Douthat State Park - Douthat State Park, over in Millsboro, Virginia, is home to miles and miles of trails! Easy to challenging, you decide the adventure level! If you’re a leaf peeper and want to see maple and birch in all their glory, head over a few weeks before Thanksgiving for the forests prime color display!
6. Old Rag Loop (SNPS) - This strenuous loop, in Shenandoah’s central district, is undoubtedly the most popular hike in the park. So, be prepared for other humans on the trail! Dogs are not allowed on this hike, as the rock scramble at the end would be too dangerous for them. Pack a lot of water (more than you think you need) and give yourself enough time to make it back before dark!
Keep Virginia Cozy reminds you to always practice Leave No Trace principles while exploring these wonderful areas.
If you’re interested in learning more about Leave No Trace or how you can give back to these areas so they will be around for generations to come, head on over to their Instagram and Facebook pages or click here to visit their website.
"Bottom line: Get outside. Be safe. Be kind. Smile at strangers. Pick up litter. KEEP VIRGINIA COZY!"
Check back next Tuesday when the Virginia This Morning team shares another Top 6 Picks list!