Blackberrry Ice Cream Hike Part Deux

The easiest way to beat the heat in July is to get to the highest elevations around and just stay there, which we will do in spades today as we hike between the only two peaks above 4000 feet in Shenandoah National Park. Temperatures at such exalted heights should be 10-15 degrees cooler than down in the sweltering flatlands. Plus, we'll enjoy one spectacular overlook after another along the way. We'll begin by marching from Skyline Drive to Hawksbill (4050 feet), where we'll lunch with unobstructed views in almost every direction. Then we'll bump along the Appalachian Trail a few miles north to the lofty summit of Stony Man (4010 feet), with a breathtaking view across the Shenandoah Valley. Our day will end at Skyland Resort below Stony Man, featuring Shenandoah's notorious blackberry ice cream and other treats. Total length of this moderate-to-strenuous barbell-shaped hike (with loops at both ends) is 10.5 miles, with about 1700 feet of cumulative elevation gain. Bring plenty of beverages, lunch, bug spray, sunscreen, and about $20 for admission, transportation and trip fees. No pets allowed on the Stony Man Nature Trail. Veteran Adventurers may remember our abortive attempt of this same itinerary two summers ago. This time we hope for neither a tropical downpour nor any additional drama. Meet at 9 a.m. in the East Falls Church Metro Kiss & Ride lot.

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  • Sam B

    Great hike and great group of friends.

    2 · July 17, 2013

  • Jeff H.

    Thank you for being one of the all-around friendliest groups I ever hiked with. Hope to see each and every one of you on another trail soon.

    2 · July 8, 2013

  • Jeff H.

    You could call this the Bear Hike. We’re not referring to those creatures who prowl the Eagle and the streets of Dupont Circle, but rather our other furry friends who roam in the forest. As our friendly group of 17 Adventurers hiked along the Appalachian Trail, people coming from the opposite direction kept alerting us about bears ahead. And they were right. All of us spotted at least one bear during the hike, and one of us even managed to spy five. In between the bear sightings, we made our way up the two highest peaks of Shenandoah National Park (Hawksbill & Stony Man), and took a long stroll along the portion of the AT that connects the two. In the process, we enjoyed some of the most expansive vistas that SNP has to offer. After a tiring 10-mile trek, most of us were more than ready to retire to Skyland Lodge for a hearty meal, topped with generous portions of blackberry ice cream. It was a long day (some of us didn’t get home until after midnight), but one to savor and remember.

    1 · July 8, 2013

  • Amy S.

    thanks everyone for a great day/afternoon! great people and great hiking. As a word of warning, I seem to have picked up a tick bite...I don't know if that's from hiking or camping, but you might want to check.

    1 · July 7, 2013

  • Beth

    Great time, as always! Thanks Jeff for leading the hike! Just posted the bear pics I took... enjoy :)

    July 7, 2013

  • Debora

    Thanks Jeff. It was great fun!

    1 · July 7, 2013

  • Anne B

    Great hike, nice people

    2 · July 7, 2013

  • Jay D.

    really sorry that my plans had to change. hope the hike is awesome!

    July 5, 2013

  • Steve

    sorry...have to back out at last minute due to achilles pain...have fun!!

    July 6, 2013

    • Jeff H.

      Hope you can join us soon.

      July 6, 2013

  • Sarah

    Hi,
    looking forward to the hike. Anyone driving in from Georgetown and wanting to carpool to East Falls?

    July 5, 2013

  • Debora

    Hi Jeff: What is the address of the trailhead?

    July 5, 2013

    • Jeff H.

      Hi Debora - I just emailed them to you. if anyone else wants to go directly to the trailhead, just email me.

      July 5, 2013

    • Debora

      Thanks Jeff. I just arranged to carpool with Sam from Baltimore to the Metro station. See you there.

      July 5, 2013

  • Jeff H.

    Greetings to all hiking and blackberry ice cream enthusiasts! It looks like we're going to have a lovely day on Saturday for our hike. While our fellows in the DC area will be sweltering, we will enjoy sunny, low 80's weather. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and bug spray (the insects have been especially plentiful this summer). We'll be making our usual Sheetz stop for those who want to pick up lunch -- otherwise please bring your own edibles suitable for rooftop dining at 4,000 feet. If your plans have changed, PLEASE change your RSVP - otherwise I look forward to seeing all of you at East Falls Church metro or at the trailhead. The trail and the ice cream await!

    July 5, 2013

  • Ralph F.

    Due to circumstances beyound my control have to cancell. Sorry no cookies

    July 5, 2013

  • Ralph F.

    looking forward to the hike, just not sure the cookies will be there.

    1 · July 4, 2013

    • Amy S.

      The cookiemaker will be but sadly the cookies will not as we will be coming from camping.

      July 4, 2013

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