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Hike, swim, and eat blueberries in the Shenandoah

So it's August in DC... and that translates to HOT! Which means the perfect way to end a hike is with a splash!!! Everyone loved the refreshing waterfalls on the camping trip and wanted an encore, so here it is.

We will hike the overall run trail loop in SNP from the park boundary -- that means we get to go up first and then down! The hike is 8.5 miles and we will plan for about five hours of actual hiking time (that doesn't include our ''fun'' time, which I'll elaborate on later).

The uphill climb is steep (and quite rocky), but we'll be rewarded with some fabulous views of the valley below and overall falls, which at 93 feet is the tallest in the park! We can sit and enjoy a small snack here, but you'll probably want to save lunch for the fun later in the afternoon. After taking in the sights and maybe some calories, we will slowly make our way back down the mountain along a dirt and grass trail through the forest and meadow. As an added bonus, there's some blueberry bushes that should still have some fruit. You can pick a few handfuls to have with your lunch, or even a bunch to take home! And bonus number two is we may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a bear because this trail has the highest concentration of black bears in the park!

Just 1.5 miles from our cars is the best part of this hike... the pools! There is a pool for sitting, a pool for sliding, and even one for diving and jumping! We can hang out here for as long as people wish. Now is when it will be nice to relax and enjoy lunch as well. We'll swim, slide, dive, eat, sunbathe, sleep, people-watch, and anything else you can come up with! After everyone has had enough of nature's water park, we'll stroll back to the parking lot and drive home.

OK, disclaimer time...As you know--we care about you! We don’t want you to get hurt or get yourself into any trouble, but it’s ultimately up to you to keep yourself safe up there. You can do this by knowing your limits, so make sure you are physically able to do this hike and bring enough water. If you have doubts about your physical ability, you might want to try one of our shorter and less strenuous walks/hikes.

Driving: We’ll meet up at 9:00am at the Vienna Metro Station-NORTH parking lot (turn right after entering the gates) for carpooling purposes. This is along the Orange Line and I-66. From here, we'll head west towards the mountains (65 miles, 90 minutes). If you're running late, please call me...we'll wait for you! No worries! We’ll be back sometime between 7:00 and 8:00pm (this will depend on how long we hang out at the pools).

What to bring: plenty of water (2-3 liters), a hearty lunch, a granola bar or two, a ziplock bag if you plan on taking home some blueberries, sunglasses and sunscreen, swimsuit and/or change of clothes, and of course your smile

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone! My number:[masked]

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Someone left a cell phone Otter box cover in my car.

    August 10, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    what a great adventure!

    August 6, 2012

  • Susan C

    It was a great hike. Challenging!

    August 6, 2012

  • Nadia

    Total awesome day!!!
    Thank you Cassie and Albert for all the hard work you put in making this hike such a pleasurable experience!

    August 6, 2012

  • Olga

    Wonderful and challenging hike with great views. It was also an experience that Sofie, Mimi and I will never forget ;) Thank you Tom for the ride. Thank you Cassie for organizing this event.

    August 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed with the absence of the blueberries. It was still a great day with some fabulous people! I always love meeting the new faces! The rain added some excitement too. Very enjoyable hike!

    August 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    i love cassie!!!! great fun..wet and wild!! thanks cassie!!!

    August 5, 2012

  • Tom

    Found everyone :)

    August 5, 2012

    • Susan C

      So happy to hear that. Everyone ok though?

      August 5, 2012

    • Sophia

      Hey Susan! Yes, we're ok.

      1 · August 5, 2012

  • Sunjeev

    Hey Organizers -- does the carpooling from Vienna metro generally work out in terms of those with cars and those of us without? Trying to figure out if I should rent a car or not.

    August 4, 2012

    • Sunjeev

      Thanks Amanda. My metro gets into Vienna at 9:05 so I hope you don't mind waiting a couple extra minutes :)

      August 5, 2012

    • Sunjeev

      Hey Amanda - didn't realize Vienna metro is closed today. Catching a metro shuttle from East Falls. Should be 10-15 minutes late, but feel free to head off. I have a Zip car backup.

      August 5, 2012

  • Olga

    Fyi... There is also a sierra group here going to the doahs besides our group.

    August 5, 2012

  • Helen Z.

    sorry, i can't make it today. Have a wonderful time, everybody!

    August 5, 2012

  • Olga

    Am here at metro

    August 5, 2012

  • Tom

    I'm here at the north parking lot (without all the meters and taxis). Black SUV on the left side

    August 5, 2012

  • Tom

    I'll aim to be at the metro by 8:45. I have a black Ford Expedition, room for 5-7 depending on gear.

    August 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Evening/Good Morning All, I will be driving directly from Fairfax City to the trail head tomorrow morning and look forward to seeing you all there by 10:30 AM. In case anyone else is early, I drive a Gray Subaru Impreza with a Caps sticker on the lower right part of my back window.

    August 5, 2012

  • Sunjeev

    Amanda - thanks. And thanks Cassie.

    August 4, 2012

  • Nancy

    What time will the event end?
    Thanks

    August 4, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Yes, we expect to be at the trail about 10:30. Thank you, Adam for getting the coordinates. I'll email directions so everyone has them. I'm looking forward to a great day!!

    August 4, 2012

  • Martin

    does anyone know the address or GPS coordinates of the trailhead?

    August 2, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I found the same, but could not recognize any parking lot there. Only farms.

      August 3, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      There is a small gravel parking lot near the end of the road, before the private property signs

      August 4, 2012

  • Sunjeev

    (meaning if I just show up at Vienna)

    August 4, 2012

  • Tom

    I just realized you guys haven't selected a motivational song for the hike. Last week, we had Eye of the Tiger. I'm suggesting. Blueberry Hill: I found my thrill ......on blueberry hill
    On blueberry hill ......when I found you
    The moon stood still ......on blueberry hill
    And lingered until ......my dreams came true... Of course I can't officially pick the song.

    August 4, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Coming with 12 year old daughther. Will need to carpool from Vienna.

    August 4, 2012

  • Helen Z.

    I'm to head there directly too. did anyone check with the park admin (meant to today, but busy doing something else, then forgot this) - there is a Parking sign on the map, it looks not far from where we planned to start hiking. So it's probably better if we can meet at the park site?! Cassie, is 10:30am realistic to meet at the parking site?

    August 4, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi any one coming from Rockville/Bethesda MD area?

    August 3, 2012

  • Olga

    May be interested in car pooling and contributing towards gas. Thank you.

    August 3, 2012

  • Adam

    Parking appears to be roadside, not a parking lot. Been a while since this was site was updated, so take it with a grain of salt:

    http://www.midatlantichikes.com/id120.html

    Coordinates would be:[masked], [masked]

    August 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    As some of others I would like to get the trail without stopping at Vienna. Dear host, please give us specific describtion in terms of GPS coordinates or road directions. As far as I know up to date trail begins somewhere at the end of Thompson Hollow Road (SR 630).

    Thank you in advance.

    August 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi everyone! I'm coming from Gaithersburg, but can meet at a metro station. Does anyone have room for me to carpool? I'll chip in for gas

    August 3, 2012

  • Sujatha

    Hi Cassie, If we plan to meet in SNP what time do you plan to be there ? Also can you give an address or coordinates to plug in my GPS please? Thanks

    August 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    When we meet at Vienna metro, I will have room for 2 more.

    August 1, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I have room for you. I can take a total of 5 including me. You make a total of 4 Sophia.

      August 2, 2012

    • Sophia

      Sweet! Thank you Johanna - see you Sunday!

      August 2, 2012

  • Tom

    I guess we're too late in the season to see any AT thru hikers in va. I've been watching biopthera's videos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAmqcmCyq64&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    August 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I live in DC. Right off the Takoma Park Metro Stop. I am going to drive. If any one wants a ride get in touch. ~Jessica

    July 26, 2012

    • Sunjeev

      Hi Jessica - do you still have space available?

      August 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello, I'm glad to join you all on Sunday! I might leave early, say around 3:00 or 4:00 PM, in order to get ready for the following work day.

    August 1, 2012

  • Helen Z.

    Hello, I'm from DC. If anyone likes to have a ride, the best for picking up is Union Station, then we can straight away head to I-66. I can take 2 people.

    August 1, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll need to carpool from Vienna. Will chip for gas.

    August 1, 2012

  • Tom

    There are a few people along the blue line that need a ride. I'm at the end of the blue line in Springfield. There are 7:30 and 7:47 trains leaving Rosslyn to Springfield Franconia--arrive at 8 and 8:15 respectively. I'd prefer to meet at the springfield metro and we can head to Vienna from springfield. This is easier on me than driving into the city to pick people up. That said, the metro isn't always reliable and there might be construction. So I could make a stop at 1 designated place

    August 1, 2012

  • Crystal

    I lived in Crystal city, can anyone give me a ride in Crystal city or Rosslyn Metro and surely share the gas fee. Thank you very much.

    July 31, 2012

  • toko

    Im coming from pentagon city. Would be grateful if I can be picked up. Thank you

    July 30, 2012

  • Tom

    I'm heading to Vienna from springfield near metro. I can pick up people at the springfield fmetro. Good chance I'll drive to Shen as I have lots of room.

    July 30, 2012

  • Philippe H.

    Hello!
    I could share a ride and share cost of gas if someone could pick me up. I live near Landmark Mall off Picketr Street. THank you for contacting me
    Philip

    July 29, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here is a link to download a trail map. http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/mapshiking.htm. on the Matthews arm map, you can view this hike. The route is:Thompson hollow trail to the loop of Tuscarora-overall run trail and Beecher ridge trail done clockwise

    July 28, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Because we are parking outside the park boundary and not entering via skyline drive, we won't have top paythe entrance fee

    July 28, 2012

  • Jasmine

    Jessica: I live close to Brookland CUA metro station. I can meet you up at Takoma Park metro stop. Would you like to me join with you? I will chip in gas.

    July 26, 2012

  • Jasmine

    @All: I need a ride and can meet at any metro station. I will chip in gas.

    July 26, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Cassie,
    Could you share a trail map link .....
    ,

    July 25, 2012

  • Susan C

    Is there a map of the trail that can be posted?

    July 23, 2012

  • Errol S.

    I cool swim will be fantastic!

    July 19, 2012

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