My son and I took a trip out west towards the mountains last weekend. He has been itching to go out and do another difficult hike. I am ecstatic of course because I think its great that one of my kids wants to hike! We kept on going back and forth on where to go. I wanted to go to Sharp Top, but reading recent reviews on AllTrails made us have second thoughts because of the crowds that likely would be there. It is peak leave changing season so we figured it would pretty much be packed.
We decided to head out towards Sperryville and do Little Devils Stairs Trail. It was rated as "moderate" on AllTrails, but I would definitely label it "difficult"! It was difficult but absolutely gorgeous. Think fall leaves. Mountain streams. Blue skies. The weather was perfect. I can't imagine doing that hike in the middle of summer although most of it was shaded..
We started out from a crowded parking lot and proceeded up the trail thinking that we would be tripping over people. We did not though. We made the unfortunate error of not downloading the trail map from AllTrails and I felt pretty stupid once we realized it. We were expecting a 6 mile loop trail, but when we got to the top it intersected with the Appalachian Trail. We did not know whether to go left or right. We decided to go right, but we soon realized that the trail down was not that way.
We later found out we should have taken a LEFT when we got up the trail and taken the Keyser Trail down which ended up on a fire road. Again I feel stupid for not downloading the map. We ended going right back down from where we came which was tricky. There is something like 12 stream crossings. Another thing that would have been helpful would have been bringing my trekking poles.. I fell on my butt twice trying to hike down the rocks trying to keep up with my son.
My son has been interested in looking for fungi on our hikes. I have no idea where this comes from, but he has been teaching me a lot that I didn't know. He pointed this out on a fallen tree on our way back down. I have recently become a fan of iNaturalist and was able to identify its proper name.
A couple of days past and I decided to do a 2 page spread in my nature journal of some of the things I saw.
I am really loving this nature journal since I started it in the spring. It is now becoming a record of my travels and I love looking through it. Nature journaling...so much to learn but I'm enjoying it.
Thanks for reading!