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Sep 21, 2010

Hike VA: St. Mary's Wilderness

St. Mary’s Wilderness
Distance: 10.2 miles
Start: Mine Bank Trailhead, Milpost 23 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Difficulty: Strenuous
Campsite: Sherando Lake National Recreation Area

On this the first day of fall, we did our longest and most strenuous hike in quite awhile, with a 1,000-foot ascent to 3518 feet, quite a lung-buster for us sea-level dwellers!

Despite summertime temps in the low 90s, the leaves are really changing up here, beautiful hues of red, yellow and orange mixing with the green. Once in awhile a cool fall-ish breeze would come through and cause a flurry of yellow hickory leaves to gently fall to the ground.

From our campsite at Sherando Lake, we had a nearly full moon every night, bright enough to light our way on a nighttime hike up to the lake. Fall is a beautiful time in the Blue Ridge and the parkway is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

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