Copyright © 2014 by Ralph F. Couey
I had been looking forward to this day, since circumstance and responsibility kept me off the hiking trails for the last two weeks. It has been a stressful period and I needed some time in the woods.
After perusing the maps, I chose an AT access along US 522 southeast of Front Royal. A check of Google Maps Streetview confirmed the presence of a pullout there large enough to park a few cars. As I left home early in the morning, I noted with satisfaction that it would be a spectacular late-summer day for Virginia. Temps would stay in the low 80's with low humidity, a great day for hiking.
I found the pullout and after parking and gearing up, I headed south. There was a lot of up- and down-hill to this section, but I had picked it because 4.2 miles in I would meet Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. During the initial ascent, I saw to my right a really nice overlook off a beautiful meadow, the view somewhat restricted by a tall chain link fence, which would accompany me for nearly the whole way. I'm not sure who owns that property, but they sure wanted it protected.