Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Oh, Go Take a (Local) Hike

June 29, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Columns 4 Comments
Molly

By Molly Pinson Simoneau

Now that summer is in full swing, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to stay inside watching the Real Housewives of wherever or playing the latest first-person shooter game. Instead, it’s time to hit the trails, and Loudoun County has plenty of hiking trails nearby. Here are two of my favorite spots that are perfect for getting some exercise, some peace and quiet, and to observe the local wildlife:

The Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship (BRCES), is an excellent place for beginners to take an easy hike. With a diverse landscape which features young forests, meadows, ponds and streams, BRCES is a great area for wildlife spotting, so pack your binoculars. History buffs will love poking around the old homesteads scattered throughout the property. The center boasts 14 trails which add up to 9 miles, of which you can wander as much or as little as you like. There are plenty of picnic spots at BRCES as well. Take route 9 west past Hillsboro and turn right on Harpers Ferry Rd. Keep an eye out for the small sign for BRCES on the left at 11661 Harpers Ferry Road. The Center is open from dawn ‘til dusk and there is parking available by the information kiosk.

If you’re up for more of a challenge, a hike out and back to Raven’s Rocks should fit the bill. Head west on route 7 past Round Hill and Bluemont. Just beyond the top of the mountain, turn right on Pine Road where you’ll see the trailhead on your immediate right. This is the famous Appalachian Trail which passes through Loudoun County on its way from the mountains of North Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. You’ll need sturdy, supportive shoes for the rocky terrain on this 5.5 mile hike. Several steep climbs add difficulty to this trek, but it’s worth it to see the view from Raven’s Rocks. As you head north, following the trail’s famous white blazes, you’ll wander through thick, shady, old-growth forest filled with granite boulders and mountain laurel. Be sure to listen in the hollows for the sound of a hidden stream flowing under the rocks right below your feet! This is a fun hike for families with children who can walk several miles on their own. Have them keep their eyes out for frogs and small reptiles that like to hang out near the streams. Hit the trail before 9:00 a.m. to beat the heat and the crowds.

Here are a few tips before you head out: Bring a small backpack with some snacks that have both carbohydrates and protein: a slice of whole wheat bread topped with peanut butter and folded in half is a personal favorite. Pack more water than you think you’ll need, especially in the hot summer months. For a hike around 5 miles, one liter of water per person is about right.

A light first-aid kit with bandages, antibiotic ointment, sunscreen, and an antihistamine to treat insect stings or poison ivy (leaf of three—let it be!) is also a must. For safety, you should always hike with a companion, or tell someone at home where you’re going and what time you expect to be back.

Wear light, synthetic fabrics in the hot weather, along with a wide-brimmed hat or baseball cap for sun protection.

I hope to see you out on the trail this summer.

4 comments

  1. Emily says:

    I agree, Molly. You don’t have to travel to Colorado to enjoy some great hiking if you live around the Blue Ridge Mountains. Areas are simply breathtaking and you can hike hard or easy. Great article with some good hiking tips.

  2. Jim Cooper says:

    My nephew, Josh, has taken time off from the daily drudge of life to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. He is 1/2 way to Maine as he began in Georgia four or so months ago. This will no doubt help forge strength in character, not to mention future stories from an adventure few undertake. Whether it be a day hike or an extended proposition there is nothing better than freeing oneself from the constaints of our everyday hustle and bustle.

    The tips by the author are right on. I could suggest wearing two pairs of socks with good hiking shoes, one thin, one normal thickness. Putting the goo from the underside of a standing soap bar outside the sock has always cut down on my blisters. Good hiking.

  3. sarah huntington says:

    What a nice article!

    Makes me want to go out there and take a hike!

    thanks Molly!

  4. david_w says:

    one liter of water per person PER HOUR is about right. For five miles I would carry three liters of water in my Camelbak, plus one liter of Gatorade. Still studying hydration so any positive comments, especially with references, will be appreciated. Thanks.

Comment on this article


By commenting, you agree to abide by our Terms of Service.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

Ice house, Hot House and Mad House

noerpel_new

Recently, I was asked: “I know we are putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and scientists say that will warm the planet but there were also ice ages and warmer climates in the past before humans so what caused those …

Sugar Crash

Lunde new

Sugar runs inside our body and fuels our very being. In biology they teach us that sugar is really glucose which is broken down in the body to produce ATP (adenine tri-phosphate). So why bring this up? Well, sugar is …

The Art of Memory

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel Still Alice. A movie that not only elicits tears, but naturally incurs reflection. This heartrending movie was the starting point of a personal wrestling with the implications of human memory. Remembering can bring us back to a …

Living in Debt

Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike, My husband has issues with money that are hurting our relationship and family. He makes a lot of money, but he spends more than he makes and we are in debt. He can’t just have a luxury car, …

June in the Garden

juneingarden flowers

Conserve Water, Beat the Heat and Keep Things Blooming By Andrea Gaines It’s getting hot out there. And, there’s nothing more discouraging for a gardener that to come home after a weekend away – or miss a regular watering schedule …

Potoma Wayside

potoma wayside

My advice is: Don’t look straight down; the combination of rushing highway traffic a couple of feet away and, what’s – to me, anyway – a dizzying height, can produce some unsettling sensations. I came to this conclusion after walking …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

blueridge2

By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Thank You Purcellville Voters

kelligrim

I would like to thank you, the Purcellville voters, for your tremendous support of my campaign for Town Council.  I appreciate that so many of you put signs in your …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

eaglescout

Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

(Be the first to comment)

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

(Be the first to comment)

Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

benkellog

Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

(Be the first to comment)

Calendar

June 2016
M T W T F S S
30

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

31

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

1

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

2

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Free Gardening Lecture

3

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

4

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Yard Sale

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

PAUL REISLER TRIO WITH LEA MORRIS AND MARSHALL KEYS

5

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

6

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

7

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

8

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

9

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

10

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

11

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

19th Annual Cajun Festival & Crawfish Boil

12

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

13

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

14

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

15

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

16

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

17

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

18

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Goats at BRNP

19

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Bring Dad to North Gate Vineyard

20

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

21

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

22

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

23

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

24

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

June Fourth Friday at Breaux Vineyards

Love, He Called It

25

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Love, He Called It

26

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Sip & Paint at Breaux Vineyards

Love, He Called It

27

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

28

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

29

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

30

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

1 2

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

3
Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

Lifestyle

Troy and Paula Haag Perform at Old Stone School

9 Jun 2016

troy and paula haag 1a

Troy and Paula Haag, will appear on The Gap Stage at the Old Stone School on Saturday, June 18. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Dinner will be sold by Big Mike’s BBQ, drinks will be sold by the glass, and there will be desserts at intermission. Troy and Paula will be joined by Max Haag …

(Be the first to comment)

Here’s To the Colorists, Manicurists and Blow Dry Mavens… Thanks for Listening!

1 Jun 2016

hair color

Sunday, June 26 is Beauticians Day, celebrating the cosmetology and other experts who keep us looking and feeling our best – whether it’s with a haircut and style, a facial, a manicure, or just some quiet and light conversation.

(Be the first to comment)

Wait. Something That’s Really Healthy Can Be Really Fun … Too?

1 Jun 2016

poolsafety2

Parents of small children, and property owners with pools, ponds and other water features know that swimming safety is a must. You need to have clear rules about how ponds, pools and other places are to be used, and when. Safety equipment needs to be up to date and accessible, and it is critical that there be a responsible adult …

(Be the first to comment)

Around Virginia

HUD Awards $2 Million in Housing Counseling Grants To Virginia

Kaine

Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced today that Catholic Charities USA, headquartered in Alexandria, will receive $951,150 in federal funding, and the Virginia Housing Development Authority, located in Richmond, will receive $1,040,918. This nearly $2 million grant by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) …

(Be the first to comment)

Four Hop, Skip and a Jump Local Destinations

morven

Last month we encouraged our readers to consider visiting any one of five great destinations within just a stone’s throw of Loudoun’s history-lined borders – Berryville and Harper’s Ferry among them. This month we feature four destinations – two right here in our much-celebrated county, and two just over the …

(2 comments)

Out and About Loudoun and Beyond

The Plains’ charming restaurants, shops and sidewalks.

Five Stone’s Throw Spring and Summer Destinations By Andrea Gaines Bordered by the Potomac River to the north and beautiful mountains to the west – and with easy access to Rt. 95, the Dulles Toll Road and Route 66 – Loudouners have no short list of fun spring places to …

(Be the first to comment)

Sports

The Lady Vikings Earned Back-to Back Conference Title

1 Jun 2016

lvhs

The Lady Vikings earned the back-to back conference title with a 4-1 win over Heritage in late May. The team earned a first round playoff bye finishing first in the conference and then went on to defeat Rock Ridge 12-0 in the conference semi-finals. The Lady Vikings ended their regular …

(Be the first to comment)

Big Baseball Coming To Fireman’s Field

1 Jun 2016

purcellville cannons

Got Your Father’s Day Gift Lined Up Yet? The Purcellville Cannons’ Brett Fuller couldn’t be happier. He’s the owner of one of the most popular teams in the Valley Baseball League. The team, up until recently was called the Charles Town Cannons but now calls Purcellville its home.

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

  • +2016
  • +2015
  • +2014
  • +2013
  • +2012
  • +2011
  • +2010
  • +2009