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

2016 in the Books

noerpel_new

(Presented to the Board of Supervisors February, 2017) “The last three years have demonstrated abundantly clearly that there is no change in the long-term trends since 1998. A prediction from 1997 merely continuing the linear trends would significantly under-predict the …

A Rainy Romance

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” – a simple phrase uttered in an acclaimed musical that helped birth a star. The movie’s Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) catches his attention so completely that Don Lockwood (Gene …

Concerned Parents

drmikenewpic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, Our 15-year-old son is out of control and we don’t know what to do anymore. He smokes pot and drinks, disobeys us left and right, is truant from school often, comes home whenever he …

It’s Time To Review Your Estate Planning Basics

Smith0035

Beginners and billionaires alike should refresh their knowledge of these basic estate planning terms and concepts. The word “estate” tends to conjure up images of billionaires and aristocrats, but estate planning is not just for the wealthy. It’s widely believed …

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: George Marshall Center

George Marshall Center

I used to wonder why – after an assignment to visit the interior of this place, I’d return feeling exhausted – both mentally and physically worn out – as if I’d been carrying an extra couple hundred pounds or so …

Meeting the “Other America”

blueridge2

By Nicholas Reid Ever since the presidential election last November, there has been a lot of talk about the “two Americas”: coastal and continental America. The many differences between these two sections of the United States are numerous and oftentimes …

The Trump Effect

noerpel_new

“Corals are marine magicians. As colonies of the tiny ocean organisms grow, they transform the calcium that circulates in seawater into enormous limestone reefs. These reefs—which can extend for more than 1,000 miles and provide homes for crabs, eels, sea …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

grads_woodgrove

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

(Be the first to comment)

Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

buckland

Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

(Be the first to comment)

Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

adamspromoted

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

(Be the first to comment)

Calendar

February 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
January 30, 2017 January 31, 2017 February 1, 2017 February 2, 2017

Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

Yoga for Men
February 3, 2017 February 4, 2017

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
February 5, 2017
February 6, 2017 February 7, 2017 February 8, 2017 February 9, 2017

Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

Yoga for Men
February 10, 2017 February 11, 2017

Valentine's Pizza & Champagne

Valentine's Pizza & Champagne

Sweetheart’s Soirée- A Night of Dinner & Dancing

Sweetheart’s Soirée- A Night of Dinner & Dancing
February 12, 2017

Candlelight Concert Fundraiser

Candlelight Concert Fundraiser

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out
February 13, 2017 February 14, 2017 February 15, 2017

Bob Brown Puppets: Dragon Feathers

Bob Brown Puppets: Dragon Feathers
February 16, 2017 February 17, 2017

ARTSPOWER: RAINBOW FISH

ARTSPOWER: RAINBOW FISH
February 18, 2017

Wine & Chili Weekend

Wine & Chili Weekend

BALLET THEATRE OF ASHBURN AND EDGE PERFORMANCE COMPANY: MALONE BENEFIT CONCERT

BALLET THEATRE OF ASHBURN AND EDGE PERFORMANCE COMPANY: MALONE BENEFIT CONCERT

Comedy Night feat. Tyrone Davis

Comedy Night feat. Tyrone Davis
February 19, 2017
February 20, 2017 February 21, 2017 February 22, 2017 February 23, 2017 February 24, 2017

February Fourth Friday

February Fourth Friday
February 25, 2017

Samedi Gras Celebration

Samedi Gras Celebration
February 26, 2017
February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017 March 3, 2017

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV
March 4, 2017

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
March 5, 2017
Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

Steady and NoBull

Lifestyle

LCSO Announces Project Emergency Response

22 Feb 2017

sheriff

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with Loudoun County Public Schools, has developed a pilot program to assist emergency responders and individuals with Autism and their families to successfully manage emergency situations. The program, called Project Emergency Response, will allow family members and other caregivers to provide crucial information about their loved ones to first responders. The information will …

(Be the first to comment)

Hillsboro Plans Mardi Gras Celebration on February 25

20 Feb 2017

nothing else main in hillsboro grey

Mardi Gras celebration will be held in Hillsboro on Saturday, February 25 as a benefit for the Old Stone Schoolhouse. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Hurricanes and New Orleans drinks, as well as Old 690 beer and local wines will be served in the Garden District Bar. The Cajun Cafe will feature New Orleans cuisine, including King Cakes. …

(Be the first to comment)

Four Young Historians Discuss Civil War Turning Points

2 Feb 2017

younghistorians

The Mosby Heritage Area Association will hold a talk featuring a panel of four young historians who will discuss turning points in the Civil War. The talk will be held at Unison Methodist Church, 21148 Unison Road, Middleburg, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 12. Tickets will be sold at the door or online at www.mosbyheritagearea.org/events for $15 …

(Be the first to comment)

Around Virginia

Walbridge To Run for State Delegate in the 33rd District

Tia walbridge

Tia Walbridge announces her run for the District 33 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Walbridge is a wife and mother of two daughters and an active member of the Round Hill community. “Like many people in our district, my family has found its prosperity in a Virginia-based small …

(Be the first to comment)

Office Building on Capitol Square To Be Named After Civil Rights Pioneer Barbara Johns

image002

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …

(Be the first to comment)

Rep. Comstock’s Key Top Priority Legislation Initiatives

barbaracomstock

Signed into Law in Her First Term Rep. Barbara Comstock, who serves the 10th congressional district in Virginia, recently reviewed the achievements of her first term in office, identifying 17 legislative initiatives that she supported that were adopted. She said: “My staff and I have met with stakeholders, local elected …

(Be the first to comment)

Sports

WLVBC U14 Boys Finish 3rd at VA Beach Event

23 Feb 2017

WLVBC300

The Western Loudoun Volleyball Club’s U14 Boys Team garnered 3rd place in their first travel tournament of 2017, the Virginia Beach Invitational. This event was held Feb. 18-19 and featured more than 24 teams from the U14 to U18 age group. The team was second on their net on day …

(Be the first to comment)

Woodgrove Gymnasts Advance To States

15 Feb 2017

gymnastics Snare

Two Woodgrove High School gymnasts have qualified to advance to the Virginia State Championships Saturday, February 18, at Patriot High School in Nokesville. Sophomore River Stone placed fourth in the all-around competition at the 1A-5A North Regional Gymnastics Championships at Park View High School on Wednesday, February 8, which earns …

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

  • +2017
  • +2016
  • +2015
  • +2014
  • +2013
  • +2012
  • +2011
  • +2010
  • +2009