Random (but not really)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hiking WV: New River Gorge

The forecast was walling for possible thunderstorms, and we were rained upon during the drive down, but in Fayetteville the weather was beautiful, and we had two lovely hikes (although the second was cut short, and a few drops of rain did fall on us as we were hiking back from the Diamond Point Overlook).

Location: New River Gorge
Trails: Long Point, Butcher Branch, Fayette Trail (loop); Endless Wall (half)
Distance: 4.2 mile; 2.3 mile
Elevation: 832 feet; 281 feet

Our first hike was out to Long Point, and this is the view when you get there.



This is, for obvious reasons, a popular trail, and it’s also relatively easy to hike. Mostly flat and wide, with only a few rocky sections.


After discussion and referring the maps, we took the Butcher Branch trail out to the Fayette Trail, making a small loop off the Long Point trail, giving us a slightly longer hike, and letting us see a little more of the area.

Then we drove to the other side of the river, and did half the Endless Wall trail. We decided upon half because the only way to make a loop is to walk back to the starting point along the road, and I didn’t particularly want to do that, so we turned around at Diamond Point and came back. I definitely want to make the full hike on another visit.





All in all a gorgeous day.

Written by Michelle at 10:54 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hiking WV: Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park

Since we’d already visited three parks, we decided to stop at Carnifex Ferry on the way, to make it four for the day, six for the weekend (a record for us).

Carnifex Ferry overlooks the Gauley River Canyon, near Summersville (Land of Speedtraps). We had no idea what to expect, since it’s a Civil War Battlefield, but it had an utterly gorgeous view of the Gauley River Canyon. If you’re in the area, you should definitely divert her for the view.

Location: Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park
Trail: Patterson Trail
Distance: 1.2 miles
Elevation: 157 feet (there is a very steep drop down to the Copperhead Overlook)

View from Copperhead Overlook


One of this weekend's views

Pillow Rapids Overlook


Picnic Overlook


Written by Michelle at 7:00 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Little Beaver State Park

Stop four on Sunday was Little Beaver State Park. If we were local, we’d probably go there frequently; I don’t think we’ll make another trip just to go there, but if we’re in the area, we’ll stop again.

Location: Little Beaver State Park
Trails: Lake Front Trail, Beaver Creek Trail
Distance: 1.8 miles
Elevation: negligible

Had I mentioned what a gorgeous day it was? It was a gorgeous day.


Standing on the bridge over the Little Beaver Creek.


The Beaver Creek trail was supposed to have a bridge crossing the creek. We got there, and… no bridge.


So we cross the creek on the rocks. Oh. That’s where the bridge is.



Michael and I were debating when the damage had been done. I said it was probably Sandy damage, he disagreed.

The website, of course, give us no enlightenment.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Bluestone State Park

This was our second park of the day, and we ran into the problem that the trail blazing seemed to stop about halfway up the trail we wanted to take, and after the previous day’s eight mile and the fact we had to drive home, we decided to err on the side of caution, and took a shorter hike.

Which was perfectly fine.

Location: Bluestone State Park
Trails: Big Pine Trail, Overlook Trail
Distance: 2.5 miles
Elevation: 760 feet

They’re replacing the bridge, which is good for safety, I’m sure, but I love how iron bridges look, and the replacement just isn’t picturesque.





Written by Michelle at 11:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Pinnacle Rock State Park

Our first stop Sunday morning was Pinnacle Rock State Park, which is near Bramwell. Due to some confusion on the part of the GPS about what part of the park we wanted to see, we ended up driving through Bramwell, and seeing a bit of the area, and narrowly avoided going into Virginia.

Location: Pinnacle Rock State Park

Up up up to the rock!


Looking down at the trail from the lower part of the park.


Unfortunately, stupid children have spray painted the rock extensively, so it was hard to get a picture without graffiti.


The view from the top.


Order Muppet


Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hiking WV: Seneca Rocks

We again made the trip to Seneca Rocks to hike to the top in memory of my cousin Ben on his birthday.

Once again, we did the hike straight up to the top with no breaks. That’s 1.8 miles, 900 feet, in just under 40 minutes.

We were very lucky that it didn’t rain on us–the forecast was calling for thunderstorms, but other than a few sprinkles (and a lot of sweat) we made it back to the car, dry.

Location: Seneca Rocks (part of the Monongahela National Forest)
Distance: 3.5 miles
Elevation: 991 feet

This is taken from up on the rocks, above the observation deck. The Order muppet did not join me.


The view along the ridge of the rock.



Just above the observation deck, and as high as the Order Muppet wanted to climb.


An utterly gorgeous stream along the trail.


You can see from this picture, that it was a cloudy, overcast day. But that did make it cooler, and nicer to hike.


For those unfamiliar with Seneca Rocks, the hike takes you up to the left side of the rocks. The observation desk is approximately where the tree-line ends.

Written by Michelle at 7:56 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Twin Falls State Park

Since we were sort of in the area, and since we were spending the night in Princeton, we decided to swing by Twin Falls State Park after Camp Creek State Park. I wasn’t up for a long hike, and I was famished and ready for dinner, but we wanted to see the falls, so it was a very brief hike.

Location: Twin Falls State Park
Trail: Falls Trail (partial)
Distance: 1.62 miles

Mountain Laurel


Marsh Fork Falls


Black Fork Falls


Written by Michelle at 6:00 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Camp Creek State Park

My plan for this hike (made while Michael was driving) was to take part of the Farley Branch Trail and then switch over to the Mash Fork trail, so come out down by the falls, and then drive up to see the other falls.

When we reached the Mash Fork Trail, Michael pulled out the map and said, “let’s continue along this trail!”

Eight miles later, after crossing the Mash Fork several times (and I did NOT fall in once!) we came out at the Mash Fork Falls.

Location: Camp Creek State Park
Trails: Farley Branch, Turkey Loop
Distance: 8.0 miles
Elevation: 1650 feet

Because those were really horse riding trails more than hiking trails, I wouldn’t recommend this hike, since much of it is along roads, and passes an extremely loud gas compressor.

One exciting thing is we saw what I think is a bobcat. Because I only had a regular zoom lens, and I was NOT going to get closer to get a better shot, the pictures are extremely blurry. Will this change my mind about using a backpack and carrying a longer lens?

Probably not.



Mash Fork was very pretty, but I would have enjoyed crossing it more if I’d had water shoes for the crossing.


The Mash Fork falls were very pretty. But I wouldn’t have minded the shorter hike to reach them.


Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock State Forest

Today, in addition to putting out the flag and thinking about the sacrifices made by the men and women throughout history to safeguard our freedoms, we took a hike at Coopers Rock.

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Eagle, Underlook, Rattlesnake, Rock City, Ridge, Rhododendron Trails
Distance: 2.7 miles
Elevation: 709 feet

We made a sort of a figure eight, if the top part of the eight was really really small and the bottom part was huge.

We also saw two black snakes, one of which I pointed out to a mother so she could show it to her kids, the second of which was pointed out to us by a small boy and his grandmother. :)

Snakes are very interesting!

Looking up to the Overlook, from the Underlook trail.



Going up?


Rattlesnake Trail



Above the Rattlesnake Trail



And speaking of snakes…


Written by Michelle at 8:00 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Memorial Day




Ben Klishis WWII


Written by Michelle at 8:05 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Holidays  
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