virginia hikes: Sherando Lake, Torry Ridge, & White Rock Falls loop, June 27 2020

Being opportunistic is a good way to avoid the crowds when it comes to popular trails. It may mean getting up before sunrise, starting out late in the day, or still heading out when it’s rainy. With many of the frontcountry campgrounds still closed, certain trails are a little less crowded than normal. This included the Sherando Lake area, which is known as the jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains and typically sees hundreds of campers a day.


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trip report: Jasper National Park – Bald Hills, August 2019

For the most of our trip into the Canadian Rockies, we were extremely lucky in regards to the weather. A sudden shift of strong winds and hail while we were scouting out the area for our next backpacking trip reminded us that we shouldn’t leave those extra layers behind.


This is the seventh entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series covering our seventh hike. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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virginia hikes: Ramsey’s Draft & Jerry’s Run loop, June 7 2020

There is nothing like having to cross a knee high stream to keep you cool on a hot and humid summer day in Virginia. Ramsey’s Draft provided exactly that as the trail cross the stream several times. While there are a couple longer backpacking loops here, we chose a moderate day hike loop that included Jerry’s Run.


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trip report: Jasper National Park – Edith Cavell & Valley of the Five Lakes, August 2019

After hitting the trails hard to start our trip, we need a few easier days. Fortunately, part of the reason Jasper National Park is so popular and a favorite among roadtrippers is the ease to access the amazing scenery in the form of shorter day hikes.


This is the six entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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virginia hikes: Big Schloss, Mill Mountain, & Stony Creek loop, May 30 2020

It is clear how the popular peak of Big Schloss got its name, for schloss is German for castle. The peak appeared very much like one on our approach from the north on the Mill Mountain trail. It was indeed the highpoint in this popular area for backpackers, which is otherwise a monotonous green tunnel during the early parts of summer.


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virginia hikes: Roanoke Star & Mill Mountain, April 10 2020

The Roanoke Star sitting atop of Mill Mountain is the largest free-standing illuminated man-made star (wikipedia). It is where the city of Roanoke, VA gets its nickname, Star City. On the way into the city or atop prominent peaks in the area like McAfee Knob and Fort Lewis Mountain, the star can be seen above the city (though you’ll need to know where to look and maybe squint).

Roanoke and its star from Fort Lewis Mountain.

In the middle of COVID-19, the trails on Mill Mountain was as local as it got.

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virginia hikes: Fridley Gap loop, May 23 2020

If you’ve read enough of these hike reports, a common theme you’ll find is that I love hiking next to running creeks, streams, and rivers. As we get into the summer in Virginia, they can also provide a perfect respite to the hot and humid weather in the form of swimming holes. So after a week of none stop rain, I was excited to go check out a hike featuring some swollen creeks and wide swimming holes.


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virginia hikes: Rock Castle Gorge, May 9 2020

A different season in Virginia can make the same hike a completely different experience. It was winter the last time I visited Rock Castle Gorge. When we returned for a spring hike, we found a completely new experience.

my first time here was different experience with the Roanoke Outdoors Meetup group

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trip report: Yoho National Park – Iceline & Celeste Lake loop, August 2019

Sometimes a trail is about the summit or endpoint, but the ones I’ve always enjoyed the most are the trails that’s about the whole experience. The Iceline in Yoho National Park is one of those hikes. The Iceline took us onto a bench sitting under the Presidential Range and Emerald Glacier. For there, we could see the peaks and glaciers of the Waputik Range the Yoho Valley below. Once we were off the Iceline, we were then treated with green lake and roaring waterfalls. Sure there were stretches of forest, but they served more as breaks than the main course.


This is the third entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip video: Yoho National Park – Iceline & Celeste Lake loop, August 2019

This is the companion preview videos to our trip report detailing our day hike loop of the Iceline trail, Celeste Lake Connector, & Yoho Valley Trail. The highlights of the hike were the views from the alpine bench along the Emerald Glacier and the Presidential Range (the Canadian one of course).

You can find the detailed report of our hike linked in the index below.

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