Author Archives: Andrew Wojtanik

Butcher Branch Falls (New River Gorge National River, WV)

Southern West Virginia’s New River Gorge National River includes dozens of waterfalls, some easier to reach than others. Among the relatively simple is Butcher Branch Falls, which, despite being less than a half-mile from the Kaymoor Top Trailhead, is rarely … Continue reading

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Fayette Station Road (New River Gorge National River, WV)

Before the New River Gorge Bridge—the longest arch bridge in the western hemisphere—was constructed in 1977, travelers across New River Gorge in southern West Virginia were forced to descend and ascend more than 800 feet in elevation on the slow … Continue reading

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Whiteoak Canyon – Cedar Run Trail Loop (Shenandoah National Park, VA)

The nearly 8-mile trail up Whiteoak Canyon and down Cedar Run is easily one of the most scintillating loop hikes in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park and features a string of excellent waterfalls that is perhaps unparalleled in the state. Except … Continue reading

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Duncan Knob and Stricker Knob Loop (George Washington National Forest, VA)

This excellent hike combines two of the finest summits in northern Virginia in a strenuous circuit with considerable elevation gain and loss. The trek up Duncan and Strickler Knobs is not for the casual hiker; it involves significant climbs and … Continue reading

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Peninsula Campaign Driving Tour – Part 2

– Civil War Series – The 1862 Peninsula Campaign, intended by the Union to put a decisive end to the Civil War by capturing the Confederate capital of Richmond, began with a slow start. Gen. George McClellan, despite setting out … Continue reading

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Malvern Hill Trail (Richmond National Battlefield Park, VA)

– Civil War Series – Malvern Hill is one of the country’s best-preserved Civil War battlefields and marked the culmination of the Seven Days’ Battles, a series of engagements outside Richmond, Virginia in June-July 1862 that ended Union Gen. George … Continue reading

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Gaines’ Mill Trail (Richmond National Battlefield Park, VA)

– Civil War Series – Following General Robert E. Lee’s defeat the day prior at Beaver Dam Creek, the Confederate Army won a decisive but costly victory on June 27, 1862 in the Battle of Gaines’ Mill. Attempting to catch … Continue reading

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Beaver Dam Creek Trail (Richmond National Battlefield Park, VA)

– Civil War Series – The Battle of Beaver Dam Creek—also known as the Battle of Mechanicsville or Ellerson’s Mill—is widely remembered today for being General Robert E. Lee’s debut as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. With the … Continue reading

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Drewry’s Bluff Trail (Richmond National Battlefield Park, VA)

– Civil War Series – As Union gunboats approached Richmond, the Confederate capital, on the morning of May 15, 1862, they were greeted with a hail of heavy artillery fire from what would come to be known as Drewry’s Bluff, … Continue reading

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Big Devils Stairs (Shenandoah National Park, VA)

Despite being in Shenandoah National Park’s busy North District, the Big Devils Stairs hike is relatively free of crowds, leaving visitors alone to explore one of the area’s most spectacular metabasalt gorges. Most hikers will turn around at the primary … Continue reading

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