Category Archives: Strenuous Hikes

Sharp Top Trail (Jefferson National Forest, VA)

Viewed from the valley below, Sharp Top (3,862’) in central Virginia is an imposing peak, once thought by 19th century Virginians to be the highest point in the state. Although later surveyors found this not to be true (the honors … Continue reading

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Humpback Rocks Trail (George Washington National Forest, VA)

Once a prominent landmark for wagon trains travelling along the Howardsville Turnpike in the early 19th century, Humpback Rocks is today an iconic, jagged promontory in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest frequented by hikers. Its proximity to Interstate 64 and … Continue reading

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Crabtree Falls and The Priest (George Washington National Forest, VA)

Dropping more than 1,000 feet into the lush Tye River Valley, Virginia’s Crabtree Falls is often claimed to be the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi. This is a deceptive title, as the falls is actually a series of cascades, … Continue reading

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Top 10 Hikes in 2018

The start of the new year offers a time to reflect on the year that was: although other commitments slowed my rate of production in 2018, I still managed to add 37 new posts during the year to Live and … Continue reading

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Mount Marshall Loop (Shenandoah National Park, VA)

Mount Marshall—named for John Marshall, the famous 19th century Chief Justice of the Supreme Court—actually comprises two distinct peaks in the North District of Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. North and South Marshall, as they are known, sport some of the … Continue reading

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Mount Tammany Loop (Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, NJ)

At the Delaware Water Gap, part of a broader National Recreation Area bearing its name, the Delaware River slices through a weakness in the mountains, forming a picturesque valley on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Two peaks, part … Continue reading

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Mount Monadnock via White Dot Trail (Monadnock State Park, NH)

Derived from an Abenaki word, “monadnock” is used by geologists to describe a mountain that stands alone, rising abruptly from a plain and separate from a broader mountain range. Mount Monadnock (3,165’) in southern New Hampshire aptly fits the description: … 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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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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