By: Eric Cecchett
Although you would never believe it after stepping into the brisk 32 degree Harrisonburg weather, the spring season is officially upon us. As we keep our fingers crossed for rising temperatures, it is difficult not to begin contemplating warm weather plans from the comforting shelter of a dozen blankets.
During a short-lived spike in temperature this past weekend, a group of friends and I eagerly pulled out our mental lists in order to decide on how we would take advantage of the lovely weather. After narrowing down our options, we eventually decided on a hike at Shenandoah National Park.
As a child born and raised in the gentrified suburbs of northern Virginia, even our drive to the park left me completely amazed. Located roughly 20 miles outside of Harrisonburg, the road to Shenandoah National Park consisted of steep winding roads that provided breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Upon our arrival, my friends and I decided to take on an intermediate trail known as the Rose River loop trail. This particular hike consisted of a variety of terrains, ranging from rocky climbs to tame creek-side strolls. The Rose River loop is also known for its proximity to two spectacular waterfalls, which hikers are able to walk directly up to. Unfortunately, the beauty of these natural wonders was slightly obscured by the residual ice and mud left over from the long winter. Our group unanimously agreed that this would be a trail worth doing again in the summer months.
Despite the intermediate label on our trail, by the end of the hike, everyone was sufficiently exhausted. During the relaxing drive back down the mountain, the sight of dozens of deer and a beautiful sunset only augmented our sense of serenity. After my amazing first trip to Shenandoah National Park, I have yet another reason to keep my fingers crossed for warmer weather.
Check out the park’s site and plan a trip of your own here!