As many on the blog know, one of my favorite hikes is the Old Rag trail the Shenandoah National Park. Depending on your trail, it is roughly 11 miles to the parking area and is one of the most challenging hikes in the area. Due to my travel schedule, I had hoped to see the fall foliage on Friday but the trees are not ready to their annual show. Nevertheless, it was spectacular. I followed my usual practice of starting at dawn as the sun was rising. (That means leaving Northern Virginia at 5 am to make it near the trailhead in Sperryville, Virginia).
There was a couple of emergency cases on the trail, which sees one of the highest rates of rescues. However, hikers are generally a special group — helpful and friendly. We share a common passion and most are eager to help. I heard about middle aged man in distress on the trail when I finished but heard six hikers were assisting him, including one who appeared to run a quarter of the trail to get a ranger. I ran into a young lady who developed a knee problem but her husband and I helped her to the end of the trail.
The weather was perfect. Sunny and cool. I saw what I believe was a large Eastern Glossy Swamp snake. Black bears are active this season but I did not see one this hike. However, here are a few of the views on the hike up Old Rag: