McAfee Knob via Appalachian Trail
I had been in Roanoke entirely too long to not have hiked this peak, so I finally grabbed a few of my buddies to ascend McAfee Knob with me on a cloudy and at times wet day. The hike up was filled with good conversation and only a bit of rain. The summit was cloudy to say the least. There were absolutely no views down into the valley. Thankfully, I was still able to get the money shot (ie most photographed spot on the AT photo), although I'll have to go again to get the nice backdrop. At the summit, we also met a 61 year old thru-hiker (trail name: Croft) who told us about her 700 mile trek, so far. I'm excited to hopefully a few of the hikers as they come through Daleville this week.
Tinker Cliffs via Andy Layne and Appalachian Trails
Tinker Cliffs has been on my wishlist for awhile now and I finally made my way to it. The trail is very steep in several placed and forward motion was stalled to a crawl. But if you persevere, the view is highly worth it, as someone who passed me coming down mentioned. Once I made it to the top, I only wish I had a little more time to stay and take in the views of McAfee Knob and North Mountain. It was gorgeous.
Booker T. Washington National Monument - Jack-O-Lantern Branch Trail
I took a stroll around the trail at the Booker T. Washington National Monument. The trail is numbered with touring information that can either be read or heard through calling a number on your cellphone. There are various farm buildings, old cemeteries, and animals along the way, which makes for an informative and fun trip.
Myrtle Beach State Park - Sculptured Oak and Yaupon Trails and Boardwalk
On a much needed vacation to Myrtle Beach, I decided to take some time to visit Myrtle Beach State Park. There is a nice boardwalk, pier, and some hiking trails that I visited. The nature trails are well maintained and offer plaques identifying some of the local flora.
2010 Blue Ridge Marathon
First Annual 2010 Blue Ridge Marathon Completed. It was 26.2 miles through the mountains and city streets of Roanoke, Virginia. The marathon consisted of over 3000 feet of elevation gain with summits of both Roanoke and Mill Mountain. The winning male came in around 2:45 and the female around 3:30. I was happy with my 5:56 performance.
Smith Mountain Lake Community Park Trails
I took a stroll through Smith Mountain Lake Community Park. There is a wooded trail around the perimeter of the park. The park also has a sandy beach with lifeguard. There is a small fee (about $3-4) to use the beach. There is also a nice dock, a playground, and some picnic tables in the park.
Horse Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway
I took a trail run on some horse trails that parallel the Blue Ridge Parkway. The horse trails connect with the Chestnut Ridge Horse Trails. The trails were in decent shape, a lot of leaf litter. I ran back on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Devil's Marbleyard via Appalachian and Belfast Trails
I went on an overnight backpacking trip with some friends: Caleb, Justin and Brandon. Our destination was Devil's Marbleyard. We started at the James River Footbridge, a 600 feet-plus pedestrian only bridge, the longest on the AT. We started Friday night and hiked into Matt's Creek Shelter. The first two miles were easy. The shelter was taken so we set up tents. The next morning began with a steep 2.5 mile ascent. The trail then leveled out for a short bit before jumping on Belfast Trail, which was marked with a trail sign. We descended slightly before dropping into the Devil's Marbleyard, an 8-acre pile of rock scattered down the mountain. The Marbleyard is a must see for any serious hiker in Virginia. We scrambled our way to the center of the marbleyard to grab lunch. I decided to break out my inner mountain goat and hoof it to the top. It was a fun scramble. Going down was much harder than going up. The finish was a short mile or two to the trailhead, where we had another car waiting. Another great weekend with friends.
Blue Ridge Parkway - Steward's Knob Trails
A training run took me to this trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The yellow blazed trail, which begins at the Steward's Knob Overlook is a multi-use horse and hiking trail. The trail parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway and is mostly flat. I also added a very steep unmarked trail up the Steward's Knob ridgeline to my route.