Monday, April 2, 2012

Jones Run Trail- Shenandoah National Park

My extended 40th B-day celebration continued this weekend with Saturday seeing us at several local Craft breweries; Hardywood Park & Legend Brewery and a day hike in Shenandoah National Park on Sunday.


The fog rolling across Afton Mountain slowed our progress but did not dampen our spirits as we were both excited about another adventure in "SNP", which you may recall we have had limited exposure to as we have opted to explore further locals in the past.

Our Route
We weren’t on the trail long before we had disappeared into the forest under a blanket of thick fog, and light rain, and I couldn’t help but think that any vistas would be shrouded in low lying clouds.
Ash being a keen observer assured me that Jones Run trail was not known for its scenic views of the mountains but for another enticing attribute, its waterfalls.

And Jones Run did not disappoint with one waterfall after another cascading down the mountain with thundering noise and constant concussion from the impact of the falls.




We spent around 4 hours on the hike taking our time and treating it as more of a getaway trek than a fitness hike.

I would classify the hike as moderate to easy depending on your fitness level with a brief climb that you could definitely feel.  
There are few (We saw one) camp/backpacking sites along the hike, but numerous swimming holes along the route that would be ideal for warmer days. Some reviews indicate that the trail becomes considerably overgrown with nettles in the warmer months but it was incredibly clear and well marked while we were there. 
We passed several groups of like minded folks with one large group of around 12 or so hikers traveling in the opposite direction.

Curiously one family who had obviously taken a short spur trail from one of the many parking areas off of Skyline Drive were not fans of our leashed dogs as the mother of the group went squealing off into the wood line as we passed them on a short uphill section. Really? (I will avoid any further commentary on the subject)…   
   
Jones Run winds back and forth across Skyline Drive with a short sampling of the Appalachian Trail, so should you be in the mood for solitude you may want to consider another hike as the last quarter of the trail runs along the road and its accompanying traffic a fact that had very little impact on the experience for us.    
It’s incredible that places like this still exists, places that are as old as time itself and remind us of just how insignificant we really are.


Grilled Buffalo wings in a Sriracha-honey glaze with an Anderson Valley "Boont" Amber Ale for post hike grub, perfect.

Stephen