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Appalachian Trail: Day Hike

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Hiking is one of the most rewarding activities you can do outside; whether it’s a day hike or a multi-day hike they are all fun.  Where I live, in the Valley and Ridge portion of Virginia, there are a lot of great hiking trails that are only minutes away and not to difficult to get to.  Conveniently the Appalachian Trail is only 10 minutes from my house, and is only a 5 minute walk for my friend.  So on a beautiful summer day a friend and I decided to take a 5 mile hike south along the Appalachian trail, ending at Route 7.  We left his house with each of us only bringing a backpack, some water, and various foods for snacks along the way.  We had to take 4×4′s up the mountain and park them and hike about a minute to the trail.  From there we headed south towards Raven’s Rock and Bears Den.  The hike was nothing to difficult but the problem with the Appalachian Trail in this part of Virginia is that it is very hilly and the trail is laden with rocks, branches, streams that need to be traversed.  As is typical on any summer day it was quite hot and humid so we needed to be consuming a lot of liquids.  All i needed was one of those 1000ml Nalgene water bottles per person and you should be fine.  Raven’s Rock is the last landmark you hit before the trail is bisected by Route 7 and is a magnificent stone outcropping with great views of the valley bellow.  It can also be used for some simple rock climbing and repelling if you know what your doing because it provides ample top anchor points for climbers.  It’s important to take breaks every now and then because you need to hydrate and recover from the rough terrain in this part of the trail.  Although, after Raven’s Rock it is only about a 30 minute walk to Route 7 and a great place to end the hike.  The great thing about hikes like this is because they are not overly easy and the scenery is beautiful.  You get a tremendous workout all while hiking through the woods and getting great views of valleys and hilltops.  Once you get a few of these under your belt you can move up to longer day hikes and then eventually to multi-day hikes.  The most important thing, however, is just getting outside and getting some exercise all while experiencing the beauty of nature.

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