I knew by today we would be tired mountain hiking and would need a bit of a break from the trail. However, we knew from past mountain hikes in Utah,Tennessee, and Sedona that sitting and doing nothing only makes the pain prolong itself so we had a plan.
Our third day we checked out of the Salem, VA hotel and drove the popular scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to the Shenandoah National Park and then continued onward via the Skyline Drive through the entire park.Gorgeous…..simply gorgeous once again.
Again, like the day we traveled to hike Sharp Top Trail, we saw numerous bear hunters lining the road all along this route. And this is where I saw my first 2….yes 2 wild bears ever! Exciting I tell you….and wow can they run fast…..I was amazed.
We drove for 6 hours this day ending at a trail head we choose to hike to stretch our legs before heading to our next hotel in Winchester, VA. Hotels near the park are an enormous amount of money…and I am cheap…so this worked out very well. The trail we choose was the Compton Gap Trail.
According to the sign it was a 2.4 mile trail but we clocked a bit over this.
The parking for this trail was easily located if you follow the map given to you at the entrance of the park. Parking was sufficient and the actual tail starts on the opposite side of the street.
This trail is also part of the AT as was McAfee Knob so you will follow the white blazes you see in the trees until you reach the post marker directing you to then follow the blue blazes to the overlook.
The trail itself offered a bit of everything. Flat dirt, rocks, and boulders you weave through once again. There seems to be a pattern to Virginia hiking.
The overlook is easily located since the trail simply comes to an end.
On this trail you head down the same way you hiked up.
My opinion of this trail is its a nice short trail for families. Not too steep and not too rocky like others if you have the proper footwear for hiking. It was a great choice for us to have a bit of time on the trail and out of the vehicle.
My opinion of the Blue Ridge Parkway is it’s gorgeous. We traveled it early in the morning until mid afternoon and had no problems with traffic. That being said, I can only imagine with fall colors and mid summer it could get a bit crazy. NOTE: There are NO gas stations on the parkway so fill your tank before you travel it.