Wednesday, February 18, 2015

19 September 2014 Shenandoah River State Park

It was time to leave Shenandoah. :( We usually visit Stoney Man on our Shenandoah trips. We decided to make a stop on our way out of the park. Stoney Man is a popular rock climbing destination. It used to be we would see a handful of people at the dropping point. Over the years the number has grown. For me, the safety professional side of me is always a bit concerned trying to avoid the ropes crossing the trail and tied to trees. I know that rope is the lifeline for the person over the side so there is always concern that I might cause harm if I step in the wrong place. This morning the area was packed with people. There were so many, we didn't try to pass. Instead, we dropped down to a lower point and made a quick visit to the spot before moving on. I guess on our next visit we will need to make this a mid-week hike to avoid the long weekend crew.

It always disturbs me to see climbers tying off to trees and potentially doing damage in a National Park that prohibits geocaches for fear the containers will spoil the natural beauty and harm the environment. The National Park Service's attempt at preservation seems misguided and uninformed.

We keep visiting more Virginia State Parks. We were near Shenandoah River State Park and decided to make this a destination on our journey from the national park to Maryland. The park was the weakest of the ones we visited so far, but the trail had good views of the river. Unlike the other Virginia State Parks we've visited, I would probably pass by a second stop if there were a new adventure to opt for instead.

We had a great time spotting fence lizards along the trail.

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