After hiking Hone Quarry Falls, Andy and I returned last spring to hike another trail in the area. This one, Hone Quarry Ridge — which, as I’ve written before, is one of the least used trails in George Washington National Forest.
- Five mile loop hike
- A small 1,480-foot elevation gain
- Level Three of Five difficulty
The hike was set to be easy and essentially an excuse for us to stroll through the forest . . .
At times, grass was so plush that it covered the path as we walked the yellow blaze Big Hollow Trail. Then it would give way to bright green moss that stretched to our sides, covering the ground in green. Meanwhile, the sun was bright and threw warm rays onto our shoulders before canopy shadows shaded us once more . . .
The ferns seemed to appreciate the indirect sun too — They stretched beside the trail full and thick, as did the new growth . . .
and I have to admit — Seeing young green life gives me more hope in our world than any other.
The mountain laurel and other flowers were in full bloom also, so of course I had to stop to see them . . .
Soon our trail turned to the Hone Quarry Mountain trail and we began to ascend the mountain . . .
Here, a mini view before a teasing overlook named Abbie Point . . .
There was another smaller lookout ahead but for the most part, nature grew to cover the view, which in truth is fine by me.
Continuing on though, the true treat: wild lady slipper orchids . . .
A five-mile hike never feels long enough in some sense — I long to walk further and have more distance, always. However, shorter hikes take the pressure off returning before dark — When there is a shorter distance, there is more time to sit or wander and truly absorb nature . . . so that is what we did.
We ambled by the slow-moving stream, we meandered past the forest flowers, and we paused in the flashes of sunlight . . .
Nature is beautiful — There is no better way to say it as words will never properly capture the feeling nor charm that exists here. Therefore, even though the distance covered was small and the vista not grand, that sensation of being in a forest — well, that is sensation I chase. That is the sensation I seek.