Hiking Hawksbill Mountain
The other weekend my parents and I took a trip down Skyline Drive to hike Hawksbill Mountain. The drive along Skyline Drive is beautiful and we ended up driving it all the way to the end on our way home (from the trail head up to Front Royal). The day was a little overcast but it was okay because the views were still fantastic.
When we arrived at the trail head I had read instructions to hike the loop which consisted of a section of a horse path/trail, a section of the Appalachian Trail, and then the Hawksbill Summit hike (very steep .8 mile downhill from the summit). This, unfortunately, is not what was executed. We accidentally started up the last part of the hike meaning we hiked an intense uphill right off the bat. It was nice to get a good sweat going, but my gosh it was hard. We arrived at the main summit and realized that we had gone backwards. So we decided to just do the loop backwards. This also didn't end up happening...
After leaving the summit, we took the fire road that meets up with the Appalachian Trail. We missed the little wooden sign that directed us to the Appalachian Trail, so we ended up hiking all the way down the fire road to the other Hawksbill parking lot. After analyzing the trail map at that parking lot, we realized our mistake and we then had to hike all the way back up to the summit. By the time we got back up to the summit we really didn't have time to complete the whole loop we initially wanted to do because it's 9.2 miles and takes around 5 and a half hours to complete.
At this point we just decided to hike back down to the parking lot and call it a day. When we got back down to the lot we saw the little entrance to the trail we should have taken initially. It was a very small path off to the right of the parking lot. When we got there, we just saw the big path headings straight up and didn't think twice to check around for another trail.
I was in a bad mood for awhile once I realized that we weren't going to be able to complete the loop we set out to do, but we still got to hike up to the main summit and experience the spectacular views. Also the drive down Skyline was breathtaking so that was an added bonus to the adventure.
Some day soon I'll go back and hike the actual loop. For more information on the hike go here.
P.S. the reason I've been MIA for the past week because I'm back down in OBX, except this time I'm with my boyfriend's family. And of course I'm having a blast! I'll be back home soon and doing some more hikes :)