Doyles River Trail September 2011

Doyles cabin

Another weekend and another opportunity to get outside and do some hiking.  The weather today was going to be close to perfect, low temps and only the slightest probability of rain.  Not to say that there wouldn’t be clouds, but almost guaranteed no rain that day.  After my previous attempt to hike Old Rag, I was already open to the idea of picking a never before hiked trail.  So when Tab, a cigar smoker and fellow nature photography, shows me some pictures from the Blue Ridge Parkway it peaked my interest.  I tried to find the Corbin Cabin he talked about but soon realized the Parkway is to far for an off the cuff hike.  Lots of options down there, but way south west from home.

I picked a trail within the Shenandoah National Park from an area I have never explored, Loft Mountain.  Doyles River Trail had two water falls and a log cabin all within 3.2 miles round trip.  When I arrived the first thing I notice about the trail you start going down hill.  This is already starting off pretty bad and going down hill is hard on my knees, and I knew I was going to have to hike up the mountain once I was done visiting the falls.  With plenty of water and some food I started down, running into a few people that were most coming up.  The first stop was the cabin which was locked and certainly looks old.  The view is pretty good from the front door, but there is very little flat land to speak of.  I don’t see how someone could have lived on the side of the mountain like that.

lower fall’s, 63′

When I arrived at the lower falls there was a large family hanging out at the falls.  My intention was to hike to the lower falls any how so I just continued down the mountain till I reached the larger falls below.  Here I found peach and solitude.  I would hear a bird around me and sound of the water falls to the rocks.  With no one around I snapped some shots before sitting to enjoy some food.  My peace wouldn’t last long as I soon heard the large family coming to the falls for a look around.  This was my que to leave so I packed up and started up the mountain.  Let me tell you that trip up is steep, somehow I just keep pushing through mentally to force my legs.

I for the first time I used my camera to take bracket exposure photos to later be assembled into HDR photos.  Will have to see how these turn out.  My GPS data logger was a casualty of war and is now smashed to bits.  It was rather inaccurate in recording and difficult to connect to my Mac via Blue Tooth so I will get an improved model.