|Peter gives instruction to the crew early in our weekend.|
|The Thornton River Trail crosses the Skyline Drive a|
few miles north of Mathews Arm Campground, near Mile Post 25.
We never made it more than a half mile down the trail. The trail drops steadily, which creates runoff during storms. Left unchecked, erosion can occur which can create ruts in the trail and risks for the hiker, particularly one with a heavy backpack.
|Having several rocks to choose from|
did not guarantee the right fit.
|Noel makes sure that the rocks are buried|
to the right depth.
|The rock seen by the next hiker on the trail|
is the tip of the iceberg.
After spending a day and a half volunteering to upgrade a small section of trail in Shenandoah National Park, (the National Park Services states that Shenandoah National Park has over 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the A.T.), I have a new level of respect for the effort that goes into keeping the trails in good shape. And I'll probably look at the trails I hike in a slightly different way from now on.
After finishing up on Saturday there was an hour until dinner would be served, so I decided to take a quick hike. The group campsite at Mathews Arm is also the trailhead for the Mathews Arm Trail, which descends to the Overall Run Waterfall and is shown on the map above. I did not have time to make it all the way down to the falls, but a trail runner told me that there wasn't any water in the falls anyway. This must have been a big disappointment to a lot of folks, because I was amazed at the number of people on the trail - I am not used to seeing so many people out hiking! This is clearly a trail that attracts a large number of novice hikers, and had numbers that compare with Shenandoah hotspots like Old Rag, Stony Man, and Dark Hollow Falls.
|My trail crew, at the end of the first day.|
I was able to manage a 3.6 mile hike in an hour and seven minutes, with an ascent/descent of just over 700 feet. I was late for dinner, but fortunately there was plenty to go around! It was a good workout.