LOCATION: White Oak Canyon. Charlottesville, VA
I must say, waiting for March to do a bucket list item for the 2015 year was making me very antsy. But, health comes first I guess, and it certainly has not been a healthy one. After strep and surgery I tried to regain my fitness level back, only to get bronchitis, and what I am fairly certain is a stress fracture of some kind in my foot. However, with my lung capacity shot, and my foot compressed tightly in boots, I set out on my FIRST hike on the East coast and in my home state. Yes. That is correct. I have neglected to play in my own backyard, and instead have always chosen to travel West for my hiking adventures.
I chose White Oak Canyon for my hike in Shenandoah since it proved to be doable for a day hike, for someone just getting back into the scene, and very very scenic with loads of waterfalls.
The hike followed along the stream and about eight falls all the way to the top. The trail was easy to follow and only seemed semi difficult on the rock scramble portions. There was a small rock bridge that was submerged in water, but was still passable with some patience.
For it being late March, the hike was very cold. About 32-40 degrees out. This left some portions of the stream with icicles coming down, which was pretty cool to see. Overall, I really loved the hike and can’t wait to see more of this gigantic park when the leaves come in.
Such a beautiful area. It did feel weird to hike without any rock climbing or rappelling. This is something I’ve always done out west while hiking. Something just felt missing. Looks like I’m going to need a rappel “fix” soon as well.
To end the perfect hike and finally accomplishing something on the list for this year, I chose to get a beer from one of my favorite breweries in Charlottesville: Three Notch’d Brewery. Can’t go wrong with that!
*Thanks Will for accompanying me on this adventure!
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?: Absolutely! Waterfall hikes are the best.
HOW TO DO THIS: Head to Skyline drive and follow the road till you get to the entrance for the hike. Trail is about 4.6 miles, easy to moderately difficult, and took about 4 hours to complete. There was a good amount of parking and bathrooms before reaching the trail. You can finish an 8mile look that is much more difficult if you combine it with Cedar Run.