I have done this hike before as I always scope out the trail before leading a hike for the Trail Dames. It is a really nice hike if you like a good uphill climb followed by amazing views!
I had planned on taking the Dames out on this trail earlier in the Spring but we got rained out. Well, today was our day! We met at the Rt. 40 AT lot, then shuttled to the Thurston Griggs trail head. There were some new faces joining us today on our trek. I am so glad they found our group! The Trail Dames is an amazing group of women hikers. We have women who are just starting out hiking and some who have been hiking for years. It is an incredibly welcoming group and ALL women interested in hiking or backpacking should check us out on MeetUp. We are up and down the east coast from Georgia to Maine…and there is a group in Kentucky!
This trail goes gradually uphill until the second creek crossing, then it gets steeper and rockier! The last quarter mile up to the AT is the steepest. Note the nice spring just before you hit the AT. All of the Dames made it up without too much difficulty…a little huffing and puffing…but they were still smiling at the top!
We headed south on the AT, which means more climbing! Up to Black Rock Cliffs we went and oh, was it worth the climb. We climbed up on the rocks and settled in for a snack. As we sat there losing ourselves in the views, we were refreshed by a steady breeze. After a while I reluctantly said we needed to move on down the trail. We now headed south to Annapolis Rocks…again to be pulled by the views and lovely breeze out onto the rocks for a break.
It was a lovely hike. Although the views from the cliffs were the main attraction, the forest itself was showing its summer finery! The ferns were large and showy. Rhododendron was still in bloom in places. All the forest made me feel as if I was walking into a Grimm’s fairy tale. Just wonderful!