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Sunday, March 9, 2014

#11 - Appalachian Trail to Weverton Cliff

AT to Weverton Cliff
All I can say is, "Wow!!", what a great day yesterday to get outside! With my hiking partner off enjoying the sights and sounds of Charleston, SC, I decided to head west to get some AT hiking in - a nice 9 mile out and back from Harpers Ferry to Weverton Cliff. This is rated as a great day hike, and it didn't disappoint.

You can't ask for a better starting point than Harpers Ferry, as the beauty of the area makes you anxiously get out and get started to see what's in-store. From weekend backpackers, to bicyclists, to kayakers out enjoying the two rivers that join here, this is a place full of good times regardless which direction you plan to head - and what you plan to do.

AT crossing Potomac
Kayakers on Shenendoah
Crossing the Potomac into Maryland, the AT follows the C&O Canal for about 3 miles. It's a nice, wide path, and since we're still early in the season, I found the crowds to be low. Most people were out for a mile or two stroll, so as I made my way further along the trail, I started to see fewer and fewer people.

AT / C&O Canal

One of the many trains throughout the day.
Freight trains pretty much put the canal system out of business.

White Blaze of the AT

As I made my way to Weverton, the C&O Canal continues East for another 58 miles towards DC, while the AT branches off to the North, for another 1162 miles or so. I branch off to follow the AT up South Mountain, a rather steep 550 ft climb. The AT noticeably narrows once off the canal path.

Weverton - Where the AT branches of from the C&O Canal

AT to South Mountain

AT to South Mountain

AT - South Mountain

AT - South Mountain
After a nice hike up South Mountain, I arrived to Weverton Cliff. As it was later in the day, I had the cliff to myself. With the time change this weekend, I don't expect that to be the case again until late Autumn.

I had a nice break here, and enjoyed the serenity and the view. As I looked out, I saw the sun beginning to set. Time to get moving!

Weverton Cliff

Weverton Cliff

Weverton Cliff
I made it down South Mountain, and back to the C&O Canal. I was feeling great from the day outside and everything I had seen. Another train came by, and as I watched it head westward, I realized we were both chasing the sun. Neither one of us were going to catch it on this day.

Chasing the sun

From Weverton to Harpers Ferry - Along the river - Like many before me
If you've got a day, nine miles in you, and the legs for a short, but steep, climb, I recommend this beautiful hike to Weverton Cliff.

Happy Trails!


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