I convinced K we needed to go hiking this past weekend and luckily he agreed. We haven’t been able to go much this summer and fall with all the wedding events and rugby Saturdays we had on the schedule. All of that has ended for the season (with the exception of the Christmas 7’s rugby tournament coming up the first weekend in December) so hopefully we can get a few cold weather hikes in before the spring season takes over our weekends again.
After staying at a friend’s house out in Remington Saturday night, we headed into Sperryville Sunday morning. The trail we were planning on doing has a trailhead entrance off the beaten path so we’re able to park in a mini lot without having to drive all the way into the Shenandoah Park off Skyline Drive (can be a far & expensive route). We chose to do Little Devil Stairs again and it felt like a completely different hike than last year’s run. There was still fresh snow on the ground and the water was higher than normal from all the rain we have had lately. The trail actually begins with a small water crossing that definitely would have ruined the hike if we both hadn’t invested in some waterproof hiking boots last year. The trail itself meanders back and forth across a waterfall creek as you work your way up the mountain. The name comes from the fact that the rocks form literal stairs as you climb up. It’s a fun challenge to figure out which rocks/logs to jump to cross at each point. K slipped once but luckily his feet were able to stay dry and just his outer layer of pants got wet. The hardest part of the hike was actually the last portion of the Little Devil Stairs section – a slow incline of somewhat flat ground yet covered in snow. The longest trudge of my life, both of our steps were becoming shorter and shorter until we made it to the top and onto the Keyser Run Rd fire trail.
Once making it to the top, there are a few trail options to continue through. Both times we’ve chosen to walk the 3ish miles down the fire trail back to the parking lot. The other options are to cross over onto another trail leading deeper into the National Park and to head in the opposite direction down the fire road out onto Skyline Drive. After working up a hardcore sweat climbing UP the mountain, we’re pretty grateful for the easier walk out. Plus we do some of our best brainstorming/couples therapy sessions on that long hour walk 🙂
I love finding new trails for us to follow in the Shenandoah and along the Appalachian Trail. Here are some links to find the best ones: