Skip to main content

Fourth of July Vacation - Day 1 - Sky Meadows State Park

Maggie and I headed up to Pennsylvania for the Fourth of July.  We headed up on a Thursday and spent about three hours at Sky Meadows State Park in Paris, Virginia for lunch and some hiking.

Route: NC 50, US 15, I-85, I-95, US 17, I-81, VA 37, US 522, I-68, US 40, PA 51, PA 48.

For years, I have wanted to stop and check out Sky Meadows State Park.  Sky Meadows is located on the two lane stretch of US 17 that runs between US 50 and Interstate 66.  Though only ten miles in length, this is a highly scenic and enjoyable drive.  (Do watch your speed and keep your eye out for equestrians along the shoulder of the road.)

Sky Meadows State Park

For the entire flickr set from Sky Meadows - head here.

After a lunch, we decided to take some time hiking some of the trails at the park.  Sky Meadows has over 12 miles of hiking trails, and the park includes nearly two and a half miles of the Appalachian Trail.  We weren't able to reach the AT; however, we did hike the Piedmont Overlook Trail and parts of the North Ridge Trail.

The Piedmont Overlook Trail is a little steep but the views are well worth it!

IMG_7143

The North Ridge Trail in its entirety runs just over one and a half miles and leads to the Appalachian Trail.  One of the impressive parts of the trails, at least to Maggie and I, were how well marked they were.  You knew what trail you were on, what trails you were intersecting, and how far to the next trail or landmark.  This was the first hiking trip we've done at a Virginia State Park, so I am not sure if this is consistent throughout their parks, but if it is, it makes for a more pleasant hiking experience.

North Ridge Trail at Piedmont Overlook Trail  - Sky Meadows State Park

We would loved to have been able to continue the mile or so to the AT, but we still had over three and a half hours of driving to do.

Speaking of the drive from Sky Meadows to Pennsylvania, we stopped at the Sideling Hill Overlook/Rest Area on I-68 near Hancock, Maryland.  Though the visitor's center is now closed, the rest area is still a popular stop because of its spectacular views.

IMG_7161

So what's in store for Day 2?  I hope you like Roller Coasters!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The New PA 48 - The Unbuilt Eastern Allegheny County Freeway

From the 1950's to the 1980's, there was a proposal to build a 4-lane expressway paralleling PA Route 48.  This proposed highway was officially known as the "North-South Parkway", but locally known as the "New 48".  Sadly, this route never came to be; however, it is the predecessor of another highway, The Mon-Fayette Expressway.  The "New 48" was a highly debated route that really never got beyond the planning stages.  There are very few remnants of construction left.

History:
Originally proposed in the post-war Pittsburgh, the "New 48" was a lot of talk, but it really never saw much work done.  Most of the discussion, planning, land acquisitions and right-of-way clearing occurred in the 1960s.  The "New 48" would also have gone by the term "North-South Parkway".  This was the term for the highway used in White Oak: A Master Plan done by the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Commission in 1960. (1)

The early 60s would see muc…

Hunting for forgotten history; Old US 99 in Fresno

Coming back from my Great Lakes Trip the other day I encountered this sign goof at Fresno-Yosemite International Airport which incorrectly displays US Route 99.





That little US 99 sign was the inspiration I needed to start tracking all the former alignments through the City of Fresno.  Fresno in general has had a huge shift in highway layouts over the decades which is something I intend to finish with California 41 and 180 perhaps later this month.  Based off my research I came with the following three maps progressing northward through Fresno showing every iteration of US 99 before it was downgraded to a State Highway in 1967.




Essentially the route alignment history of US Route 99 in Fresno is as follows.

1926-1930 Alignment 

Progressing northward into Fresno US Route 99 would have followed:

Railroad Avenue
-  Cherry Avenue
-  Broadway Street
-  Divisadero Street
-  H Street
-  Belmont Avenue
-  Golden State Avenue

1930-1934 Realignment off of Railroad Avenue

Sometime between 1930 to …

The William Flinn (not Flynn) Highway - Pittsburgh's Misspelled Street

For decades if you traveled along PA Route 8 in Pittsburgh's North Hills suburbs, you would have noticed signs that read "William Flynn Highway" at every intersection.  Even today, many businesses and residences have their addresses listed as XXXX William Flynn Highway.  However, it's not William Flynn Highway, it is William FLINN Highway - and the gentleman who it is named for has a long and storied past in Pittsburgh's infrastructure history.

William Flinn was born in England in 1851; however later that year, his family emigrated to the United States and would settle in Pittsburgh.  A 10 year-old school drop out, Flinn grew interested in politics and would join the Allegheny County Republican Party in 1877 as a ward commissioner and a seat on the Board of Fire Commissioners.  Flinn would serve in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives and Senate from 1877 to 1902. (1)

Flinn along with James J. Booth would found the Booth and Flinn construction firm in …