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 story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

The story of the Boy Scout Ramps on Interstate 79 North in NW Pennsylvania

If you are traveling on Interstate 79 North of Pittsburgh, you may notice the remnants of a set of off and on ramps at mile 100 just north of Exit 99 (US 422).  There's a story behind these ramps.  Forty years ago, these ramps were built specifically for two Boy Scout Jamboree's that were held at Moraine State Park - 1973 and 1977.  The ramps purpose were to provide access to the north shore of Lake Arthur where the bulk of the festivities and campsite for the Jamboree were located.  (Lawrence County Memories has a great write up and map of the festivities on its site.)

Not long after the Jamboree ended the ramps were abandoned.  There are still remnants of the Boy Scout Ramps today.



Above: Sattelite view of the Boy Scout Jamboree Ramps. 
Below: A view of the ramps from I-79 South.



The google street view image above gives a view along West Park Road of where the set of ramps intersected the highway.  The ramps provided direct access to North Shore Drive (which is the right tur…

The few clues of the Northern Durham Parkway

Sometimes when you look through a box of maps for the first time in five years, you come across something you may have easily over looked.  Such was the case when I found a 2004 (so rather recent) map of Raleigh.  This map was made by the Dolph Map Company for WakeMed.  In the Northwestern corner of Wake County, there were two items to the map showing roads that are still not in existence 13 years later.

The road is the Northern Durham Parkway - this is a proposed 19 mile highway from US 501 north of Durham to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  The first proposals for this highway date back to 1967 when Eno Drive-Gorman Road was listed on the Durham Area Thoroughfare Plan. (1)  Other proposals called the highway the Northwest and Northeast Durham Loop. (2)  The route would serve as a northern and eastern bypass of Durham almost serving as a near loop.  The route was fought vigorously for three decades by the Eno River Association citing concerns for the the Eno River, nearby n…