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 Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …