If you read my previous post “Staunton State Park Hike 1”, you will see that I experienced a few trail fails. A week later, I ventured back up to Staunton for a different hike and I remedied those mistakes. This time I brought even more drinking water, more food, and Ibuprofen. I also brought my favorite hiking partner, Aaron! ❤️
As you can see, it snowed a little since the previous week!
The orange highlighted loop indicates the 7 Mile Hike that we did. You’ll notice on the map that we missed out on some pretty cool overlooks and that is because I had one major trail fail this hike: wrong footwear. The temps had been pretty warm (50’s) the last few afternoons and I assumed that the trails would be relatively free from the recent snowfall so I opted to wear my Salomon trail runners. Big mistake.
Lion’s Head in the distance.
The trail started out fairly dry for the first 1.8 Miles.
We had beautiful blue skies and warming late morning temps.
There was lots of dripping water from the melting snow in the pine branches. It was pretty cool and sounded like rain.
When we reached the Old Mill Trail, we also arrived at the deeper snow.
Properly prepared Aaron feeling good in his completely waterproof Asolo boots.
Despite the deeper snow, this is one of my favorite sections of trail. This is where you achieve most of the elevation gain in .9 miles of trail. Great workout and even more of a challenge in snow.
After we reached the top of the snowy Old Mill Trail we turned right and continued on the Mason Creek Trail through the stunning aspen meadows with the intention of hitting up the scenic overlooks on the Bear Paw Trail.
I’m wearing my Darn Tough wool socks that are doing a pretty decent job at keeping my feet warm, but my trail runners are definitely wet. It is at this point that we make the decision to shorten our planned 9 mile hike down to 7 Miles and continue on our loop trail heading back to the trailhead. It isn’t cold outside, but my wet feet are just not comfortable.
At least I didn’t go hungry this hike! “Peanut Butter Jelly Time Peanut Butter Jelly Time” 🎶 -song by Brian on the show Family Guy
As we began our descent, the trail got a lot sloppier with the melting snow.
Lots of puddles and talk of me getting new boots for next winter. Aaron raves about his Asolo boots. His feet stayed dry through all of the conditions we encountered.
Fifty Shades of Green
Almost back at the trailhead. Gorgeous blue sky day. I’m a little bummed that we didn’t make it to the overlooks, but it was the right call to head back to the trailhead. I peeled off my socks and sneaks the minute we got to the truck and into my waiting flip flops.
Pro Tip: keep flip flops in your vehicle at all times. Your feet will thank you after every adventure.
Amazing views post hike at the parking lot.
We’ll be back for those scenic overlooks next time 😉