Our weekend of camping was topped off with a short (5-6 miles round trip) jaunt on the Appalachian Trail. As a new hiker, it felt a bit like we had hit the big leagues! We started the trail at around 8:30 am, near a bridge that connects the trail to Greenbrier State Park. From there, we went north and east, towards Annapolis Rocks.
The trail hugs the freeway for a few yards before climbing into the woods. The first mile or so of the hike was pretty much uphill, with some areas very steep. It wasn’t long before it leveled off and became less rocky. Compared to other trails, this one was about twice as wide and very smooth. It took us through a beautiful forest. Most of the hikers that we saw along the way looked pretty serious; they had backpacking equipment full to the brim with tents, sleeping bags, foam mattresses, and other equipment.
We passed one designated camping area and saw another one near Annapolis Rocks. They even had a latrine, although I was thinking that the woods looked a bit more inviting than walking into the old, weathered, structure. Annapolis Rocks is about 1/4 a mile down a side trail. It has an amazing panoramic view of the area. We could see the Greenbrier State Park, including the lake.
As the morning sun rose, so did the number of hikers. On our way back to the car we saw a lot more people, many with dogs. One thing I was surprised to see was a fox! It scurried across the path a few yards in front of us before slipping into the woods.