Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Piney Branch - Piney Ridge Trail: a 75@75 Hike (part 1)
For photos today, I have a view of one of the cascades along Piney Branch – as you can imagine, with the elevation changes on this trail, they are plentiful. Also, a shot of a serious blowdown we encountered – this one completely blocking the trail so that we had to bushwhack around it (to the uphill side, of course). And finally, an area of the Piney Ridge trail where the chestnuts fell so long ago, and have been cut through to allow passage.
This kind of an area is one of the “ghost forests” you find in Shenandoah National Park, areas where significant tree stands have fallen victim over time to development and other impacts, such as the emerald ash borer problem we are seeing just now. It’s a phenomenon I need to look into more, but there were so many fallen chestnuts through here, all in various stages of decay. They last a long time on the ground, but made a strangely beautiful passage.
A partial list of the hikes on the 75@75 project is here: http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2011/05/about-7575-project.html