Our second (and final) day in Shenandoah National Park started at sun-up. We set out early on the Lewis Falls Trail (the trailhead is at the Big Meadows Lodge) so that we could complete the hike before checking out of our room at the lodge. The sun was just rising and starting to peak through the trees as we started our hike. We ate peanut butter and crackers for breakfast while we were hiking in order to make the most of our time.
We came across this doe somewhat close to the lodge. She didn’t mind us one bit.
I’ve never seen trailmarkers like the ones used at Shenandoah. The design is actually pretty smart, as the metal holds up much better over time than painted wooden signs. There were quite a few trails in the area. It was TOO COOL to see the Appalachian Trail labeled on this particular marker. Maybe one of these days I’ll get to hike the whole Appalachian Trail, rather than just a teeny, tiny part of it (you can see that the Lewis Falls trail heads south on the Appalachian Trail).
We don’t have much of a fall or many trees where we live, so we were constantly keeping a look out for pretty leaves. I really love the color variations in these maple leaves.
There were some pretty good views along the Lewis Falls Trail.
Down the in the southern part of the Texas there are some oak trees with branches that grow in strange/random directions (because of the wind), but I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen one quite this weird — it made a complete 90-ish degree angle!
The large variety of trees in this area resulted in a variety of colors. I can’t help but think that we lucked out on the timing of this trip. We definitely hit the “peak” color-change time for several types of trees.
The view of Lewis Falls was a bit obscured by trees in the area, and the overlook was further away from the falls than I would have preferred. However, the hike was fairly short and easy, so the view was definitely worth the little effort that it took to get there.
I really liked the look of the tall, dead trees in the foreground of the next photo.
We spotted this buck on our way back to Big Meadows Lodge. Like the doe that we saw on our way out, he didn’t mind us one bit, either.