If you’ve visited The Unassuming Hiker this week, you have already been introduced to The Channels, a gorgeous, 721 acre natural preserve in Southwest Virginia. The Channels Natural Area Preserve is part of a 4,836 acre State Forest that was purchased by the Department of Forestry from The Nature Conservancy in March 2008. The preserve name is derived from the maze-like system of sandstone crevices and boulders that occur near the 4208ft. summit of Middle Knob on Clinch mountain.
With good friends along for the ride, the 2 hour drive to the trailhead was over before we knew it. The last 30 minutes will offer an excellent ride when next I return on the bike. Lots of curves and twisties to thrill a bikers heart!
The 3 mile hike to the top was through a lush, green forest that offered plenty of shade on this sunny, breezy day.
Once on the top, we had views that stretched for miles! We just could not stop exclaiming about how fortunate we were to be there.
I swear, I want to be a hawk (well, except for their diet). I want to soar!
Even though it is only early September, the color change has begun.
We were 4 very happy women: Fresh air, exercise, incredible views, and lots of places to explore.
Big thanks to Karen for offering weekend hikes for those who can’t make it during the week.
As you might guess, I took a zillion photos. The next post will show images of the fire tower (which, or course, I wanted to climb), and the one after that will be about the sandstone channels that, when we explored them, brought out the kid in all of us.
I had a friend who always climbed up fire towers and got herself into a lot of trouble as a consequence! Don’t do it! Your card arrived yesterday and is lovely and appreciated! xoxo
Oh I’m so glad it arrived! You know what we should do when we are visiting? Have a birthday party for all of us! To celebrate all of us.
And yes, I can just imagine the trouble I might get into on a fire tower!
Such a good idea! I’m on it 🙂
What a gorgeous area, Laurie. Excellent shots to tell the story of your day.
Thank you, Jane. I can’t quite express the contentment we all felt. It was a wonderful day!
I love your photos of the mountains and conservatory. So invigorating. You have me psyched for a trek on the AT next week on the PA – MD border.
Jim, how exciting. How long will you be out? I’ll look forward to hearing about it!
Thanks for taking such great photos to commemorate a very fun hike!
I wish I could better describe just what a great day that it was. Thank You for getting us out there
How did I already know you wanted to climb the fire tower before you mentioned it Laurie 😀 These are all beautiful images. You will have to tell me where you get all of your energy one day.
Joe, I’ve been thinking of you and cameras lately. I’ve just been so disatisfied with the final product of my images. I’ve had my Canon 60D for 3 yrs now, not long enough to think about a new one. Perhaps I need to just spend more time practicing, but I sure hate to think I’d come home from NZ and OZ with images I am not happy with.
Thanks for your comment here, and let’s just hope my energy lasts. I have no time for that 🙂
Why are you dissatisfied with your final product Laurie the images are beautiful ?
I guess I just look at the images and see a lack of clarity or depth.
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Kerry, it’s good to hear from you. Everything about this day was wonderful, and I’m thankful that Karen planned it 6 weeks ahead of time as I probably would have something else scheduled for the day.
So both of our teams won big yesterday! YAY!
Looks like you had an absolutely wonderful day! Fantastic scenery!
It really was a fab day, Sheryl. Happy, happy me!
I can almost smell the musty forest on that dirt trail. I like the dappled light sprinkling through the canopy of the trees. Your roadways are so pretty down there x K
I try not to take for granted how green it is, and how incredibly beautiful. (I’m finally responding to comments … thank you for all of yours ❤ )
Adding this to my (long) list of hikes that I want to do – thanks for the beautiful pictures.
And thanks for your comment, Kristin.
Just visited your blog and learned about the Basilica of St Lawrence
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