AT Trek

I was out on the Appalachian Trail for a couple of days. I had planned to do an entire week with a buddy who was through hiking and hitting this section, but had a little incident with a bear and a bit of a tumble down the trail as I sought to gain some distance with the result that my pack strap removed a layer of skin from my left shoulder... but such is life. When I looked up the bear was gone. I figure he must have thought something bigger than him got me when I slipped. Was still a good time though. I can say though, the bear population of the Shenandoah National Park is in good shape. I saw my first one in a tree not 15 minutes into the hike. By the end of the first day I found 6 total, everyone of them perched in a tree. The one on the second day was perched right in the middle of the path I was following.

Anyway, here are a few snapshots from my shortened trek in the northern section of the park.
Here is a typical view from elevation atop one of the smaller mountains one has to climb on the trail.

This is a view from the first day out. The trail goes down the side of the slope I"m standing on, crosses the parkway in the distance, up that climb, down into the valley and up the mountain in the far distance following the top of the mountain down the crest for about six miles to a park wayside store (where incidentally I stopped my hike after my shoulder wound opened up on me.)

View from the top of Hogback Mountain looking west into the Shenandoah valley.

The trail in this section is in very good condition - easy to follow and well signed and blazed. This section was quite peaceful with the ferns growing.

The Appalachian Trail itself comes close to Skyline Parkway in a number of locations. Unfortunate if you seek to be away from all signs of civilization. Good though, if you need to seek an alternate route around a particularly stubborn bear.

In fifteen years of hiking the AT and other associated trails in TN, VA, and NC - I've only seen a handful of bears. They were thick in the Shenandoah. I got so used to seeing bear scat on the trail that I ceased to pay too much attention to it.