On one of my random, just for fun, days off, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t want to just lounge around the house, but I also didn’t exactly have a bunch of money to spend on doing something grand (like taking an actual vacation somewhere). So on a whim (well, I planned it the night before), I decided I wanted to go for a hike in the mountains and see a waterfall! I researched some trails and found one I thought I could do.
I gassed up the car and set off towards Charlottesville to one of the entrances to Shenandoah.
It was a little overcast that day, but I like having clouds in my pictures, it adds texture to an otherwise flat, blue sky.
I took my time driving to the designated parking lot, stopping here and there whenever I felt like it to take a picture.
I arrived at the lot and started off on the trail.
The description of the trail on the website is as follows: Jones Run Falls is at mile 84.1 in the South District of the park. Do you want a waterfall that will soothe your spirit and bring you peace? Try this one. The hike is 3.4 miles roundtrip, with a climb of 915 feet (Moderate). But the climb is gradual, so you may find it easier. The waterfall is a jewel—a cascade of 42 feet, surrounded by rocks, moss, and bushes. While sitting on flat rocks right in front of it, you become part of the scene!
The climb down was nice, it was a little humid at first but the further I descended and the further into the trees I got, the cooler it became. I had to hop, skip and jump over several small, and not so small, streams.
I had to watch my footing at all times. Not just from rocks and branches, but from the little critters walking along the trail as well. Kind of creepy, but fascinating at the same time.
I started to hear loud, rushing water and knew I was getting close! All of a sudden, there it was!
So worth it! I walked around, took some video, explored some of the smaller run-offs and finally sat and enjoyed the peace and serenity.
That is until other hikers and campers came around and dislodged my harmonious state of being. Ah well, it was getting late and I had a hike and drive ahead of me.
I started back the way I had come and, well, those descriptions should be more descriptive. What they should explain is that when they say the climbs are easy, moderate, or strenuous, that they are referring to the way either an “average” person or an “athletic, in shape” person would handle the climb.
They should have disclaimers that say if you have extra baggage around your mid-section and are sadly out of shape, you should probably take that into consideration before you begin your adventure. So when most people see this “moderate, gradual 915 foot 3.6 mile roundtrip hike” they think no problem. Voluptuous women such as myself should read that as “you’ll need to stop every 20 feet or so to double over and catch your breath on the way back up.”
“And keep in mind that females can pull groin muscles…when they still have a mile left to go…and don’t forget that the incline was the steepest at the very beginning…meaning the very end, of your hike.”
But it was totally worth it! And I would do it again. Haven’t been back since, but I would love to hike to a waterfall again. Maybe I’ll find an “easy” one next time ;-) Until then, I’ll stick to driving and stopping at each viewpoint to enjoy the views.