|View from Hightop Mountain|
The Appalachian Trail roughly parallels Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park weaving its way back and forth across the road for some 100 plus miles. This is a day hikers dream—this is my dream. I have so many options here. Gene can drop me off at one point and pick me up down the road a few miles. Loft Mountain, Lewis Mountain, and Big Meadows campgrounds are all conveniently located practically on top of the AT making it easy to do a 1 or 2 night backpack and get a shower and a hamburger at the end of the day. What more could anyone want.
Today I chose to drive to Smith Roach Gap and hike from there to Swift Run Gap and back again. It was a beautiful section of trail up and over Hightop Mountain. At the beginning of my hike I thought that wild geranium would be the flower of the day. It was everywhere in full bloom. However, as I passed over the summit of Hightop I began to see white and pink trillium. Just a few scattered here and there at first, but as I progressed down the other side I saw trillium everywhere. Without a doubt, trillium ruled the day.