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Locust Shade Park, VA Day Hike

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This 4 mile easy to moderate circuit day hike occurred on Saturday, May 5, 2018. Participants were Clayton Limbaugh, Dave McIntire, Tom O'Brien, Mike Calabrese, Tim Young, his son Austin, Cristhian Sanchez and his son Xavier. At 8 hikers this was the biggest turnout yet for a POPUMC Hike!

Again, this hike was in jeopardy because of predicted rains. Luckilly, they
held off until afternoon. I met Clayton, Tom and Dave at POPUMC. We left promptly at 8:00 AM and carpooled over to Locust Shade Park in Tom's car. At the park we met scoutmaster Tim, his son Austin, scout parent Cristhian and son Xavier.

We were on the trail by 8:30 AM. This hike consisted of 4 loops which were connected by various trails. Some of these trails were 'single track', wide enough for just 1 hiker) and some were 'dual track', wide enough for 2 people to pass each other with out one of the parties stepping aside. There were some ups and some stream crossings. And the road noise from I95 and US1 reminded us that we were still close to civilization. But the recently turned green forest was refreshing to walk through.

Tim, Austin, Cristhian and Xavier turned back after the first half loop as they needed to attend another scouting event later that morning. We bid them farewell and told them that the scouts were welcome to join us anytime on our upcoming hikes. Then the four of us 'oldsters' continued on.

We did another 'half loop', crossed a power line right of way, then started around the loop that would get us back to Tom's car. At one point the trail got very close to I95. We could see the details of the drivers of the vehicles. But, because of the recent greening of the woods, they probably could not see us. The trail got close to a side street, then turned back toward the power line crossing that we came in on. Since I forgot to take a group picture at the beginning of the hike, we took one as we were recrossing the power line.

This trail was well blazed this time, as opposed to no blazing the last time that I hiked it about 6 or 7 years ago. This next half loop was interesting. We found the remains of what looked like an old sports car of some sort in the middle of the woods rusting away. We were all theorizing how it got there. We then came across a massive blowdown that we had to navigate around.

As we entered the final half loop before the end of the hike we ran into our first navigational issue of the day. The map had us going right, then left
(north) along US1 and the end of the hike. However, when we took this route the trail appeared to continue south (right) and parallel to US1. So we made the collective decision to turn around and take the route that we came in on back to Tom's car. We did and found our way back to the car by 10:40. We then made it back to POPUMC by around 11:00 AM.

It looks like we hiked the 4 miles at about 2 miles an hour. Not bad for four 'older guys'. Anyway, with the exception of the blowdown and the map issues at the end of the hike this was a good one and would be a great family outing.

Mike C

Entrance sign at Locust Shade Park, VA
  Entrance sign, Locust Shade Park, VA.
   By Mike Calabrese
Group picture at power line ROW
  Group picture at power line ROW.
   By Mike Calabrese
Bridge crossing
  Bridge crossing.
   By Mike Calabrese
Abandoned vehicle in woods
  Abandoned vehicle in woods.
   By Mike Calabrese
Navigating a blowdown
  Navigating a blowdown.
   By Mike Calabrese

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