Catch the WV mountain laurel bloom on the Ziler loop trail at Cacapon State Park

Mountain laurel is blooming right now in our part of West Virginia — in the part we call the Eastern Panhandle. Morgan County has its share of mountains, which means lots of places to look at this wild flowering shrub as its blooms open up. This week I’ve been on laurel patrol in Morgan County.Continue reading “Catch the WV mountain laurel bloom on the Ziler loop trail at Cacapon State Park”

Four generations at Cacapon State Park, and counting

My father climbed to the top of Cacapon Mountain near Berkeley Springs, W.Va. when he was about 16. He was on a fall hike with his father and younger brother. They all lived in suburban Maryland at the time, and it was, perhaps, their first visit to Cacapon State Park. A photo of the threeContinue reading “Four generations at Cacapon State Park, and counting”

Even when you’re hiking alone, you’re not

I’ll admit it. I like hiking by myself. Blame it on being the mother of two boys. Or my introverted nature. Or too many years working directly with the public. Whatever it is, I treasure long periods of quiet. That’s when I can really find peace — thinking aimlessly, scanning the world around me forContinue reading “Even when you’re hiking alone, you’re not”

Witch hazel: nature’s medicine & dowser’s tool

Our woods don’t offer up a lot of color in wintertime. That’s why the feathery yellow bloom of the witch hazel tree is such a curious surprise from the late fall to the midwinter months of the year. Because it only grows as a short tree (or a tall shrub, depending on who you ask),Continue reading “Witch hazel: nature’s medicine & dowser’s tool”

A mileage challenge sets me on a new path

A West Virginia State Parks challenge started me hiking in earnest in 2016. Sam England, the Parks Chief at the time, had issued what he called the Chief’s Challenge. I read about it when the press release came in to our local newspaper. The task, for anyone willing to take it on, was to hikeContinue reading “A mileage challenge sets me on a new path”