Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mt Pleasant/Henry Lanum Trail Hike

The last hike with Newcomers was in the Mt Pleasant National Scenic Area 
in the George Washington National Forest.  
It was my first time to be in the Mt Pleasant section; 
with 7500+ acres, a 12 mile loop system of trails, 
and a swath of the Appalachian trail cutting across this NSA 
there's a lot more hiking to do here in the future.

The group carpooled for the 30 minute drive to the trailhead.
Luckily, I'd chosen to take Joe's Xterra because Bernard the Mini 
would never have survived the rutted Forest Service road!

We hiked the southwest half of the Henry Lanum Trail 
leading to the peak of Mt. Pleasant.
By doing the SW portion only,
 we had a slightly shorter "out and back" hike (4.5 miles)
rather than the 5.5 mile loop over Pompey Mtn.

The trees hadn't budded out yet;
it was a clear, breezy day 
that was just cool enough for wearing light windbreaker.

I still can't get used to the sight of rocks....
The trail had an approx 1,100 foot elevation gain 
It was mostly a gradual incline
and thankfully I'm finally getting in shape
so I didn't even get sore thighs afterwards!

Near the top, we left the loop trail 
and split off onto the short summit spur trail.

This last section reminded me in a weird way 
of shrubs and trees near the beach:
a "scrubby", gnarly kind of windswept look.
The top of Mount Pleasant (4,071') has two areas for viewing: 
We scrambled up the rocks to get access to the westerly view first....
Barb and Bob
And the views...
Oh my...
Top of the world!

There was room for everyone to sit on at least a little patch of rock
while we marveled at the expanse below us.
Over at the easterly viewing area 
the rocky top was broader and there was room for standing
without worrying about pitching off to infinity below!

There were some signs of civilization
looking southeast toward Amherst from this viewpoint.
And room at the top for posing .....
Barb and I on Mt. Pleasant East Peak
Plus just enough space for a photo of the whole gang....
Yep, half of Lexington was out hiking!

Directions to the Henry Lanum Trail @Mt. Pleasant:
Take Rt 60 from Buena Vista, cross the Blue Ridge Parkway and turn left on 634 (Coffeytown Rd);
turn onto gravel 755 (Wiggins Spring) which enters the GWNF and turns into FS48.
Bump down 48 about 1.5 miles to the end where there's a trailhead map board, parking
and signs for Hotel Trail and Henry Lanum trails.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful set of views, Grace, and you had great weather as well. Enjoyed going along on this group hike with you and all the others without outting in all the I am off to the Y to "hike" on the cardio equipment there, but better to be outdoors if it wasn't raining here all week.


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