Archive for the Loudoun Heights Hike Category

Loudoun Heights Cliff

Posted in Loudoun Heights Hike with tags , , , on August 20, 2011 by Drogo

Split Rocks Overlook

This is the dominant bluff of rocky cliffs on Loudoun Heights. I consider it my favorite camp site on the mountains around here. Dad took me and friends camping here as young teenagers, just like his Eagle Scout training taught him to do. Just down the trail, is a parking area and Tri-State gas station.

Then it was time to head back home.

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Stone Boulder Tower

Posted in Loudoun Heights Hike with tags , , , , on August 19, 2011 by Drogo

Megalithic Stone Tower on Loudoun Heights

Two giant boulders are vertically stacked on their flat sides. It is possible to climb to the flat top of the top rock, but I would prefer using a ladder. I am agile and strong enough to pull myself up, but a taller person with greater reach would probably have an easier time of it. I have photos from high school when we did get up there.

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Mini-bluffs, High & Low Wire Points, and Mythological Ruins

Posted in Loudoun Heights Hike with tags , , , , , on August 18, 2011 by Drogo

Mini-bluffs


Individual rock outcroppings overlook the Shenandoah Valley, but the bluffs are obscured by trees in the Summer. These mini-bluffs are giant moss-lichen limestone rocks, following the contour of the mountain-side; as opposed to the larger, more visible bluffs that stick out perpendicular to the mountain-side.


***Chimney Rock and Bald Eagle Nest Enigma

Not this time. This will be another adventure, some other time.

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High Wire Point

The highest of two overlook areas where the electrical wires cut across the mountain, High Wire Point has a vista of the harpers ferry valley, and sandy hook to ‘South’ Mountain (north-east).

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Low Wire Point

The lower of two overlook areas (but still high) where the electrical wires cut across the mountain, it has a better view of Maryland Heights from the River, canal, on up.

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Mythological Ruins

Winding around the north-east mountain top, the path begins to go down towards the Stone Tower and Split Rocks Cliff Overlook. Buried in undergrowth are massive boulders, which look like mythological ruins from a forgotten civilization.

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Loudoun Heights Megalith Fort

Posted in Loudoun Heights Hike with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2011 by Drogo

Atop the ridge of Loudoun Heights Mountain, VA towards the north-east, on the north side of the ridge overlooking Harpers Ferry, WV; is an amazing structure of boulders. Large boulders form 10′ walls around a 12’x12′ pit on the top of a mountain, resembling the ruins of a lost, ancient rock fortress built by magic; at the very least a unique natural wonder. There was a fern growing in the center of the pit. I shot film from the floor of the fort, 360 degrees around the inside walls; as well as from the outside of it. Rocks from the Citadel flow down the mountain-side for hundreds of feet, and a giant log bridges the lowest base boulders.

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Loudoun Mountain Ridge Trail

Posted in Loudoun Heights Hike with tags , , , , on August 16, 2011 by Drogo

Some of the trees I saw were black walnut, oak, and poplar. There was an undergrowth of pawpaw; and a ground cover of dead leaves (all year), dead wood (all year), ferns, poison ivy, strangle-thorn vines (2 types), wild mint, wild oregano, etc…

Oddly small white limestones run around the base of some tree trunks. Perhaps they were placed there by fairies or humans, or upon growing the tree pushed the ground around it up through the leaves.


Stone ruins of a Civil War fort sit atop Loudoun Heights Ridge Trail, just as they do on Maryland Heights Ridge Trail; but on Loudoun Heights the ruins are smaller and made of smaller stones. I once camped up here in the rain by myself.

Towards the north-east the path is overgrown by pawpaws. After several minutes of pruning, I was able to clear a hole through the foliage. I used finger snapping, and stick whacking on the branches.

Then the Ridge Trail is threatened by strangle-thorn thin-stem vines, and other thorns (raspberry and thick-stem thorns). Strangle-thorns of the thin-stem variety have odd shaped leaves resembling pale-green wild bean vines. The Orange Trail High End Ridge junction is here.

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Mountain Top Sign Post

Posted in Loudoun Heights Hike with tags , , , , , on August 15, 2011 by Drogo

At the top of the mountain

Three AT signs on one brown post. At the top of the mountain, the ground is littered with rocks. Overlooking the Virginia side, there may be felt a breeze on an otherwise still day. Although not a tourist destination, like the Heights’ cliff overlooks, sitting on a rock or log there is reward enough. Also in the Winter there may be a view in both directions.

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Camp Clearing (Orange Trail)

Posted in Loudoun Heights Hike with tags , , , , , on August 14, 2011 by Drogo

Large Level Camp Clearing

Orange Trail Low End Camp Junction (loop connecting white trail to blue)

Long ago I camped here with friends New Years Eve of Y2K. During the Winter at night you could see through the trees to the Town Lights below. If civilization was going to collapse because of a technology glitch, we wanted to see it happen from a safe distance. It is the same thinking I had after 9/11 because if there are terrorist attacks, the last place you want to be is in population centers.

The clearing is large enough for several tents. There is a fair amount of small rocks and logs around, but it is mostly dirt. One medium sized stone is set above the flat area. The loop for the Orange trail starts running along below the campsite.

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