Sunday, September 1, 2019

Blackwater Falls State Park WV/Green Ridge State Forest MD

Hemlocks on rock

Blackwater Falls

Pendleton Point Overlook (afternoon)

Lindy Point

Pendleton Point Overlook (morning after thunderstorm)

Fairfax Stone: small spring marks the beginning of the Potomac River

Fairfax Stone

Iron Furnace

Green Ridge State Forest

Camping in Green Ridge State Forest, Maryland

After camping in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia back in August, on the way home I stopped by Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia for the first time. I have to admit, as I get older my patience for crowds is dwindling. The State Park was full and the campsites seemed to be too close to one another for comfort and I almost bailed on camping there. I'm glad I didn't. There was plenty to see and do in the time I spent there. The falls were stunning, and easy to access. For me, the highlights were the views from Pendleton Overlook and Lindy Point Overlook. I guess most visitors tend to stay near the falls and the campground. I hardly saw anyone at the overlooks and was able to soak in the views without the distraction of Instagram selfy takers. A morning thunderstorm created some dramatic clouds in the valley of the Blackwater River from  the Pendleton Overlook.

After Blackwater Falls, I felt it was appropriate to visit the Fairfax Stone once again. The Fairfax Stone is located in the fall western corner of Maryland and marks the beginning of the Potomac River. Having spent two weeks hiking along the river in June, it was cool to see this tiny trickle of water that starts the whole thing.

Finally, before ending the trip, I camped in the Green Ridge State Forest in Maryland. Last year, the forest here was exploding with newly formed mushrooms. I was shocked at the variety of different types, and felt like I was in the redwoods again. This year, the exact opposite was the case. I couldn't find any mushrooms this time around. I'm led to believe that the mushrooms need the right conditions to arrive. It was definitely dryer this August than last. The creeks and streams in the Blue Ridge were much lower than last, most likely due to the dry July we had this year...