Little Devils Stairs

A great little day-hike with lots of UP at the beginning and plenty of time near the burbling stream & pretty waterfalls. You get rewarded with lovely views after the first two miles of steep climbing and criss-crossing the water. The remaining four miles are down, partially on a fire road. The stop at Bolen Cemetery makes this one worth doing.

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Hard to argue with a view like this.
HIKE INFO

hiked on 26 November 2016
Shenandoah National Park, near Sperryville
6 miles
difficulty rating, access information, terrain map & more:  Hiking Upward Link

WEATHER/CONDITIONS

Sperryville, VA on 26 November 2016
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Saw the sun for a short time. We got some brief snow flurries up at the top!

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Henri’s usual day hike gear: Merrell boots & Osprey pack.
OUR PREP/GEAR

Almost no prep. This was a spur-of-the-moment hike that we decided to do midway through our day, so we pretty much just threw some snacks, water bottles, and minimal gear into day-hike packs and headed out the door. It was a good bit warmer in Fredericksburg than in the hills of Sperryville that day, so Henri was really glad that Fergus had an extra wind-breaker in the car; otherwise, it could have turned out to be a lot less enjoyable!

OUR HIKE NOTES

The Hiking Upward notes/directions were spot on for this hike. No real danger of getting lost. It’s just about all UP for the first 2 miles — some of it pretty steep — with some fun rock scrambling and criss-crossing back-and-forth over the stream until you get to the top. To us, that was the best part of the hike. The remaining 4 miles are mostly down, 2 of them on a fire trail and then 2 on hiking trail. The 6-mile hike is kind of cool in that it’s divided neatly into three 2-mile segments: 2 miles up with rocks and stream, 2 miles down fire trail (a nice rest after all the climbing, and a good chance for conversation, if a bit bland in terms of view in most places), and then a stop at Bolen Cemetery before turning through some forest for 2 more miles down to the parking area.

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Learning about the history of the hills was worth this stop.

We were on the trail from about 1PM to about 5PM, pushing the amount of daylight left towards the end…so we didn’t stop to eat, hammock, or hang out for more than few brief moments to catch our breath (on the way up!) and get some photos.

OUR FAVORITE BITS
  • The climb up at the beginning…love the rock scrambling and the water!
  • Bolen Cemetery, which appears to have a really interesting history and features a plaque with a poem that pays homage to the story

This hike caused us to learn more about the history of the beautiful Shenandoah National Park that we enjoy so much. It’s a story worth learning, if you haven’t yet.

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Henri for scale.
AFTER THE HIKE

We stopped for an early dinner at Thornton River Grille in Sperryville, then headed to the real reason we picked this hike  —  our ulterior motive for the day: a visit to Copper Fox Distillery to buy some white dog whiskey for Aaron to age in his at-home barrel kit.

 

 

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