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Nick PalastroPRO

Living in an urban/suburban area it isn't easy to find a more 'natural' setting. T.R. Island gives you that in the middle of the Potomac River with Georgetown in DC on one side and Rosslyn in Arlington on the other. The parking lot is small and with it being where it is, can fill up fast on a nice weekend. All in all... A nice spot to check out in the DC area, especially if you take your four legged friend along!

I did the extended version of this hike along the AT which had the full 3100ft of elevation gain so if you wanted a good workout with a payoff at the end, this is it. The hike is about the same steepness all the way up so maybe about a half mile in I became used to it, found a rhythm and made my way up. At about 2000 feet in elev gain, you get an awesome view out to the east. It is a good resting spot to regain your legs for the last push up to the summit! Since it is on the AT, the trail is well maintained and isn't too rocky which was nice.

This is a popular hike, you will likely not be alone. The beginning of the hike is a bit of a burner as it is fairly steep but once you're on the ridge, it is fairly simple. There are great views out into Virginia too. Once you get to Big Schloss, you can move about in a fairly spacious area with awesome views into West Virginia and Virginia. This can be a good hike for just about anyone and is a good option to avoid Shenandoah on some of those free entrance days.

You cannot visit the Canadian Rockies on vacation and skip over Lake Louise. Yes, it is overly crowded but there is a reason. It is magnificent. In bright sunlight the lake seems to glow in color while the surrounding mountains tower over you with their glaciers. To get away from the crowds, there are doable day hikes all throughout the area and to finish the day off you're able to grab dinner at the many restaurants nearby. There are days worth of activities just within Lake Louise itself so go for it, spend a few days here, and indulge yourself!

I did this hike for sunrise in late September in the middle of Larch season. Unfortunately there was no actual sunrise, the sky was clouded over, but the scene was unreal. It was lightly snowing which helped the golden larches stand out. The lake was calm and still, mirror like, and the peaks towered over you. As the morning did progress, it did get crowded at the tea house as it is still is close enough of a hike from Lake Louise it sees a lot of tourist traffic. That is the only reason for 4/5 stars.

This is a area that if you have time and the conditions are right, can be a really magical spot. The morning that I went up a cloud inversion was completely shrouding Banff below and was the morning after a fresh snowfall. It felt like I could have been at 20,000 feet in elevation as there was no sign of the valley floor below. Just the soft morning dawn light, rocky peaks of the mountains around me, and a blanket of clouds below. I gave this only 3 stars, not because it was average, only because it is generally a 'look and see' type of area. It is kind of a spot you go and look, and move on to the more popular spots the Canadian Rockies are known for. However, if there is a cloud inversion, check this out early in the morning.

It took me and my post-thanksgiving bloated self about an hour to get to the summit of Sharp Top and the views were outstanding. This is a popular hike, so I was not the only one up there at the summit. If you're looking for views, this hike is for you. If you are looking for solitude or the 'wilderness' experience, look elsewhere as the summit has been made very people friendly. Overall, I loved this hike and will be doing it again!

On a cool weekend Saturday in early October, not much Fall color yet in the trees, there was about 12-15 cars parked in the small lot/side road. I chose this hike because I did not want to venture out to Skyline Drive on such a day. The first couple miles of the hike is fairly flat/has a steady incline and the last 1.5 miles or so is a butt kicker! Pretty steep yet once you reach the overlook, there is a fair amount of room to sprawl out. The view is nice as you look straight into a valley and you can see Old Rag in the distance. You don't have a 'long horizon' type view, but it is nice to not see any signs of civilization from the overlook. This is a good workout hike with a decent payoff compared to many of the hikes along Skyline that are shorter hikes and you don't have to deal with Skyline Drive traffic.

I did the hike in a day and from the Elkwallow Picnic Grounds it is very close to a 15 mile hike. It was the longest hike I have ever personally done. Not a whole lot of "payoff" type views, but it's a loop trail in the great Shenandoah!

This is a very accessible pond and solitude may not be found as there will likely be a good bunch of other photographers. It is however a great photography location as on calm mornings the small pond offers a mirrored reflection of Kidd Peak on the far side of the pond. In the fall, yellow trees line the banks of the pond as well.

Just go... The Glade Creek Grist Mill is extremely photogenic. I got to check it out late May for the first time early in the morning. The soft morning light, green foliage, and pink mountain flowers make this intimate location a must-see spot. I just wanted to sit there the whole day.

I didn't get through the whole hike as storms were in the area and didn't want to get caught, but I did get to the waterfall. It is a fairly easy hike to the waterfall and in late may the mountain sides are full of pink and white mountain flowers. It's a nice area to checkout on a free weekend!

An absolute stunner of an engineering feat. Amazing how a river is able to carve such a canyon over all this time. I wasn't able to spend much time in the area, but I will make a point to visit the gorge in the morning and evening at some point! So much to do and see.

This is a nice spot to check out if you're in the area. I certainly wouldn't make it a 'must-see' if you're short on time, but if you had a free couple hours in the area it is a nice spot. Short and easy hike, nice woodland creek, and waterfalls similar to White Oak Canyon in Shenandoah on a smaller scale, but nothing really jaw-dropping about it.

I did this hike starting up along Skyline Drive and hiked down through the gorge and back up the fire road. It adds about 2 miles to the overall length. It doesn’t have the typical views of Shenandoah with the rolling hills and valleys, but it is neat to be in the canyon gorge looking up at the at times vertical cliffs.

I will definitely make a visit to this overlook more often to capture the different colors of Old Rag Mountain at various times throughout the year. Also looking forward to shooting the night sky when conditions cooperate.

As a Northern Virginia local, sometimes I take our Nation's Capital for granted. There is something special about walking around the grand marble monuments however and especially so in the morning and in the evening. During the day, tourists are EVERYWHERE and sometimes it can be slightly a nuisance if you're looking to just enjoy the day.

When I was briefly in Cinci I walked around the park for an hour or so before watching the Reds make an attempt at playing baseball later in the evening. The grated bridge (don't know what it was called) was pretty neat. Made a really cool sound as cars went over. There's a steamboat monument where makeshift smokestacks are supposed to make synchronized noises as you walk by them in a certain patter. I couldn't figure it out 🙄.

Nicely sized waterfall and the rocky surface make for nice photos. The boardwalk also allows for safe viewing. I don't know if there are trails to the bottom, but you don't get much photo variety from the boardwalk. Still, worth stopping to see if you're pressed for time and want to see something in the park.

Only had about an hour to check out the park so I stopped here and at Brandywine Falls. Between the two, I enjoyed this one more. Small, intimate, and still fairly complex. There was cool geology to check out and plenty of angles for photography.

If you're driving north or south along the West Coast this is something that is worth stopping to see. Not too far of a detour and the walk itself is short and sweet of this scenic spot of surreal colored water.

This is a very easy walk through the West Coast valley with views of the Franz Josef Glacier. When I went, the cloud deck was too low for helicopter tours (unfortunately mine was cancelled the next morning) but walking through the valley in this weather was pretty neat. Towering cliffs are streaming with waterfalls coming out of the clouds was pretty neat. The walk itself has almost no elevation gain and therefore if you're in town it is worth checking out.

If you are in SW VA, I think this is a must-do. Hike gets steep at times but it is straight forward walking. The trail is wide and footing is easy. After a week of rain, it was muddy however. After 3 miles the trail opens up to the rocky top with the destroyed shelter and old old fire tower. Behind the fire tower is a small trail that leads into the channels. The light makes the moss granite almost glow as you check out the labyrinth of mini slot canyons. Head back out and up one of the boulders on your way out for the views from the top. Just be careful not to fall back into the crevasses!

After nearly a week of rain the falls were roaring. At the bottom there was no hope getting my camera out as the spray soaked everything. Was still able to check out some of it, very cool to see the cavework behind the waterfall. Will definitely need to go back in drier weather to try and photograph it from the bottom.