First hot day of the summer, so what better time for the ceremonial first seasonal exposure of my lower limbs to sunlight? I pointed my car west on I-66, heard the whine of the pavement as I headed for Prince William County and higher elevations beyond.
I hiked the easy-rated Lewis Falls-Blackrock circuit (#19 in the current PATC guide), 4-plus miles with side trips. My notes say that the last time I took this loop was July, 1998. I didn’t record a time then, but this time I went around in 2:15. I measured 900-foot elevation change, so I got my workout.
It’s a fairly popular hike for a summer holiday weekend. Like many of the hikes in the park, it’s deceptive in that you’re walking downhill to get to the attraction (in this case, the little gem of Lewis Falls with its tiny rainbow in the spray). You may be facing a tough climb to get back to your car, as one middle-aged urbanite whom I met on her way back had discovered, to her pain.