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Virginia is for Nature Lovers: Bears Den Overlook

Fall in Virginia is officially here! Chillier temperatures, foliage change, and shorter days are upon us. However, that doesn’t mean life is over.

While I’m privy to warmer months, fall in Virginia is a sight to behold. Did I mention how beautiful leaf peeping is here? Fall is also an optimal time to go hiking. Wildlife is going into hibernation, ticks aren’t biting as much, and crowds are diminishing. When looking for new hiking spot within an hour driving distance, I looked to theVirginia is For Lovers website and iOS application The Outbound Collective to research for places. That’s where I stumbled upon Bears Den Overlook.

Located in Bluemont, Virginia–on the Clarke County-Loudoun County border–Bears Den Overlook is a perfect hiking spot for outdoor enthusiasts of all expertise levels. It stands at 1,350 feet with sweeping views of the Shenandoah Valley in the foreground and Blue Ridge Mountains in the background. Below are some pictures I took from there:

 

Entrance to Bears Den Overlook

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Appalachian Trail Marker 
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Vista of the Shenandoah Valley in the foreground, with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.
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This cool tree carving greets you when you enter Bears Den Overlook.

 

 

 

My sister, our friend George, and I hiked a total of 2.2 miles by mistake, although it was a nice detour to spend some time on the Appalachian Trail. This trail, however, only totals 0.5 miles.

Here’s how to make your trip to Bear’s Den Overlook a success:

Wear comfortable clothing and shoes

I cannot stress enough how important this is. To prevent any severe injuries or getting bitten by bugs, dress in good hiking shoes/boots and tight clothing. Do not wear sandals. (Blisters aren’t fun to deal with.) After your hike, also check for ticks. Virginia has seen a recent spike in Lyme’s disease–yikes!

Hike with friends

Although Bears Den Overlook is marked by a paved path and is easy to locate, it’s better you go there with good company unless you are a seasoned hiker. For safety and for fun, it’s always better to have others accompany you. Why enjoy nature alone when you can enjoy it with others?

Be cognizant of your surroundings 

Although this spot is more traversed than some other hiking spots, it is still part of the Appalachian Trail and can be confusing if you don’t pay attention to your surroundings. Look out for trail markers and other people hiking/walking alongside you–especially if you plan to veer off and try a few miles on the Appalachian Trail.

Bring light refreshments and snacks

As always, be sure to satiate your thirst and hunger with light refreshments and snacks. I typically bring several bottles of water, some jerky, and some protein snack bars or fruits to stay fully nourished. Your stomach will thank you!

 

Bear’s Den Overlook is located at 18393 Blueridge Mountain Road in Bluemont, VA 20135. Parking is a $3/day flat fee. Hope you check it out!

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