We arrive at Civitan Park in Ewing, Va., at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. Including ours, five cars wait for their drivers to return from hiking to the Sand Cave in the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park.
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In the summer of 2020, Cole Jensen’s friend, Matt Sullivan, approached him with an idea: He wanted to visit every state park in Virginia.
Black Girls Hike RVA aims to hold between one and two hikes each month, for a total of between 12 and 14 each year. Local hikes, like the one I join, usually consist of between 10 and 25 participants and normally last about two hours, covering a distance not longer than five miles.
A whitewater rafting adventure starts in Harpers Ferry and involves two rivers, three states and a lot of paddling.
Saturday mornings are made for sleeping in, slow wakeups and relaxing, unless it’s Dirty Lion Mud Run Saturday and you’re either a Dahlgren Lions Club Lion or a runner.
As soon as we cross the bridge from the mainland, I sense a change. The land seems flatter, the trees shorter, the sky broader. I have never been to this part of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and my friends Ashley, Stephanie, Sarah and I have been looking forward to this trip with an anticipation akin to a child’s at Christmas.
At the last count in 2021, more than 300 elk roamed the makeshift plains of the flat-topped mountain. The success has been so complete that it is often referred to as Appalachia’s Greatest Conservation Story.