[caption id="attachment_744" align="alignleft" width="200"] White Oak Canyon[/caption]
Before you hit the trails, check out HikingUpward.com. This sharp, little site gives user-friendly overviews about hikes in Virginia, West Virginia and beyond. In a concise format, it covers a lot of information.
For example, White Oak Canyon is one of my favorite hikes. It has amazing waterfalls, swimming holes, and the lovely vista pictured here. On HikingUpward.com, I found all needed when I planned my first trip--an elevation map, photos of the falls, hiking time, user reviews, and a handy five-star ratings system. White Oak Canyon scores 3 for difficulty, 5 for streams, 1 for solitude, 1 for camping, and 1 for views.
Everything is dead-on accurate except the "views" rating, but I'll give them a break. You have to wade to the middle of the creek for this scene, which, if you're sure footed, you should do. Above the topmost fall, the pool is shallow and crisp; the water has sprung straight from the mountainside; and it rushes by on all sides. You can plant your rump in the stream and take in the magnificent folds of the Shenandoah.
So when are you hiking upward? Where? Post a comment below and tell us about your next outdoor adventure or favorite spot.