This autumn, I went on a lovely hike in the Appalachian mountains of Western Maryland with my best friend Jenna. Mindful of how busy the A.T. can be during the Maryland leaf peak, we hit the trail early in the morning.
I left my house at 6:30am…I was ready in less than 15 minutes from running around the house like a puppy ready for their walk.
Gear and Outfit of Choice:
- 1 beloved cup of coffee
- 1 absurdly bright yellow-orange backpack
- 1 Worn Wear vest (have you heard about my obsession yet?)
- 1 haphazard ponytail with a classic scrunchy that is apparently back in style (not complaining though)
- 1 pair of very worn wool hiking boots with a burn on the left foot from kicking fires
- Long pants and shirt (both were deeply regretted about 30 minutes into the hike)
- 1 cherished mask…don’t forget folks there is a pandemic. Please bring and wear a mask when necessary for your own safety and the safety of your fellow hikers
Morning hikes are definitely my favorite because you get to start the rest of your day with an awesome accomplishment and a fresh mind. But….when hiking the A.T. in Maryland in autumn during leaf peak you HAVE to get up early (unless you live near a trailhead) to:
- Get any form of parking at the trail head
- Get decent pictures and lookout views without people blocking your view
I hadn’t seen Jenna since March, 2020 so this reunion was pure joy. There was a light drizzle when we started off but seeing an old friend turns anything bad into good…we saw a rainbow so it was a perfect day.
The leaf colors were so vibrant if felt like we were walking through a Leonid Afremov painting. Colors danced all around us; I tripped way more than once because why look down when you can look up?
The main lookout gave me goosebumps. It was again as if it was freshly painted by an artist, the colors new and bright yet blanketed by a lingering fog. Rust reds, copper oranges, and emerald greens blended together over the rolling hills, sharply contrasting against the horizon of heavenly blue mountains.
One little warning when going to any A.T. lookouts at this time of year on a Saturday morning: tiptoe to the edge for you don’t want to wake the rock cliff sleepers :).
Although peak leaf season is finished for 2020 here in Western Maryland, the outdoors are not cancelled. Keep getting outside and enjoying the views and health benefits of fresh air! Comment below your favorite Appalachian trail hike and where you would like to hike next!