Monday, October 11, 2010

Hiking on Buffalo.

This weekend we had such fabulous weather, that we decided it was much too nice to sit at home. We went hiking at one of our favorite places, Buffalo Mountain. Buffalo Mountain Nature preserve, is only a few miles down the road from us. We hike here several times a year.

Buffalo Mountain is one of the most significant natural areas in Virginia. It boasts an amazing 13 rare plant occurrences, 3 rare animal occurrences, and 6 significant natural communities. The combination of high-elevation (3,971 feet), wind-exposed openings at the summit, and magnesium rich soils make it unlike any place else in the Commonwealth.

Buffalo Mountain is also the only known location in the world for a mealybug called Puto kosztarabi.

The original trail to the summit was only one mile, but rather steep. There is now a new trail that switches back and forth, gradually going up. i'm not sure how long it is now, but it's make for a nice kid friendly afternoon hike.

The view from the summit is breath taking. The leaves are just beginning to change, making a blanket of color below.

It was really a gorgeous and clear day to be on the mountain. We could see Pilot Mountain in North Carolina on the horizon, although it's difficult to see in the photo.
We are really enjoying these warm days and playing outside together as much as we can before the cold is here to stay.