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  • Writer's pictureTim Murphy

Trail Trials: Bear's Den

Hi all! It’s been a busy couple of months off from the site. Back in May, I graduated from the College of William and Mary with a double major in History and Kinesiology. More recently, I returned from a two-week trip in Romania where I volunteered at a local children’s hospital and assisted physical therapists with patient care and rehabilitation. Needless to say, these past two months have made profound impacts on my life and I’m humbled to have experienced them. But now that it’s all over, I have much more time to work on the blog! Let’s get to it!

The overlook at Bear's Den

Bear’s Den is a neat little trail situated amidst the Appalachian Mountains, located on the border of Clarke and Loudoun Counties in Virginia. It is easily accessible from Route 7 and parking is never an issue, despite its popularity with the locals. The mouth of the trail is rather inconspicuous: a small opening in the woods, relatively flat. However, after a few minutes on the trail, the terrain becomes more rugged and the ascension to the overlook begins.

After climbing up and over rocks and logs for a short stretch, the trail once again becomes pretty flat and nearly effortless to navigate. You’ll know you’re close to the overlook when you see two signs: one points to the overlook and the other to the Bear’s Den Visitor Center. Since Bear’s Den is located on the Appalachian Trail, this center serves as a rest stop for AT hikers. For those only hiking Bear’s Den, it takes about 20-30 minutes to reach the top, depending on your pace.

On the day I hiked the trail, I was fortunate enough to have beautiful weather and great visibility. I could easily see for 25-30 miles out into the Shenandoah Valley. There are plenty of place along the overlook to rest, relax, and take pictures. Personally, this is one of my favorite places to visit on a lazy afternoon.

The trail can get pretty rocky and steep, but it’s not much of an issue. Even the most novice of hikers can tackle Bear’s Den. It’s quick, relatively easy, and you get a great view. What more could you ask for?


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