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Finding her way After her husband died, Sarah Funk turned their love of hiking into a 2,160-mile journey along the Appalachian Trail. "I learned that I'm pretty strong. And I can do anything I want to do. That's a pretty good thing to know about yourself," she says.
See and hear Kevin Myatt describe the best places near Roanoke to hike the AT; safety on the AT; who should hike the trail.
Silent neighbor Roanoke Mountain may not have a zoo or star like its neighbor, but it offers one of the best short hikes in the area.
Hike fit for a war hero: Audie Murphy was America's most decorated World War II soldier. He died in a plane crash years later near the Appalachian Trail. This hike is a fitting memorial. (Va. 621 (Craig Creek) to Va. 620 (Trout Creek)
More than one way to skin a dragon: Dragon's Tooth is a highlight for day- and through-hikers alike. (Va. 620 (Trout Creek) to Va. 624)
Place of peace: Gentle meadows, placid streams and inviting vistas on this section of the AT near Catawba remind us all how beautiful the world can be. (Va. 624 to Virginia 311 (McAfee Knob Trailhead)
Roanoke's best 20 miles: When in Roanoke, an AT hiker can do these 20 miles in a day -- dawn to dusk. Guest columnist Isak Howell is your leader.
Appalachian Trail, U.S. 11 to Fullhardt Knob shelter: It could be a baby's first hike
Five fabulous hikes
Blue Ridge Parkway hikes
A final resting place: In 1943, a B-25 bomber with five crew members crashed on Sharp Top Mountain. Sixty years later, the cause remains a mystery as parts of the wreckage act as tombstones for those who were lost.
Up and down Apple Orchard Falls: Kevin didn't expect much from Cornelius Creek Trail, but he was wowed by one of the most intriguing streamside walks in Virginia.
Smart View Trail is easy and serene: There are more jaw-dropping strolls around these parts, but this hike does provide scenic views, deep forests, a cascading stream, bluffs -- everything you'd expect from an Appalachian trail hike
Simple beauty: Buck Mountain Trail is short, simple and lovely.
Flat Top -- a hike less traveled -- is the best of the Peaks of Otter.
Harkening Hill provides a lesser-known 'Peak' experience.
Up and down Rocky Knob's Rock Castle Gorge: This work-out hike will give you a Blue Ridge mountain high.
Leonard M. Adkins has hiked more than 14,000 miles in the past decade for walking guides he has written at his home just a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway in Roanoke. He walked every one of the trails with a measuring wheel in preparation for his books. The following hikes are excerpted with permission from his "50 Hikes in Northern Virginia" The book may be purchased in bookstores or ordered directly from the publisher by calling 1-800-2245-4151.
On top of the Old Dominion in Grayson Highlands State Park.
Douthat serves man, nature: Hikes come in all levels at Douthat State Park where the views are second to none. Plus, you'll never get lost.
Fairy tale of a hike: Fairy stones are rare,and those are the least of what will take your breath away at Fairy Stone State Park.
A civilized stroll along Smith Mountain Lake.
More great hikes
Surprisingly secluded Despite its many features and convenient location, Falls Ridge Preserve doesn't get much attention.
Slipping into solitude at Breaks Interstate Park: Russell Fork River created the Breaks Interstate Park's spectacular gorge by gouging out a 1,600-foot canyon into the Appalachian landscape. This gorge is often said to be the deepest in the East, and Kevin saw a lot of the bottom.
Hiking three N.C. mountains: Sometimes there's a psychological advantage to putting a state line between your day off and the rest of your life. And that's what Kevin did recently when he took a day tour of three North Carolina state parks and their most popular trails.
Spring falls: Wet seasons make spectacular destinations in Southwest Virginia.
War Spur is a peaceful, almost primeval hike: this trail on Salt Pond Mountain offers cool breezes, vistas and an unusual stand of mammoth hemlocks.
Water, water everywhere and every way at Fenwick Mines and Craig Creek.
Thrills and chills on the Hoop Hole loop.
It's all in the name: Mount Pleasant lives up to its designation as a National Scenic Area. Look for the sign in Amherst County that says, "Mount Pleasant, Hiking Trails." It's all that.
Mountain Lake: Hotel emerges as destination for nature lovers
Roaring Run: Where to find a blooming good time
Allegheny Trail: An alternate to the Appalachian Trail
Explore Park: How its trails developed
From ashes to eagles: Raptor watchers have a tower of their own atop Peters Mountain
Cold-weather hiking: Few crowds, no bugs and no humidity. If only it weren't 20 degrees, more folks might hike in the winter. These tips by McGregor McCance will help keep you warm.