Posted November 14, 2005 8:44 a.m. EST
Two of my favorite hiking trails in the mountains are located in Alleghany County. Several weeks ago I hiked the Bluff Mountain Trail beginning at Brinegar Cabin on the Blue Ridge Parkway It is a gorgeous blend of hardwoods, pasture and spectacular mountain views. The end was my favorite part. Not because it was over but because it was the best visually. Alleghany County is blessed with a marvelous stretch of meadowland that adds a rich dimension to the mountain experience. My parents used to vacation in a lodge here as part of Doughton State Park. There is also a nice coffee shop and restaurant where Sunday morning pancakes are coveted. Also in the northern part of the county near the Virginia line is Cumberland Knob. This is a fairly strenuous trail that you take you down to hear gentle cascades before you head back up the mountain zig zagging your way to the top. I have hiked these trails in different seasons. Each season adds a different beauty. Even the bare branches of winter offer something special on these two memorable trails.