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A trip to New River Gorge National Park, Green Bank Observatory, and Shenandoah National Park

Some photos and notes, for memories.

Hawk's Nest overlook

Overlook only a few feet off the main road

View from Hawk's Nest overlook.

New River Gorge bridge

Lower observation platform next to the visitor's center.

Photo of New River Gorge bridge, with shadows projected through hazy air.

Endless Wall trail

Nice and short trail that ends in an outcropping with a beautiful panorama overlooking the New River.

New River on a hazy morning, seen from an outlook above.

Long Point trail

It's not called long for nothing. It's only 1.5 miles one way, but there are plenty of rocks, awkward steps and roots. You can see this point from the bridge.

New River Gorge bridge and mountains, viewed perpendicular to the bridge.

Grandview Overlook

True to its name.

A bow of New River, seen from an overlook.

Green Bank Telescope

This has been on my list for 10+ years, and I finally saw it!

The telescope dish is 326 square meters, 1004 panels, each with four individual actuators to bend it into the correct shape to form a reflecting parabola.

The only picture is from an observation platform, since electronics are not allowed any closer.

National Radio Quiet Zone is pretty strict about radio interference. There are no radio stations and cell towers within a ~30 mile radius. No consumer-grade digital devices are allowed within the observatory's core zone. Spark plugs cause interference, too, so only diesel vehicles can enter. Even something like a low-quality door motor at a store in a neighboring town can cause interference (the store was forced to change it).

Green Bank Telescope seen from far away.

Seneca Rocks

A quick stop on the way. Somewhat unusual (for Appalachian mountains) large exposed rocks. Saw some climbers from the observation deck.


Stony Man Trail

Nice short trail with a beautiful view. Lots of less common (for us) birds around: Eastern Towhees, Slate-Colored Juncos, Blue-Headed Vireos, Scarlet Tanagers. A lone deer was very close, and startled us with the cow-like grunting / mooing. The weather, 55F and windy, was a pleasant break from 90F and high humidity at New River Gorge.


Upper Hawksbill Trail

Another short trail that ends at the highest point in Shenandoah Valley. Pretty much a 360-degree view from a platform. IMO a must-go trail if you're in the park.