The Views are Quite Smart on This Trail

Susan looks inside the old cabin on the Smart View trail.
The smartest view actually is a little further along.

It’s slowly moving toward hiking season and my friend Susan and I drive south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to experience Smart View, a sweet, un-challenging loop trail near Floyd with a payoff of a view of the mountains leading into the piedmont.

Susan is from Martinsville originally and she was especially intrigued of the view toward the two large bodies of water outside her hometown and the skyline, which looked straight toward–if not into–North Carolina.

The hike is dotted with cabins, picnic tables, a few steep grades and the winter starkness that March brings. At one point, we were walking a fairly flat path when Susan stopped and said, “Listen! That doesn’t sound good.” We looked slightly ahead and saw a tree, split by the wind, making noises like it wanted to fall. I charged ahead. Susan was a smidge more deliberate. The tree didn’t fall.

This view towards Martinsville and North Carolina is the best one on this trail.
A sign that this used to be a farm.
Me, as part of the smart view.
Susan on the trail.
Big trees grew up on the former farm land.
This makeshift bridge …
… made Susan a little nervous, but it was stable.
That’s me comfortably on the bridge.
Some of the trail is pretty steep, but not overwhelming.
This pristine old cabin has the chinking removed, so it’s easy to see inside.
This dad got a little sun with his son.
This home-schooled little girl and her younger brother were on a family/school field trip.
Of all the smart views, I think this was Susan’s fave.
This homemade bridge is rock solid, as you might imagine.
The split tree at the left was making creaking noises, giving Susan pause.

By admin

Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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