Virginia Falls and St. Mary Falls

About a month ago, I was having a not super fun time and just needed to get out and hike. My days off had consisted of thunderstorms and homesickness, so I finally decided to just do a short trail after work. I drove across the park to hike to St. Mary Falls and, just past that, Virginia Falls.

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St. Mary falls. No, St. Mary Falls. A location, not a sentence. #ThingsEditorsThinkAreFunny

Honestly, I’m not usually one for waking to waterfalls to begin with, so I chose this one more out of desperation to be outside than anything else, so my expectations were low. This was a good thing. It’s a pretty enough hike, but definitely not one I would recommend to someone who only has a few days in the park, especially not if you’re physically capable of doing a more difficult hike. This hike was really easy, at just around 4 miles, but the burned forest blocks most of your view and I think the fact that the trees are all dead would make it pretty miserable on a hot day. Luckily, I went on a cool evening so at least I had that advantage.

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The trail follows a cool river most of the way. 

Virginia Falls was actually pretty impressive. The water brought out the vibrant colors of the rocks. I think my favorite thing, though, was getting to see a bird nest that was tucked into a hollow just below the falls. No predator could get to it. I wouldn’t have even noticed it if the mama bird hadn’t been flying back and forth to it so frequently, tiny orange breaks visible for a moment every time she returned to the nest. Getting to see that made me feel like the hike was totally worth it.

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There is a green patch with a black hole in it on the right side of this picture, on the cliff in the foreground. That’s where the birds were 🙂

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Blocking the view with my arms. So sorry 🙂