With Thanksgiving coming up next week, it is now officially time to start the holiday season. While many in the retail world would have you believe the “Holidays” began prior to Halloween, the public consensus is Thanksgiving kicks it off and New Year’s Day closes it with either a vicious hangover or epic late night/sugar crash depending on your age. The weekend before Thanksgiving is the calm before the storm that is your family coming to town or you packing up the station wagon heading for unfamiliar table talk with relatives you haven’t spoken to since last Thanksgiving and who may or may not share your personal views of everything from politics to dark vs. white meat (dark is better).

This weekend, take advantage of this lull by getting out on the trail and taking a nice, long hike. Not only will this be good for your body with the biggest calorie fest of the year on the horizon, but it will also have a therapeutic effect on your mind. Now, instead of heading outside to chop wood for a couple hours when cousin Carl shows up unexpectedly, you will have the mental fortitude to find him a seat at the kids’ table.

There is no better place to get away and clear your mind like in a wilderness area and St. Mary’s Wilderness in George Washington & Jefferson National Forest is one of the best. Pack a lunch and take the Mine Bank Creek Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway to the St. Marys River Trail to the falls. Don’t forget to pack a fly or tenkara rod, as the river does contain some native brookies.


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