Matt and I had one last celebration for my birthday over the weekend: a hiking + winery day date! (For the other celebrations we had, check out this blog post: All the Birthday Things!)
I love hiking with Matt, and especially in the fall with the lovely weather it’s one of my absolute favorite dates. So, it’s what I requested for my birthday!
Matt planned the adventure out for us and chose a hike called Bear’s Den to start the afternoon. We’d hiked in this area before but had never done this trail, so it was fun to check out something new!
The weather forecast in the afternoon was calling for storms, and it ended up raining a little on our drive out to the hike, but thankfully once we were out there it was a beautiful day.
We did the Bear’s Den Overlook Hike, which takes you along part of the Appalachian Trail. I’ve always thought it would be cool to do some overnight hikes on the AT… maybe someday.
Have any of you hiked the AT?
It wasn’t too long of a hike up to the gorgeous overlook. The sky had cleared and we had some really nice views!
We sat and enjoyed it for awhile and had some snacks.
And then we carried on along the Appalachian Trail.
The Bear’s Den Trail Center we came across along the way was cool – you can’t really tell in this picture but the back of it was like a small castle. Apparently through hikers can stay overnight here!
This part of the AT was quite steep and a bit rocky (I definitely slipped at one point and bashed my foot a bit, but thankfully did not twist an ankle), but it was really beautiful and lush in the forest.
We took the trail down down down down down down until we reached this cute little bridge at the bottom.
It was down deep enough in the forest that there wasn’t a lot of sun down there – it was nice and quiet and peaceful, too (that’s one of the bummers about this trail, that for a large portion of it you can hear the cars on the nearby road).
From there we went back up and up and up and up and up! Oof, that got us breathing hard!
Back to the overlook to say farewell…
And from there we headed back to the car and drove over to nearby Bluemont Vineyard! We’ve always heard about this place and couldn’t remember if we had been there before, but when we arrived we realized we had definitely never been.
It’s up a steep hill and has some really gorgeous views of the countryside below. I see why it always comes highly recommended!
We got there around 5:30, so a bit late in the day (they close at 7), and that combined with the fact that the forecast had been a little weird all day meant it wasn’t mobbed, which was super nice.
I’ve had charcuterie boards on the brain lately (check out my Simple Small Charcuterie Board post if you missed it), so of course we had to try the one at the winery!
It was all very delicious, and I loved the addition of a warm pre-sliced baguette on the side. The fact that it was warm and toasty really took it up a notch.
Plus we each got a flight of wine to enjoy as well.
We ended up moving to a more scenic spot (both for the views and also because there were some really rowdy kids over where we started and when we are not with our kids we don’t really want other kids yelling in our ears and running laps around us, either, just sayin’…), which was lovely.
It was a really wonderful way to end a day. I haven’t felt that relaxed in a long time.
Once we finished our wine flights we ended up hanging out in the Adirondack chairs and watching the really unique cloud formations – they were moving quickly and kind of mesmerizing/meditative to watch.
It ended up being a really cool sunset with all the different clouds in the mix.
So gorgeous. Look at all those colors!
We were super sad to leave when they closed at 7, but grateful for a lovely afternoon.
Until next time, Bluemont!
Do you prefer wineries or breweries? (Or neither?!)
I usually prefer wineries when it’s just me and Matt because it feels more like a date vibe, but when we have friends with us and/or the kids breweries can be a lot of fun, too.