Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
After leaving the high peaks of the Shenandoah National Park Area, this segments provides a nice break as it traverses through the lowlands on its way to Harpers Ferry. Along Tucker Lane, just a few hundred feet north of Interstate 66, you'll find a parking area along the east side of the road.
The popular day hiking area of Trumbo Hollow is located due south on the Appalachian Trail. As the trail heads north, it passes through a Wildlife Management Area before skirting around Sky Meadows State Park.
Both historic and scenic, this area holds 20+ miles of hiking trails and also provides access to the Appalachian Trail. Crossing John Mosby Highway, the trail skirts around the infamous Mount Weather.
The command center for FEMA, this facility has been crucial in times of natural disaster and war.
It is also an evacuation site for key civilian and government officials due to its remote location in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Ahead on the trail, pass over Buzzard Hill before reaching Bear's Den Park, where you'll be welcomed with a rocky, exposed overlook.
Shortly after, a spur trail leads to a large trailhead on the southern side of the road at Snicker's Gap.
If you stay on the AT, cross the highway to reach the Raven Rocks Trailhead.
Roughly three miles north, a craggy overlook provides killer views from a rocky vantage point.
This area serves as a popular day hiking destination and a popular starting point to shuttle the 20+ mile hike to Harpers Ferry. After a break at Raven Rocks, the trail remains relatively quiet as it heads north and passes through Keys Gap.
Though seemingly remote, the trail passes through a narrow corridor of land between rural neighborhoods and farmlands. Just before descending to Harpers Ferry, you'll reach Loudoun Heights.
According to Wikipedia, "The peak, which overlooks Harpers Ferry, was used by Stonewall Jackson to bombard the town during the Battle of Harpers Ferry".
The Loudoun Heights Trail also serves as a popular day hiking loop beginning in West Virginia. Crossing into Harpers Ferry, you'll be welcomed into the quaint town that serves as an iconic and historic landmark for thru-hikers. Sources: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sky-meadows#general_information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Weather_Emergency_Operations_Center https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudoun_Heights_(mountain)