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Muddy Love In Shenandoah

All along the 23-mile Shenandoah Mountain trail and in the forested areas throughout the Appalachian Mountains, vernal pools are rich aquatic breeding grounds.

Getting There:

Take I-81 to Staunton, and pick up US 250 west. Drive 25 miles to the parking lot at the Confederate Breastworks. The less-crowded southern section of Shenandoah Mountain Trail starts as a gravel road across the street.

Prime Time:

Late February through mid-June.

Guides:

The Trails of Virginia, by Allen de Hart (University of North Carolina Press, 919-966-3561; www.

uncpress.unc.edu; $19.95).

Contact:

Deerfield Ranger District, (540) 885-8028; www.fs.fed.us/

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