The trail goes along the beautiful Rapidan River for 0.5 miles, and then it turns left heading alongside Staunton River for 1.7 miles with nice small falls and pools.
This lower part is more humid and less windy so the leaves were still mostly greenish. It was a good warm up for the upcoming steeper part.
After 2.2 miles the trail turns left onto the steeper Jones Mountain trail. The woods here were less dense and more yellowish-brown.
It was a very enjoyable experience to climb the mountain while admiring all those vibrant colors.
The sun was very low during this late fall day and as we were hiking upward it felt like an endless sunset lighting the forest with honey colors.