The Appalachian Trail, while often rugged and remote, is designed to accommodate both people who want to hike the entire trail and those who choose to section hike it; that is, hike a new section every year. This year we continue our tradition of offering a new section hike, again returning to southern Virginia. In this section the AT follows the rocky, twisted backbone of Tinker Ridge for some 13 miles. It crosses a series of sandstone outcrops with spectacular views of farms and orchards in the Valley of Virginia and Catawba Valley, of North Mountain, of the jagged shore of Carvin's Cove Reservoir, and of the towering ridges encircling it. The route then follows the crest of Catawba Mountain for eight miles, with significant ups and downs along the way. Near the middle of this section, the trail follows Big Tinker Valley and the mountain ridges beyond.
Not included: Transportation to/from Allentown, PA, Trail lunches, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, personal expenses, activities not on the itinerary
This trip is rated 4 as it involves early mornings, strenuous hiking, carrying 30 pound packs, and significant elevation gain and loss - the difficulty of the hiking is often greater than the mileage indicates. You should be in very good physical condition and have wilderness backpacking experience. Keep in mind that hiking a trail such as the Appalachian Trail is, indeed, not flat and mileage can be quite deceiving. What may look like long mileage can go quite quickly if it is flatter and/or ridge walking while often shorter mileage takes more time because of the elevation gains and losses. Please note that a portion of this section includes a descent from Dragon's Tooth that will involve descending ladders and scrambling boulders. There is also a section along Tinker Cliffs where the trail is on an overhang and close to the edge. If you have height issues, please check with the office prior to registering. Rating: 1 2 3  5
This trip is recommended for experienced backpackers. Our preference is that you have participated in the Introduction to Lightweight Backpacking offered each year by AGC in June or have equivalent lightweight backpacking experience. If this trip is the one that fits your schedule but you have never backpacked or if it has been a long time since you have backpacked, you will need to plan on arriving 1 day early, 8/11/2018, by 3 PM to participant in an instruction day and to have adequate time for preparation. The additional charge for this day will be $175 per person and will include a room at the trip hotel (based on double occupancy) and your AGC guide. If you have any questions, please contact the office.
We will stay the first and last night in a hotel near near the Roanoke Airport in Roanoke, VA. for ease of both arrival and departure. There are 2 single supplements available for these two night for an additional $170. In between there are five nights of camping. Most nights we stay in or near a shelter with varying amenities (e.g. fire pit, composting outhouses) depending on whether we are in designated wilderness or state park lands. All our camping sites have water nearby.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
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