The Appalachian Trail truly has mythic status and for many of us, hiking it is a dream. But then we look at the reality of it and find the prospect of carrying a 40-50 pound pack on our back and sleeping on the ground rather daunting. Solution? Slackpacking! We already offer slackpacking trips at the beginning and end of the trail; in 2016 we're adding this beautiful Virginia section. We'll cover a little over fifty miles, returning at the end of the day to our lodging in the friendly little town of Damascus. We cover significant mileage on this trip so it still requires being in good shape. Maximum group size: 12
What's not included: Airfare to/from Virginia (TRI), travel to Damascus, one dinner, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities.
This trip involves hiking from 7 to 13 miles a day (see the itinerary for daily mileage) with significant elevation changes and footing that may be rocky and uneven at times. It requires being in very good physical condition. While you can always choose to stay in town for the day, there are no options for shortening the daily hikes. This trip is rated 4. Prior to beginning the trip, participants should be engaged in aerobic conditioning for at least 40-50 minutes 4-5 times a week. Additional endurance exercise (e.g. going for a 2 hour hike once a week) and/or strength training is usually required. Rating: 1 2 3  5.
This is a hiking trip on the Virginia section of the legendary Appalachian Trail. You will be hiking in the mountains with constant elevation gain and loss on a trail that is rocky at times. We're staying in the legendary (but small) trail town of Damascus and there will be time to visit some of the shops there.
We will be spending 6 nights at two accommodations that are next door to each other. A Step Away is a large vintage 2 story, vacation rental home that sleeps 5 - 6 guests. It has 4 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, good gathering space, a spacious kitchen, Wifi, linens, many other amenities. We will also have several rooms at the nearby Hikers Inn.
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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