View Full Version : DC area hikers?
I am going to be in DC for the summer interning and was wondering where people from that area go to hike on the AT and how close/far/ how long it took to get there. Also, are there any hiking groups that do regular hikes?
With respect to hiking groups - PATC usually has quite a few hikes listed in the Forecast section of the Potomac Appalachian : http://www.patc.net/resources/pa/
being a mostly solo hiker I can't say as to how these hikes are personally but I also have not heard of any issues with the hikes either
Occasionally trips will be put together over on the PATC's forum and in any case its a good place to talk about possible hikes in the DC area : http://www.hypernews.org/HyperNews/get/trails/PATC.html?outline=-1
If you check the back of the Washington Post's Friday Entertainment supplement under outdoor activities there are lists of hikes and hiking groups that go out each weekend. Some describe the hike and some just list phone numbers. Northern Virginia Hiking Club does a lot of hikes, (and they have a web page) as well as other groups like the Sierra Club, Wanderbirds, etc. Some are bus trips so you don't have to meet at a trailhead you don't know and can do linear hikes. Some are car pool hikes. We've hiked with NVHC a couple of times, but usually go on our own as I'm not good at early morning starts.
As to do it yourself hikes on the AT - the nearest points are about an hour and a half from our home east of the city. Getting up into the Shenandoah is more like 2 1/2 hours. Closer places to hike include Prince William NP, the area around Frederick, Catoctin Trail, Little Bennett SP, Sugarloaf, etc.
The Washington DC Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club also has a regular hike schedule. They can probably be reached by opening:
Or better yet: http://www.amc-dc.org
I am going to be in DC for the summer interning and was wondering where people from that area go to hike on the AT and how close/far/ how long it took to get there. Also, are there any hiking groups that do regular hikes?Thanks!
i lived in Waynesboro, VA for a couple years in the 70s...if i remember correctly....DC is about 165 miles away. (the A.T. passes by Waynesboro for a few miles). but, like the previous posts have said...there are Hiking Clubs in all areas with weekly hikes. Check 'em out!
p.s. GOOD LUCK with your internship!
Check out this link (it is the most comprehensive list of DC area hiking clubs I've yet found):
There are 8 different clubs listed there. Many of those groups leave in buses or private cars every week for destinations in MD, VA, PA, and WV (many on the AT). You don't need a car to join them, but you will need cash for their dues or fees.
On your own, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to get from DC to the northern or central entrance stations of Shenandoah. Just don't leave on Friday afternoon (first thing Saturday, I-66 is crystal clear). There are lots of good destinations north of the park in VA and MD that are comparable distances. Some SNP trails can be entered from the park's eastern boundary (e.g., Old Rag, White Oak Canyon, Little Devils Stairs) and their parking lots are also about the same driving distance. Many other places in Penn., WV, and further south in VA can be reached in 2-3 hours (not bad if you are going for an overnight trip). Consider the Mt. Pleasant National Scenic area just north of Lynchburg. It is wonderful, the AT bisects it, and is about 3-3.5 hours away.
But not totally comprehensive. I wonder why the Washington Chapter, AMC, was left out. I lead a hike recently with a former Washington Chapter chair, who has since moved to Maine. I was quite amazed at her knowledge of the natural environment.
Thanks for the great info...I'm excited to be within driving distance of the trail after being stuck in ohio since I finished my thru hike.