We're holding our "Hiker Season Kickoff" Saturday, May 5 in Harpers Ferry at ATC. We've got some great presenters, one well known to WhiteBlazers ("Blissful"), a couple of 2011 southbounders (Steadee and Deal, who are the new managers of Bears Den Trail Center), and some 2012 thru-hikers (we hope)!
We've already had 40 northbounders photographed at ATC as of today--7 more than on this date last year, which was our biggest year ever for nobos reaching Harpers Ferry.
Here are more details about Saturday's event from our press release:
Dates: 5 May, 2012
Location: Harpers Ferry, WV
Address: ATC Headquarters - 799 Washington Street
On Saturday, May 5th, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) will host an event to celebrate the arrival of the spring hiking season at the ATC’s Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry, WV. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.
The beginning of May marks the arrival of northbound thru-hikers in Harpers Ferry, the psychological half-way point of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Day-hikers and overnight hikers are also taking advantage of the warmer temperatures.
To kick off the season, experienced hikers will give presentations on long distance hiking, kids will have the opportunity to get temporary A.T. tattoos, and gear displays will illustrate day-hiking and backpacking basics, including “the Ten Essentials.”
The ATC staff will also be available throughout the day to answer questions, give day-hike and backpacking suggestions, and provide maps and guides.
When: May 5, 2012 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitor Center
799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry, WV
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
11:00 a.m. – 2011 Thru-hike Presentation: Justin & Patrice Lavigne “Deal” and “Steadee,” managers of Bears Den Trail Center, will give a talk about their 2011 southbound thru-hike. They will also offer gear tips and advice for long distance backpacking.
1:00 p.m. - Thru-hiker Q&A: Current 2012 thru-hikers will be available to answer questions and tell stories about their experiences on the Appalachian Trail in their first thousand miles from Georgia to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
2:00 p.m. - Women and the Trail: Lauralee Bliss “Blissful”, who has recently completed both an A.T. thru-hike and an A.T. section-hike and is an avid day-hiker, will provide tactics and advice for women hikers, including how to face mental, physical, and emotional challenges.
These presentations will be held at the Curtis Freewill Baptist Church, which is part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The church is located off of Storer College Place, which is adjacent to the ATC’s Visitor Center. The parking lot behind this church is available for event attendees.
Directions to the visitor center can be found at www.appalachiantrail.org or contacting (304) 535-6331