View Full Version : SOBO thru VA, report.

05-26-2015, 10:36
Just back from doing a SOBO from Harpers Ferry to Daleville. I left HF after the Flip-flop kick off which was a nice event, but headed south.

I wish I could have kept better track of the number of NOBO's I meet, but without a clicker on my trekking pole, that's not easy. My best guess is no more then 300 hikers in the 3 weeks/300 miles I hiked south through northern VA.

At first it was just a couple a day, most who started end of Feb or 1st of March. The farther south I went the more hikers per day I meet, both on the trail and at the shelter. It really didn't pick up much until I was out of the Shenandoah NP. The last week I was meeting maybe 15 to 20 a day, between those I passed on the trail and those who showed up at the shelter that night.

A couple of big bubbles got back on the trail after Trail Days when I was in the Buena Vista/Glasgow area. In those couple of days I meet maybe 50-60 thru hikers. After that is was real quiet for a few days, then the daily numbers picked up again.

What surprised me was I didn't start to meet large numbers as I approached Daleville. Either quite a few have gone home already or there are large numbers between Damascus and Daleville.

On the whole, shelters were not overly crowded or busy. It didn't rain much, so most everyone tented. Many would push on to do those extra miles in the evening and hope to find a suitable campsite along the trail. Considering the number of hikers I saw doing this and the lack of good trail side tent sites which can be found when you need them as it gets dark, I wonder how the heck they made out doing this.

I saw maybe 8 thru hikers with dogs. The first couple I saw in northern VA looked tired and skinny and really needed to go home. The ones a bit farther south looked like they were about done too. Two different Huskies looked okay, but once into the PA heat and rocks I'm sure they will start to suffer. None of the dogs I saw are going to make it all the way.

Deer Hunter
05-26-2015, 12:24
A couple of big bubbles got back on the trail after Trail Days when I was in the Buena Vista/Glasgow area.

I agree. I have seen more hikers here in Buena Vista area in the last week and a half.

05-26-2015, 15:58
Thanks for that report. I must have just missed you up there, I hiked Waynesboro to Thornton Gap NoBo, had to get off the trail cuz of a recurring achilles tendonitis flare-up in one foot that has been driving me crazy the last 3 section hikes, but that is another story.

I arrived at HF the day after the flip-flop kickoff event. Met a couple small groups of 5-6 NoBo thru hikers in SNP that had started in late-Feb to early Mar. They told me there was a large bubble staying in Waynesboro around end of April for a few days.... that may be the first bubble you met. Overall a nice bunch of young hikers, polite and positive attitudes. And of course a lot of dayhikers and section hikers in SNP. I really enjoyed SNP in the section I did, can't wait to hopefully get back up there in the fall.