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Former Admin
09-10-2002, 05:38
Info, questions, comments, experiences (good or bad) regarding - Matts Creek Shelter

Past/Present hikers - what can future hikers expect here? Have any good stories or memories from here?

Future hikers - any questions?

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Kerosene
11-08-2003, 14:42
Located an easy two miles from the James River Foot Bridge along bubbling Matts Creek, just before the SOBO ascent out of the James River valley. Basic 6-person design with privy to the right of the shelter (alarmingly close to the shelter and stream). Water from the stream.

The creek really babbles, causing me to think I was hearing people coming down the trail multiple times. I was forced to wear earplugs to get some sleep.

Uncle Wayne
11-18-2003, 08:50
We camped near the creek instead of staying in the shelter because "Ham & Aches" , a renown snorer was going to spend the night in the shelter. We camped on a little rise 100 feet south(?) of the shelter near the noisy creek Kerosene mentioned and we could still hear him snoring!
My camera battery had died that morning so I didn't get a picture of this shelter. This shelter and Bryant Ridge are two of my favorite shelters between Troutsville and the James River.
They are both by a small creek, amidst tall hardwoods and in beautiful country.

HappyAppy
09-05-2005, 18:25
Matts Creek Shelter is very nice. The creek is noisy BUT its a creek!! The shelter faces the creek, too. I am a tenter but this is a great shelter.

frequency
09-18-2006, 07:52
Hammocked outside the shelter on 9.16.06. Location, location, location is wonderful - right next to rushing Matts Creek - water seemed good. Someone left ziploc bags of ramen + snickers suspended from the mouse lines but it appeared the mice had gnawed their way into it.

justusryans
05-22-2007, 13:58
was just there over the weekend. shelters in good shape. ran into casinetts. headed north. nice guy

Mountain Dog
07-14-2008, 18:07
I was headed north on the AT and about 100 yards before I crossed Matts Creek I saw a sign pointing up the hill, west, to a shelter. About 20 yards before I crossed the creek I passed an old shelter along side Matts Creek. The moral of this story is that there might be a newer shelter a few yards south of the older Matts Creek shleter. I did not stop to explore because I could not wait to tackle the hill up to Thunder Ridge, what fun.

Berserker
04-26-2013, 12:31
What's the area around this shelter like for tenting?

HikerMom58
04-26-2013, 12:49
What's the area around this shelter like for tenting?

Not good for tenting if I recall.....Awesome creek tho... If heading NOBO there's Marble Spring campsite before you get to Matt's Creek. That's a great place to tent.

Southerner
04-26-2013, 14:28
I have found that there are pretty good campsites at several spots along Matts Creek, both upstream (southbound) and downstream (northbound) of the shelter area. Just goes to show that opinions will vary. Try following the creek upstream for a few paces where the southbound AT begins its climb out of the hollow. There is also camping near the mouth of Matts Creek at the James River before the mile-long camping exclusion area starts, which is less than a mile northbound of the shelter. Marble Spring (an old shelter site, in fact) is a good site as mentioned, though it is about 5.5 miles south of Matts Creek Shelter.

I see above that there is an old post about a "new shelter." I think the poster was getting confused by the Matts Creek Trail, which is simply the old AT to US 501 before the Natural Bridge ATC built the James River Foot Bridge and had to re-route the trail to the base of it. They decided to keep the old trail as a blue blaze, and it is a nice route along the ridges immediately above the river at Snowden.

Berserker
05-07-2013, 12:38
What's the area around this shelter like for tenting?
As I sometimes do I'll answer myself here. There is a flatish area to set up a couple of tents near the shelter.



I have found that there are pretty good campsites at several spots along Matts Creek, both upstream (southbound) and downstream (northbound) of the shelter area. Just goes to show that opinions will vary. Try following the creek upstream for a few paces where the southbound AT begins its climb out of the hollow. There is also camping near the mouth of Matts Creek at the James River before the mile-long camping exclusion area starts, which is less than a mile northbound of the shelter. Marble Spring (an old shelter site, in fact) is a good site as mentioned, though it is about 5.5 miles south of Matts Creek Shelter.
Thanks for the info. I actually ended up camping at the one of the spots you mentioned where Matt's Creek dumps into the James River. It's a cool area, but the road and train tracks on the other side of the river detract from it a bit. 501 is a busy road, and at least 3 trains came through in the middle of the night...at least they didn't blow their horns. Still a neat spot though in my opinion. Probably hit or miss on the party goers though as there were signs that it's likely a local party hangout (trash, empty beer cans, etc.).

Deer Hunter
05-07-2013, 13:39
As I sometimes do I'll answer myself here. There is a flatish area to set up a couple of tents near the shelter.



Thanks for the info. I actually ended up camping at the one of the spots you mentioned where Matt's Creek dumps into the James River. It's a cool area, but the road and train tracks on the other side of the river detract from it a bit. 501 is a busy road, and at least 3 trains came through in the middle of the night...at least they didn't blow their horns. Still a neat spot though in my opinion. Probably hit or miss on the party goers though as there were signs that it's likely a local party hangout (trash, empty beer cans, etc.).

It is. People take canoes full of stuff across the river and camp. A lot easier than carrying stuff from the parking lot.

RED-DOG
05-07-2013, 16:56
I have camped down on the James River about .5 mile past Matts Creek great place to camp and a nice shelter.