View Full Version : Shenandoah NP food/mileage question

Trail Dog
02-07-2004, 17:05
Forgive me if this was covered already but i did a few searches and couldn't find anything.

Hiking from Wynesboro to Harpers Ferry.. how many days of food for those 161 miles and how many days to hike it? I hear food availabilty and easy trails makes for big miles and no need to carry all your food. I expect 9 or so days to cover this section and get from one maildrop to the next. What should i plan for? will it take less time to complete?

Thanks much

02-07-2004, 17:17
Depending on what condition you are in, 9 days is certainly doable. I did the section in 8 days (and that's faster than most).

In the National Park, there are camp stores at many of the campgrounds, and waysides along Skyline Drive. Now, these camp stores cater to the campground crowd, not backpackers. So, there is probably more canned food and less Liptons, etc. Also, you probably can't buy individual packages of say oatmeal.
Waysides have hot meals, but not at Panorama anymore.

You might consider either a maildrop at Linden or resupply in Front Royal. Other than that, I'd plan on picking up some food at the camp stores as I hiked along. Check your maps to figure out how many days food you need to carry.

02-08-2004, 03:42
9 days sounds resonable. There are the wayside stations in SNP, but beware they may be closed as they were for me after Hurricane Isabel. About half way throught the park you can hitch to a town called Laray(sp?), home a famous caves. Anyway I try never to carry more than 3-4 days of food, to keep my pack light. That section has plenty of places to resupply. You should also consider making a stop at Rusty's Hard Time Hollow.

Moon Monster
02-08-2004, 13:34
I don't think you should plan on less than nine days. I agree it does depend on your shape at that time. My daily mileages there were: 20.0, 21.4, 23.9, 15.3, 26.5, 0, 15.1, 30.0, 10.8. This was nine days including a zero, but you can see I had a couple long days to do it in eight walking days. Do not pencil in 30 mile days into your schedule. You may not even want to assume any 20s. On the other hand, if you are feeling good and strong then, these mileages are very doable. But, I think you should plan conservatively.

I carried 4 full days of food into the Park with the intent of buying one day's worth while in the Park. I left SNP with almost two full days worth still in my pack. I ate much more Park food than I expected, but if you have the budget for that, I reccommend doing it. On the scale of a thru-hike, it's a fun thing to grab a table cloth dinner at one of the lodges or walk up and get an order of french fries almost on the Trail in Virginia. I ate one dinner and one breakfast at the lodges, I resupplied at two waysides, and I ate two lunches at wayside grills. I also had one dinner on my way into DC.

Interim resupply is possible 3-4 days in at Luray, VA and then 5-6 days in at Linden or Front Royal, VA. An extra mail drop can easily be scheduled at the Linden P.O. (see Baltimore Jack's article for info on Linden resupply). I even went into DC for a zero day from Linden (but I had friends to take me in).

Other options: depending on his mood and schedule with other hikers, Rusty may also could run a southbound slackpack for you so you could go back to Waynesboro after 2 days in the Park. The Terrapin Station Hostel north of the Park may also could do something similar with advance notice of your arrival.