View Full Version : Info on trail from Harpers Ferry to Harrisonburg, VA

Will T
09-10-2008, 17:10
I plan to hike from Harpers Ferry to Harrisonburg, VA in October and I need information on this part of the trail such as, Is it an easy hike? Is there anywhere to get fresh water or will I need to filter or boil ground water? Is it a decent part of the trail to hike? Is there any transportation from Harrisonburg back to Harpers Ferry? Do I need any camping permits or permission?


09-10-2008, 17:50
Shenandoah National Park is generally regarded as one of the more pleasant and easy sections of the AT.

The section between Harpers Ferry and the north end of Shenandoah National Park is known as the "roller coaster." It's not particularly difficult, but some folks find it annoying. It's a very long series of moderate (approx. 500 foot) ascents and descents, with not much of a view.

Plenty of shelters on this stretch, and camping within SNP is relatively unrestricted.

From personal experience: avoid Dicks Dome shelter, and visit Blackburn Center.

09-10-2008, 18:11
The trail is about 30 miles from Harrisonburg. Just in case you didn't know.

09-10-2008, 19:53
Welcome to White Blaze!

You'll have the "roller coaster section" to go through first in Northern VA - quite a few series of ups and downs, kind challenging if you are not in that great of shape. Major rocks to go through at Devils Racecourse. Bears Den hostel gets rave reviews. The climb is rather steep up into Shenandoah. Once in the park to Swift Run Gap, it's not bad. But you do need a backcountry camping permit for Shenandoah NP - which you can get at the self registration station before entering the park. And they do have some regulations for backcountry camping - and rangers do patrol.

Water is from springs and streams. We used Aqua Mira, no problems. But the water source at DIcks Dome shelter is bad - comes from a cow's pasture. I would camp a mile before it at a nice camping area by a spring. The other shelters in this section are very nice. The Denton shelter has its own shower too.

PM Skyline if you need a shuttle.

Will T
09-10-2008, 22:01
Where would the best place to get off the trail near Harrisonburg to g back to Harpers Ferry?

09-10-2008, 23:16
Swift Run Gap in SNP I would think. It's a half hour straight shot west on rt 33