View Full Version : Best date range for a little NOVA trail magic?

04-28-2009, 14:34
It's gotta be coming up soon - when are some of the most common dates / weekends when people will be passing through Virginia around rockfish gap / north end of SNP / sky meadows / ashby gap? Wide area range, but that's where I'm usually out hiking/camping for the weekends and wouldn't mind hauling up some extra grub.

04-28-2009, 14:48
I have not yet officially announced this yet, but we are tentatively planning a first hopefully-annual SNP Hiker Picnic set for May 30th at Smith Roach Gap parking area near Hightop Hut. Probably from noon to 6 PM to catch whoever we can. I plan to firm this up next week. Love to have neighboring WBers out there with us to help supply food and welcome thru hikers and sectioners to our neck of the woods.

If anyone wants to help out, PM me and I'll get you on my e-mail list.

04-28-2009, 15:40
I've always considered NOBO prime time in SNP to be about mid-May to late June. There are "earlybirds" before and "stragglers" after. Some of the latter wind up flip-flopping at some point.

Rodney, I and sometimes friends try to do something for the hikers on Memorial Day, stationed at a site we like where the AT hits Blackrock Gap. Not sure yet about this year. He has a lot of shuttles that weekend, and I may have to help. We typically encounter 25 to 40 hikers of all "types"--thru, section, and day hikers--on that day. It's a good location because it's near the end of a long dry stretch and there's a good place to pull off the road and set up in the shade.

More impromptu: On days we can break away in late May or early June, we sometimes park late afternoons on the grassy stretch on Skyline Drive near Thornton Gap just before hikers go into the woods on their way to Pass Mt. Hut. Cold sodas, iced tea, and fresh fruit seem to be more appreciated there these days now that Panorama Restaurant is history.

04-28-2009, 18:50
Excellent, good info - I noticed a handful of written notes from early April on the board at the Ashby Gap rte. 50/17 crossing this past weekend and realized most folks should be passing by that way real soon.

One thing I had considered was heading up Freezeland Rd/ Firetrail Rd. from Linden and parking in one of the G R Thompson State Wildlife Management Area parking lots up on the ridge. Most of these areas connect up with the AT within a few hundred feet (I've actually never driven up there, but have hiked into them while doing sectionals in the area), and are within 5 or so miles at most from the ever-so-snakey Manassas Gap Shelter.

The main rationale behind that idea was that it would be further away from the sightseers and a nicer place to pitch a hammock and wait for folks to walk by for some refreshments. Think that's workable?

04-29-2009, 14:37
The main pack of hikers are currently between Hot Springs and Damascus. They should be reaching the SNP in about 4-6 weeks.

04-29-2009, 19:25
TRAIL MAGIC! first weekend in June at Hog Camp Gap. looks like right now its just me. anyone else free to join and make some trail magic. PM me!

04-29-2009, 22:47
A couple of thru hikers came into Front Royal today. A few hikers have been coming thru for the past couple of weeks. Every year from late May to early July seems to be when most northbounders come thru this area. On my hike I came thru Harpers Ferry on July 27 and there was still hikers behind me.

04-29-2009, 23:07
Just curious, having received various types of trail magic before, the "surprise" of coming upon the generosity of others was what made the magic happen. . .

And the idea of heading north of Linden near the Thompson WMA you are more likely to "surprise" folks and a much more relaxed atmosphere than a parking lot. . .