View Full Version : Question for Thruhikers: Roanoke?

03-24-2010, 09:57
I've been investigating places to visit my boyfriend along the trail. Since I'm in NY, driving down south for the weekend isn't really reasonable so I am limited in that I can only fly into major airports. Unless I'm missing something, the only major city with an airport near the trail anywhere in North Carolina, Tennessee or Southern/Central Virginia is Roanoke.

First off, am I missing something? Is there another airport before Roanoke? And also, is it concievable for a hiker to get off the trail in that area? Based on maps it looks like the trail is only 25 or so miles from Roanoke but I could be mistaken. It seems to be right near McAfee Knob at around mile 700, actually.

I read the thread on the best places to take a zero and Roanoke wasn't mentioned, probably because of its distance from the trail. But do any thruhikers know if visiting someone who is on the trail by flying to Roanoke makes sense?

03-24-2010, 10:06
It's only about a 45 minute drive from Asheville to Hot Springs, NC.

03-24-2010, 10:10
Hooch, thanks for the suggestion, but my b/f will be in Hot Springs tomorrow... not enough notice for a flight there, lol. ;)

03-24-2010, 10:11
I believe you're correct that Roanoke's airport is the closest, compared to Knoxville, Ashville, and Tri-cities. Charlottesville's airport appears close but I don't know about the flights there.

The reason Roanoke isn't usually mentioned as a Trail Town is that the nearest point where the AT passes - Rt. 220 - is Daleville/Troutville with all the services hikers need: motels, restaurants, banks, big grocery store, etc. Roanoke is listed in the Companion (http://www.triflight.com/index.php?id=9) as being 12 miles away.

03-24-2010, 10:13
You didn't specify a time frame. Will Tri-Cities Airport near Bristol work for you? It's about 45 minutes from Damascus, VA.

Lone Wolf
03-24-2010, 10:14
Tri-Cities airport. 45 minutes from Damascus

03-24-2010, 10:14
Tri-Cities airport. 45 minutes from Damascus
Copy cat. :p

03-24-2010, 10:20
Hey, I hadn't come across that one (Tri-Cities that is). Meeting him in Damascus would be awesome! I'll look into it, thanks.

Lone Wolf
03-24-2010, 10:23
Hey, I hadn't come across that one (Tri-Cities that is). Meeting him in Damascus would be awesome! I'll look into it, thanks.

stay at The Lazy Fox B&B if you come to Damascus

03-24-2010, 10:36
Roanoke is your best bet. Get a ride from the Roanoke airport to the Roanoke bus station. From the bus station there is a bus service to Blacksburg, where Virginia Tech is located. It cost me $3 a couple of years ago for that shuttle. Blacksburg has a nice friendly downtown area.

From Virginia Tech you can get an AT shuttle to the trail. You can find names of shuttle drivers in the area by getting on the ATC website, Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

However, it would be best if your boyfriend made arrangements to have a shuttle pick him up at a road crossing close to VT, and take him to Virginia Tech, Blacksburg. I'm sure there are accomendations in Blacksburg for the two of you. You can check for hotels in the area.

Very few if any hikers ever make it into Blacksburg to close to Pearisburg, which is a really easy zero town. Being a thru-section hiker, I know most of the bus stations, airports and transportation shuttles along the trail. You can sent me a Private Message on WB if you need additional information or email arcwalsh@msn.com

03-24-2010, 12:46
It's easy to get from the Roanoke airport to the Daleville trail crossing by taxi.

Note that, from Syracuse, you can drive straight down I-81 to Roanoke in about 9 hours. A flight from SYR -> ROA will run you about $250, require a layover (choose DC!), and take 4-5 hours of your time.

Roanoke in late April should be pretty! I like the Blacksburg idea, although I never got there to check it out.

03-24-2010, 13:04
the airport in roanoke is like fifteen min from the trail

03-24-2010, 13:13
also its pretty easy to get to roanoke from alot of the AT thru that area to south and the north of mcfee knob you could come meet him for a few days and he will still be able to hike north and so on..

03-24-2010, 16:05
When I met my wife at Trail Days in Damascus, the best I could do was to fly to Atlanta. The drive wasn't too bad, 5 or 6 hours, cheap rental cars available ($20/day), and cheapest flight from Denver.

03-24-2010, 17:45
Fly into Charlottesville, trail is half hour away, you could hike SNP with him which is pretty easy NOBO. I know many hikers have family / friends visit and hike there. You could zero in Waynesboro before heading into the park.

03-24-2010, 19:31
ROA is about as close as you can get to the trail. Asheville is doable - airport code AVL. Continental, United, Delta, US Air, etc. fly there. There are far more convenient locations to get to the trail from ROA vs. AVL.

Daleville is a popular zero, the trail crosses a main road there, it's very close to McAfee's knob, which is a great hike.

The week's hiking leading up to Daleville is really nice, too - including Dragon's Tooth and McAfee's knob.

03-24-2010, 19:52
You could also fly or ride Amtrak to Lynchburg, Va., which is really about as close to the trail as Roanoke. It's about a half-hour drive or less from Lynchburg to the Foot Bridge where the AT crosses the James River on U.S. 501 in Central Virginia.

03-26-2010, 18:14
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I looked into Tri-Cities but the tickets were, at the cheapest, more than $600! :eek: Not possible, lol. Looks like Roanoke is happening, though. I'm very excited! :banana

04-22-2010, 19:58
does anyone know if you hike to the hevleys shelter from the highway?

Lone Wolf
04-22-2010, 20:00
does anyone know if you hike to the hevleys shelter from the highway?

yes one does