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Bootstrap
04-04-2011, 12:42
My wife has injured her knee, she's up for some hiking this weekend, but can't handle a lot of hills, and this is a bit tentative, so we want an easy escape route.

Ideally, I'd like a place where we can camp near the road, perhaps in a park, and hike along mostly level trail in a beautiful place. The Croatan or Merchant's Millpond come to mind.

But is there a nice stretch of flat river in the mountains that's easy to get in and out of, either on the AT or elsewhere? The places I can think of have steep sections going in that would be too challenging for her at this point. Extra points for being near some charming town we can escape to if her knee really can't handle it ...

Ender
04-04-2011, 12:45
Shenandoah National Park is pretty flat, about as flat as you'll get on the AT. And it's within the park, so plenty of chances for bailing out if needed.

Blissful
04-04-2011, 12:54
Is she cleared to hike by a Dr? Could make it worse as even with a flat stretch, you are putting pressure on it from a backpack with every step you take (though it looks like you may be car camping?).

ShoelessWanderer
04-04-2011, 12:57
My wife has injured her knee, she's up for some hiking this weekend, but can't handle a lot of hills, and this is a bit tentative, so we want an easy escape route.

Ideally, I'd like a place where we can camp near the road, perhaps in a park, and hike along mostly level trail in a beautiful place. The Croatan or Merchant's Millpond come to mind.

But is there a nice stretch of flat river in the mountains that's easy to get in and out of, either on the AT or elsewhere? The places I can think of have steep sections going in that would be too challenging for her at this point. Extra points for being near some charming town we can escape to if her knee really can't handle it ...

Sounds like Merchants Millpond is probably your best best. Or maybe First Landing SP, if you're looking for something further outta town.

Or if you really want to drive...anything on the Maryland AT.

Pedaling Fool
04-04-2011, 13:00
Flat:confused: kind of hard to think of an area; I agree SNP is flat for thru's but not sure if flat for others. Also not sure how far you're willing to travel, otherwise I'd say Pa, south of Duncannon. How about the 20 or so miles south of Damascus, Va. that's kind of flat.

Bootstrap
04-04-2011, 13:01
Is she cleared to hike by a Dr? Could make it worse as even with a flat stretch, you are putting pressure on it from a backpack with every step you take (though it looks like you may be car camping?).

We'll either car camp or have me carry everything. She's cleared for walking, not for backpacking, and not for mountains.

Her ego may require us to car camp, I'm not sure she can let me carry everything ...

Bootstrap
04-04-2011, 13:25
Sounds like Merchants Millpond is probably your best best. Or maybe First Landing SP, if you're looking for something further outta town.

Or if you really want to drive...anything on the Maryland AT.

Never visited First Landing State Park - that looks pretty interesting too.

Kerosene
04-04-2011, 15:24
One option for a relatively flat AT weekend might be from US-60 (east of Buena Vista) heading south along Brown Mountain Creek and ending just north of Punchbowl Shelter for a total distance of about 10 miles.

ShoelessWanderer
04-05-2011, 09:51
Never visited First Landing State Park - that looks pretty interesting too.

And some great camping right now...before all the tourist get here. lol...you can even snag some spots right on the water.

There's a few other local parks in the tidewater area. You could also drive up to York River State Park, it's probably an hour from First Landing, but doesn't allow camping. Northwest River Park has a pretty little 5 mile loop, along with Newport News Park & the Noland Trail.

Bootstrap
04-05-2011, 14:34
And the winner is: Merchant's Millpond.

Camp in the park. Hike and see how her knee is doing. Bring a canoe. Work up to backpacking when her knee is in better shape.

Bootstrap
04-05-2011, 14:35
And some great camping right now...before all the tourist get here. lol...you can even snag some spots right on the water.

There's a few other local parks in the tidewater area. You could also drive up to York River State Park, it's probably an hour from First Landing, but doesn't allow camping. Northwest River Park has a pretty little 5 mile loop, along with Newport News Park & the Noland Trail.

Helpful info. I definitely want to get to know the tidewater area better.

ShoelessWanderer
04-07-2011, 10:41
Helpful info. I definitely want to get to know the tidewater area better.

If you ever have question feel free to email me: theshoelesswanderer@gmail.com. I've lead multiple hiking groups in the area, so pretty familiar with it.

Do you ever do anything with the meetup groups out of raleigh?

DBCFlash
04-07-2011, 10:59
Is she cleared to hike by a Dr? Could make it worse as even with a flat stretch, you are putting pressure on it from a backpack with every step you take (though it looks like you may be car camping?).

After my knee injury, my doctor encouraged me to walk on level ground as much as tolerable. I guess it just depends on what the injury is.

pablowest
04-09-2011, 23:51
Good luck DBCFlash. I hope that you can recover from that injuries. :sun

Bootstrap
04-13-2011, 10:04
The weekend was wonderful. Merchants Millpond is an amazing place, just the right size for one weekend. You can canoe around the blackwater pond in about 2 1/2 hours, poking between the cypress trees among the lily pads, or go down the river for another 2 hours or so, they have backpacking sites and canoe-in sites and family sites, and about 10 miles of trails.

Highly recommended for a simple weekend trip.

My wife handled 8 miles on the trails fine, without a pack. So we're getting there ... and working our way up to backpacking again.

Bootstrap
04-13-2011, 10:05
If you ever have question feel free to email me: theshoelesswanderer@gmail.com. I've lead multiple hiking groups in the area, so pretty familiar with it.

Do you ever do anything with the meetup groups out of raleigh?

Chris runs a wonderful meetup group out of Raleigh - when I was single I did attend a few times, but then I fell in love with my wife, and she likes to go out alone together. I like that too.

I've got your email, and I'll be asking questions. The Great Dismal Swamp has captured my imagination ...

Trail Bug
04-14-2011, 07:46
Rent a canoe and go camp on the island. Only problem is the area is loaded with ticks. Got some nice pictures of a Gator on my last visit. About six feet long. Very nice area to visit.

sixguns01
04-14-2011, 08:45
NJ is pretty flat.

Ender
04-14-2011, 08:53
Rent a canoe and go camp on the island. Only problem is the area is loaded with ticks. Got some nice pictures of a Gator on my last visit. About six feet long. Very nice area to visit.

I'll second this idea... canoe camping is a ton of fun.