View Full Version : Troutdale > Pearisburg :: Best resupply point(s)

01-04-2012, 15:10
Hey folks, I have a few logistical questions regarding my upcoming thru that I'm hoping past hikers in the area could help me out with. Background info: I'm planning this hike with my girl, who has Celiac (gluten intolerance) so we are figuring in more mail drops than might otherwise be required. Trying to find that balance between towns with good ressupply (grocery store) and the points where a mail drop will be necessary (so much wheat filler in traditional "backpacker" foods)

We are planning a maildrop into Troutdale, most likely at the Baptist hostel. All the info I've gathered from here and my AT guide tells me that the next reliable re-supply for her will be in Pearisburg, a whopping 114 miles. I see that there are lots of small resupply points in between, but we are trying to plan whether we will need a mail drop for the sufficient gluten free foods, or if we could stretch that out by buying what we need. I know that there is small resupply in Atkins, about a 2 day (26 mile) hike from Troutdale. The town of Bland and Bastien is also on the route, about 70 miles from Troutdale (or 45 miles from Atkins). From Bland to Pearisburg looks to be about 43 miles. About halfway from Bland to Pearisburg there is also Trent's Grocery and Nature'sWay.

To me it seems that there are multiple resupply points, I'm just not sure which of these would work best for us considering her special diet. We're not opposed to supplemented plain 'ol brown rice with whatever needs be during these stretches between major resupply. I am interested in how past hikers have paced themselves through this stretch, and what kind of resupply may be found at the Atkins crossing, Bland (mail drop needed?), Trents/and or Nature's Way. Obviously the less mail drops, the better - but we want to make sure that we are getting the nutrition needed as well.

As always, many thanks for the experience! Cheers,


01-04-2012, 21:19
I'm with you that there's no one convenient way to break up that section. People's opinions differ on the Atkins resupply. It's a big gas station convenience store that has definitely modified its supply to account for the AT going literally right by its doorstep. Most people find enough to survive there. But I remember it being slightly pricier than average, and at the end of the day, it was nothing close to what a supermarket can offer. If I had any sort of dietary restriction, I would avoid having to resupply out of that store.

That said, you can ship a maildrop to that store or (I think) to The Barn restaurant right across the street. Or, you can hitch 4 miles trail-west to the Wal-Mart in Marion (also the site of some motel options that are a better value than the Relax Inn, which is right at the trail crossing ... this is what I did last year, since the weather was bad and my hiking partner and I needed a break).

I was not thrilled with the Bland resupply. It required a hard hitch (I ended up splitting a local shuttle), and the Bland Grocery had good selection but was exorbitantly priced. I didn't go to Trent's Grocery, but I heard only good things about it. The issue with it from a resupply standpoint is that it's barely more than a day from Pearisburg.

If I had to do it again with your restrictions, I would take your Troutdale maildrop and send it to one of the Atkins options instead. That way, you'd have 75 miles from Damascus-Atkins, followed by 90 to Pearisburg (or 65 to Trent's Grocery, where you can reliably get enough to help you the last little bit), and you won't have to do any town hitching unless you want to. YMMV, so I can't offer a time estimate, but I will say that I was moving faster in this section than I had been the entire Trail up to that point.

01-04-2012, 22:11
Hey thanks so much- That sounds like a viable alternative to make the most of the stops. I appreciate you taking the time to reply, I think we'll try to work this option into the plan if the girl agrees. Looking forward-

Mountain Mike
01-04-2012, 22:19
Trents is small grocery store. Not hiker oriented more to fishermen & long term locals living in their "campground/rv park". If you can do a mail drop there fine. If not I would plan on a cary to Pearisburg.

Rain Man
01-05-2012, 11:39
We stopped at Trent's last year and loved it. Not that it's a fancy place, but it came at the right time for us and we chowed down on pizza and cheeseburgers (maybe not what you want to hear). You can call them about re-supply (I did last year) and see what they have and what they are willing to do for you.

Another place I'd definitely recommend is Wood's Hole hostel just south of Pearisburg. Well worth the stop. And those folks will definitely work with you on your diet requirements. Can't say enough about them or the place itself. Again, just call them. I did.

BTW, if that Baptist hostel doesn't work out in Troutdale, try the local country store there (Jerry's Kitchen). The owner is a great guy and very supportive of hikers. My family and I ended a hike there a couple of years ago.

There's also supposed to be a new hostel opening just north of Atkins/Groseclose in the O'Lystery community. There's a thread here on WB about it with contact info. It's a past thru-hiker (I think) who owns it. He might be willing to help you with re-supply.

I don't have any of the contact information handy just now for any of the above, but if you are interested in any of these and can't find it on your own, let me know and I'll dig it out later.