View Full Version : Groceries / Denaturated Alcohol in Rockfish Gap

05-09-2013, 10:59
Dear Hikers,

I am starting to walk on the AT in about eleven days. I am coming from Germany by plane and just realised that what I can take with me in the plane when it comes to food and fuel is limited. I would like to immediately go to Rockfish Gap after staying a night in Charlottesville. So, I would like to know if there is a grocery store where one can buy food for some days and denaturated alcohol. The AT Data book says yes.. However, all I can see on google maps is a gas station. Is that what is meant?! I am just unsure whether to buy all the things I need in Charlottesville OR I do it there and would like to know what the possibilities are...

Thanks a lot in advance,

Zippy Morocco
05-09-2013, 11:10
Waynesboro, VA is the closest spot. It offers a large grocery store and all other services

05-09-2013, 11:17
Flying into C'ville has advantages and difficulties. If you are flying into the city , one route to Rockfish Gap will take you near Barracks Road shopping center. There is a Blue ridge Mtn. sports in the out door mall there. Nearby are several motels that are reasonably priced. Also several grocery stores. Taking a cab into town from the airport is very expensive, maybe a shuttle driver can pick you up there, drop you for the night and take you o Rockfish Gap the next day. I'm sure some of the C'ville locals here can give better detail but this is a start. You will not need a lot of food to carry because Shenandoah NP has several waysides and camp stores you can access along the trail.

Map of the general area here;

05-09-2013, 13:02
I hiked there last year, and there was nothing useful at Rockfish Gap itself. Dunno about this year, but I doubt it. You are better off getting what you need in Charlottesville, or going 5 miles past the gap to Waynesboro, where there is a good outfitter and some large grocery stores.

05-09-2013, 13:03
Thanks A LOT. Especially the hint with the many possibilities to get food in Shenandoah National Park.. That's worth a lot. Actually then I might just get some stuff I am absolute sure I am allowed to carry and bring to the US, then get fuel at the gas station that I can actually see on google maps.

I am not flying to Charlottesville. I am flying to New York then take an Amtrak train to Charlottesville. So that's the reason Charlottesville is my personal starting point.

Thanks a lot again.

05-09-2013, 13:06
Thanks bigcranky.
The outfitter is called Rockfish Gap outfitters (http://rockfishgapoutfitters.com/) and is about three miles from the trail - just to note in case anyone will ever read this thread again so s/he'll know.
I think I will follow the advise to get everything in Charlottesville

05-09-2013, 15:13
Bringing in meat or dairy products, however processed, might get you into the agricultural inspection line where you might be required to toss them out. I walked off the plane with the small remains of a ham and cheese sandwich purchased in the UK and had to throw it out. I think any kind of sausage might not qualify either.

05-09-2013, 22:07
Martin Hardware, on Preston Ave, is about 8 blocks from the train station in Charlottesville. They sell alcohol in the paint dept.

05-09-2013, 22:11
Having only been in Charlottesville a couple times (visiting sites like Monticello) I remember that we were on one of the roads there which seemed to be a continual strip of shopping areas - if whoever you are dealing with in that area (like for a ride to the trail) knows where that road is, I'd think you could find just about anything you wanted there.

Probably even more stores than in Waynesboro?

05-10-2013, 03:36
Thanks so much scudder, that really is a relief. I think now it is complete..

@chiefipoo: Dairy products are not the main problem. It is meat. Solid Cheese is just allowed if it does not contain meat. Soft Cheese is not. Also, the main problem (to me) is not throwing away a sandwich. You risk a fine of 10,000 USD which would exceed my personal budget to be honest. I am just trying to avoid any hassle whatsoever with the border control and I think 10,000 USD is a reasonable argument to do so.

Just in case again anyone will ever read this later, here are the links concerning these issues:

Thanks a lot again for all comments, Mario

05-10-2013, 10:12
Just to think a bit differently, Staunton is also on the Amtrak line from New York. Staunton has an outfitter and hardware store. There is a city bus from Staunton to Waynesboro (really cheap). Waynesboro is about 4 miles from RockFish Gap. There are many people who will shuttle from Waynesboro to the trail. RockFish Gap Outfitters (has fuel) is on the way out to the the trail. Many friendly people there! Grace Lutheran Hostel (open May 21-Jun 24) and camping available near the YMCA (check in at the YMCA desk). ATC has a shuttle list available - http://appalachiantrail.org/docs/default-document-library/at-shuttles-parking-vandalism-4-25-13.pdf

05-10-2013, 10:39
I know Staunton has an Amtrak station and to be honest you are perfectly right, if I would plan again, I might head to Staunton instead of Charlottesville. Now the thing is that I have a Couchsurfing oppurtunity in Charlottesville. The other main reason is that the train from NY to Staunton is leaving at 6:45 am so I would not be able to be in Staunton before the afternoon. The train to Charlottesville I take departs at 2pm so I will not loose a day in NY.. It's all a question of perception. Of course, taking the train is not the most efficient way of travelling in any way but I always wanted to go with an AMTRAK train for very long time.. so I think now the time has come for me :-)

But you are quite right, Staunton probably is the better option.. I think that is also a part of a learning process we all have to go through some times