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  1. #1

    Default Water south of Cawtaba?

    Anyone been through the long stretch NB Pearisburg- Cawtaba/Daleville recently? How are the water sources looking there? Im going soon and hoping that section isnt as difficult as is looks on the profile map😳

    Everytime I go back to the trail I have to pass an entrance exam it seems. Last time it was freezing temps followed by snow and ice for 2 days. This time looks like difficult terrain, low water and a long heavy carry. Still beats the crap outta the best day at work though.

  2. #2
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    Haven't been there recently but did hike that section NOBO this spring (it is every bit as difficult as it looks on the topo). Your only major concern water-wise is the 20 mi hike along the top of Peters Mtn north of Pearisburg. There is only one reliable water source between Pearisburg and the Pine Swamp Branch Shelter. It is a spring located about 1.5 mi north of the Rice Field Shelter. The trail crosses several large creeks with strong flow at fairly regular intervals from Pine Swamp Branch Shelter north to Catawba, so you should have no problem there.
    It's all good in the woods.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleRock View Post
    Haven't been there recently but did hike that section NOBO this spring (it is every bit as difficult as it looks on the topo). Your only major concern water-wise is the 20 mi hike along the top of Peters Mtn north of Pearisburg. There is only one reliable water source between Pearisburg and the Pine Swamp Branch Shelter. It is a spring located about 1.5 mi north of the Rice Field Shelter. The trail crosses several large creeks with strong flow at fairly regular intervals from Pine Swamp Branch Shelter north to Catawba, so you should have no problem there.
    I hiked the Pearisburg-Pine Swamp Branch Shelter about a month ago. The spring North of Rice Fields had weak flow but was sufficient. The piped spring south of Rice Fields (on the trail, don't bother with the blue blaze from the shelter) was considerably stronger. My recommendation would be to take as much water as you'll need to get to Pine Swamp from there.

    I hiked the section from Pine Swamp north last August and between The Captains and War Spur was almost completely dry.

  4. #4
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    Here's a tip. When I did this section NOBO, coming off of John's Creek Mtn and Piney Ridge, the first water you run into is an unnamed creek at a beaver dam downstream from a cow pasture. But don't fill up there. A mile later you get to Sinking Creek which is a nice big stream that doesn't look as sketchy. I filled up at the cow pasture, mistakenly thinking that it was Sinking Creek. When I got to the much nicer stream a mile later, I dumped out that water and refilled. However the bridge at the cow pasture made a nice picnic table for lunch. After you go up Sinking Creek Mtn there is a long ridge walk with some fun rock scrambles. There is a shelter up there (Sarver Hollow) but I'm not sure what its water situation is. I didn't go there because you have to go off trail and loose a bit of elevation. Instead, I carried enough water up Sinking Creek Mtn so I could dry camp around the rocks on the ridge - one of my favorite parts of that section.

  5. #5
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    Keep in mind 'the captains'', 1 mile north of pine swamp shelter. Garden hose on side of house--top up water. Also consider food/water drop at access points to the trail. I shuttle, out of pearisburg, feel free to call anytime @540-921-7433(RIDE)

  6. #6

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    Thank you guys! Ill make sure to camel up at the sources for sure.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratfaceraines View Post
    Keep in mind 'the captains'', 1 mile north of pine swamp shelter. Garden hose on side of house--top up water. Also consider food/water drop at access points to the trail. I shuttle, out of pearisburg, feel free to call anytime @540-921-7433(RIDE)
    Thank you. I see your number there in my AT guide, as well just in case things get sketchy.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runsalone View Post
    Thank you. I see your number there in my AT guide, as well just in case things get sketchy.
    Cell phone service in that section can be sketchy too.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWODaddy View Post
    Cell phone service in that section can be sketchy too.
    That's one of the things in my "Pro's" checklist when hiking the AT. I might not be able to get a call out, but "they" cant get me out there either.

    Think I'll start with my larger backpack. Between the long carry and wanting to carry lots of water, the circuit will give me the extra suspension I need. I was trying to bring the CDT but I think Ill be well over the comfort zone for the first 2-3 days. Specially since I'm a slow poke. Make sure I have enough to enjoy the long stretch instead of it being a question mark. My longest so far was 5 days from atkins to pearisburg and I rather enjoyed it. But boy by that 5th day the hot shower and pizza cravings are getting to the crazy level!

    Really appreciate everybodys input! Its so nice to be able to reach out on here and get a feel for whats ahead.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runsalone View Post
    That's one of the things in my "Pro's" checklist when hiking the AT. I might not be able to get a call out, but "they" cant get me out there either.

    Think I'll start with my larger backpack. Between the long carry and wanting to carry lots of water, the circuit will give me the extra suspension I need. I was trying to bring the CDT but I think Ill be well over the comfort zone for the first 2-3 days. Specially since I'm a slow poke. Make sure I have enough to enjoy the long stretch instead of it being a question mark. My longest so far was 5 days from atkins to pearisburg and I rather enjoyed it. But boy by that 5th day the hot shower and pizza cravings are getting to the crazy level!

    Really appreciate everybodys input! Its so nice to be able to reach out on here and get a feel for whats ahead.
    Isn't Atkins to Pearisburg almost 100 miles? 20mi/day isn't slow in my book.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWODaddy View Post
    Isn't Atkins to Pearisburg almost 100 miles? 20mi/day isn't slow in my book.
    Data book has it at 88.6 in 2013, and It was 6 days, had to look up my notes. See not to fast even then with semi trail legs. lol.

  12. #12

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    Oooooohhh greeeat raaaain godddsss! Please rain on virginia until next week then kindly stop so I dont have to walk in it.......only drink it.......and the lottery thing while your at it.........

  13. #13
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    I will be hiking south from Catawba to Pearisburg soon. Any update on the water? That is my biggest worry for this section.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Roundabout View Post
    I will be hiking south from Catawba to Pearisburg soon. Any update on the water? That is my biggest worry for this section.
    Im leaving for VA. today Mrs. R. Probably hike out tomorrow or Sat. If I have good signal Ill update this thread as soon as I get some miles under my feet.

  15. #15
    Registered User hikernutcasey's Avatar
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    I'm planning a trip from Craig's Creek south to Pearisburg after Thanksgiving and have been hoping for some rain too. I live 1 1/2 hours south of there and it's been really dry lately. We hiked between Atkins and Bland a couple weeks ago and the springs were flowing but at a slow rate. Went kayaking on the New River last weekend and it was down considerably as we constantly were beached in shallow water. The forecast outlook for rain is bleak at best for the next 10 days so lets hope that changes soon.
    Section hiker on the 20 year plan - 1,480 miles and counting!

  16. #16

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    Did bout 13-14 miles today. The sources listed as reliable were running. And a few unreliable ones as well. Albeit slowly. Have to scoop and pour. Things are definitely dry but water is gettable so far. Drycamped about 5.5ish from pine swamp. I was definetely sweating weather the last source would be good. Threw a little micro party when i found water there.

  17. #17
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    Just got back from a Daleville to Craig Rd section. Water is pretty scarce right about now around the Catawba area but the farther South you go, the better it gets. Pickle Branch is running very well and Trout Stream is very nice. Everything in between, carry extra especially with the heat/humidity.
    - Trail name: Thumper

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