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Thread: VA/PA --Help

  1. #1
    Registered User tawa's Avatar
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    Default VA/PA --Help

    In short, I have hiked everything from Springer to Damascus in one stretch. This fall I hiked section including Shenandoah NP to Pen Mar State Park.
    Now rethinking my initial plan of going back to Pen Mar and heading north sometime between April 1st-15th and then hiking the rest of VA this fall.
    I'm retired so I don't necessarily have to finish the remainder of the trail in 2018.

    So the question is --what are the pros and cons of leaving from Damascus around April 1st or Pen Mar between April 1-15th.
    Should I decide to go with the Damascus option what would be the options/ways of getting from the southern end of Shenandoah (Waynesboro) up to Pen Mar State Park so I could continue north?
    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2

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    The quickest option would be a shuttle. I have been hearing a lot of bus, train talk on here lately and those are modes of transportation that I personally am just not going to mess with. Not saying they are bad, they just aren't for me. With still being a working man, My time free to be able to hike in skimpy, 3 weeks a year. So I choose to fork out the cash, and get to where I am going as quickly as I can via planes and automobiles. That shuttle there will cost you about $175-$200 bucks. I base this cost off of me paying $100 to be driven 100 miles, in the same geographic area of the trail (swift run to harpers ferry). Now, once other option that could take extra time but be free is to hitchhike thru the park up to Front Royal, and then possibly get a shuttle from there, saving about 100$ thru the park.

    I have successfully hitched thru the park on 2 separate occasions for what its worth
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
    AT Trips: 67
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  3. #3
    Registered User dudeijuststarted's Avatar
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    You'll hit some early NOBOs if you head north from Damascus in April, but it shouldn't be crowded. If you head north from PenMar in April you might be in New England too early and get eaten up by the black flies. I had a similar situation to yours a few years back and opted to head south from Harper's to the Smokies, then SOBO from Katahdin back to Harper's Ferry. This way, I had people around to break the monotony of Virginia, and peace and solitude to enjoy the grandeur of the northeast, finishing with an easy stroll through the midatlantic in the fall.

    I am a hopeless flip flopper.

  4. #4

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    It all depends on the weather. Waiting until the 3d week of April is usually a better choice weather wise, especially if you start PenMar.

    If you do the Damascus option, once you get to the SNP you might as well just keep going.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  5. #5
    Registered User tawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    The quickest option would be a shuttle. I have been hearing a lot of bus, train talk on here lately and those are modes of transportation that I personally am just not going to mess with. Not saying they are bad, they just aren't for me. With still being a working man, My time free to be able to hike in skimpy, 3 weeks a year. So I choose to fork out the cash, and get to where I am going as quickly as I can via planes and automobiles. That shuttle there will cost you about $175-$200 bucks. I base this cost off of me paying $100 to be driven 100 miles, in the same geographic area of the trail (swift run to harpers ferry). Now, once other option that could take extra time but be free is to hitchhike thru the park up to Front Royal, and then possibly get a shuttle from there, saving about 100$ thru the park.

    I have successfully hitched thru the park on 2 separate occasions for what its worth
    Thanks Gambit for the suggestions.
    Now think I will leave Damascus around April is and head north to SNF--then hitch through the part--then either hire a shuttle to PENMAR or maybe rent a car which is cheaper.

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