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  1. #1
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    Default Shenandoah Nat Park

    Looking for info on a section hike thru the Shennys. How many stores are there, how big they are, what they carry in terms of resupply, how many days of food do I need to carry from the south end near Waynesboro to Front Royal. Thanks!

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    Been a while since I have been thru there but from my memory I carried 4-5 days of food and the first stop you will have as a source of resupply will be loft mountain campground.

    After that you have a couple lodges up in the northern half. At Swift Run Gap you could possible hitch down into Elkton for a resupply. I did not stop at any of the waysides because they weren't directly on the trail. Now that I have walked the trail thru the park, I would like to go back and deviate from the trail and walk Skyline in places where a blackberry milkshake and hotdog could be had

    That's 107 miles of trail, kinda hard to give a breakdown of all the opportunities, and without knowing your hiking style ie miles per day its hard to know how much food you need to take. If ya hike 10 miles a day itll be 11 days on hikin, if you hike 20 a day itll be 5 days so its hard to say

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    Quote Originally Posted by vickietyer View Post
    Looking for info on a section hike thru the Shennys. How many stores are there, how big they are, what they carry in terms of resupply, how many days of food do I need to carry from the south end near Waynesboro to Front Royal. Thanks!
    i did it in 5 days. the south 25 miles or so is the only time you dont run across stores and things pretty much daily.

    first thing you come to is loft mountain campground and store. i got to that on the morning of day 2. shortly thereafter, if youre willing to take a side trail downhill a bit, is the loft mountain wayside (snackbar)

    by early afternoon of day 3 i was at lewis mountain campground store. i ended day 3 at big meadows. i stayed at the lodge and visted the restaurant. there is a wayside around there somewhere (i didnt go) and since there is a campground i guess also a campstore.

    lunch on day 4 i was at skyland. i think thats just a lodge and restaurant. maybe a gift shop to grab a few things at.

    sometime mid day on day 5 i hit elkwallow wayside. was done by the end of the day.

    im trying to recall if there were stores attached to the 2 waysides i stopped at but i'm not sure. i want to say yes to at least 1 of them though i dont recall which.

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    There are four places you can buy food or meals. Food is mostly geared towards car campers - eggs, bacon, hot dogs and the like. Plus snacks, like chips and candy bars. Backpacker food is only freeze dried meals, at about $10 a pop.

    As noted, some of these places are a bit of a detour off the trail - up to a mile one way. Some are pretty much on the trail. Go to the parks web site for all the details and get a map.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Not sure exactly why, but I've cruised through there three times now. First time, I carried 4-5 days of food for 5 days of hiking. Wrong! Next time I carried 3+ days. Still wrong! Finally, this last time, I carried 2+ days going in (lots of extra of my "staples", hence the + sign, coffee, some other items), and ate well. Always took right at 5 days for that 100+ stretch, so adjust for you're pace, of course. Some on here some how call this a "tough stretch", but I suspect that haven't hiked much of the AT because I consider this stretch to be one of the easiest 100+ miles along the AT.

    There are plenty of stores and waysides virtually right on the trail, 100-200 yards off or so. Obviously, no need to go to the ones a mile off. Just gather the maps/info and you're good to go!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I did not stop at any of the waysides because they weren't directly on the trail.
    while technically true, elkwallow wayside is so close to the trail it is essentially on it. truly tragic you didnt at least get a milkshake there.

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    I spent $54.31 on meals and $27.51 on "resupply" for a total of $81.82 while going through the park this last May. Most of the resupply was snacks and one FDM, which turns out I was allergic to and couldn't eat.

    Actually, there are five places to get a meal, I forgot Sky meadow.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    onesie beer at the campstores

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    Just got back from hiking this section. Food supply depends on your mileage (do you have your trail legs yet?) I'd say in general you can go with 2 days worth of food at any point through the shennys if you are capable of averaging 15 mpd. There's a killer camp store at Loft Mountain as well as Lewis Mountain, and waysides as well.

    Shameless plug...Alison at Open Arms Hostel is an awesome person and she picks up for free at Thornton gap if you need to get into Luray for a night, it's only like 30 bucks. Stanimal out of Waynesboro is the man too. Have fun, this is one of the best sections on the AT, and in my opinion, the best for wildlife, so take extra camera batteries.

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    Elkwallow Wayside is basically on the trail (500 feet from the road crossing, you can see it to your right (if NOBO), left (if SOBO).

    You also walk pretty close to the Big Meadows lodge. I don't think there is much there for resupply, but you could eat a really big, expensive meal at the restaurant, if the timing works out. The menu is on-line. There's also a Tap Room with pizza and sandwiches. The Big Meadows Wayside is a little further off the trail, but not much. You can look it up on Google Maps. The AT is marked pretty accurately through SNP.

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    As already mentioned none of the 'stores' carry real hiking food per se. Staples like rice and pasta, granola bars of course, one thing that I did notice was Elk Wallow did have unrefrigerated salt/sugar cured ham and ham hocks. That stuff will keep for the entire SNP hike and obviously can be a meal itself or part of a rice/pasta dinner.
    Of topic but I found it nice that the Elk Wallow restrooms had an outside AC receptical where there is a literature rack, in direct view of the picnic tables- a perfect phone charging situation while enjoying a meal and bev from there. If you are lucky you might see a bear cub run into the AT entrance toward Jeremy's creek

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    Another comment, even if you hike slow, its not that hard to carry enough food without resupply. I just did 10 days Nobo from Thornton Gap and came home with 5 days foods- I eat Mountain Home/Campers Pantry etc and eat well, breakfast, lunch and dinner with raspberry crumble every day. Came home with half a pound of pistachios and a lot of candy, two bags of jerk, soup mix, and 3 lunches(tuna/salmon pouches w/crackers) and 2 days raspberry crumble.

    Its a choice- the food you want at a weight penalty or less weight but you might have to eat things you dont like or the same thing every day. Thru hikers will go with the later, us section people not pushing for max miles might do the former.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossup View Post
    I just did 10 days Nobo from Thornton Gap and came home with 5 days foods
    so..... you started out carrying 15 days of food for a 10 day hike?!?

    i'm no "gram weenie" but i tend to not carry a bunch of stuff i'm not going to use around with me just for the heck of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossup View Post
    As already mentioned none of the 'stores' carry real hiking food per se. Staples like rice and pasta, granola bars of course, one thing that I did notice was Elk Wallow did have unrefrigerated salt/sugar cured ham and ham hocks. That stuff will keep for the entire SNP hike and obviously can be a meal itself or part of a rice/pasta dinner.
    Of topic but I found it nice that the Elk Wallow restrooms had an outside AC receptical where there is a literature rack, in direct view of the picnic tables- a perfect phone charging situation while enjoying a meal and bev from there. If you are lucky you might see a bear cub run into the AT entrance toward Jeremy's creek
    Yes, when I stopped at Elkwallow, there were a bunch of hikers changing their devices and using the picnic tables outside. For me it was the first day of a three day hike, so I didn't really need to resupply. I did down two blackberry milkshakes. Then I had a liter of water with a NUUN tablet. Dairy is a good source of potassium and on a hot summer day, I really needed the electrolytes. A short hike SOBO from the wayside there is a nice spring with good camping spots nearby. That's where I spent the night.

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    Another data point:

    I did Rockfish Gap to Front Royal in 7.5 days in April (~14-15 MPD). I could not have done it faster enjoyably. I agree with the people who say this section is easy, for the most part. Daily mileage summary below.

    I didn't resupply at any of the camp stores. I carried 7 breakfast/dinners, but only 4 days worth of mid-day "snack" foods. I stopped and ate hot meals at Loft Mtn, Big Meadows, Skyland, and Elkwallow.

    Date Distance Overnight Location
    Saturday 4/21 7.7 Calf Mtn Shelter
    Sunday 4/22 13.0 Blackrock Hut
    Monday 4/23 13.2 Pinefield Hut
    Tuesday 4/24 14.3 South River Cabin
    Wednesday 4/25 17.8 Rock Spring Hut
    Thursday 4/26 15.3 Pass Mountain Hut
    Friday 4/27 13.1 Gravel Springs Hut
    Saturday 4/28 13.4 Front Royal, VA
    It's all good in the woods.

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    All this info is very helpful, exactly what I needed, thanks so much!

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