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    Default Best sections of the AT in Virginia

    I live in Virginia and want to do some section hikes on the AT in the state. Any opinions on the best sections of the AT in Virginia? I am thinking of doing around 150 mi. or so.

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    SNP in October is hard to beat. Really good section there. You have a town at the beggining, end and halfway thru with some campgrounds, lodges and amenities along the way.

    Down in SOVA you have damascus nobo thru the grayson highlands that could be coupled with some of Tennessee, or further north past fox creek into va.

    I also really enjoyed Harpers ferry sobo towards SNP.
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    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    US 311 near Roanoke to Rockfish Gap is about 150 miles. That was my favorite part of VA.

    Second place would be Rockfish Gap to Harper's Ferry, also a little over 150 miles.
    It's all good in the woods.

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    Lightbulb If you've never done major back-packing before

    Shenandoah has a major plus factor for people new to this activity. Namely, you're never far from civilization. It's like doing your first high-wire act with a net -- you can concentrate on your walking, without fear of major injury if you miscalculate.

    Forget something? Over-estimate your abilities? Just don't enjoy doing this? Then just head for Skyline Drive and get a ride to your car -- no harm, no foul.

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    Three ridges wilderness.

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    To me, the best part of the trail is the one that you’re on! Pick a spot to start, pick a place to stop. ‘nuf said.

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    Ok I clicked the reply button too soon. All suggestions above are solid. You’re just a few clicks from Chester Gap where you could pick up SNP to the south and the wonderful roller coaster to the north. I’d start close to home and then go from there

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    With almost 1/4 of the AT in Virginia alone, there's a little bit of most everything to be found.

    I find the SNP to be boreing. I like a bit more challenging trail. But it is a good place to start and if it's close to home, that's a plus.

    I like the Glasglow to Waynesboro section. I think it's the most interesting section, but it's probably the hardest. That section proves Virginia is anything but flat.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  9. #9

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    SNP if the waysides are open.
    Really appreciate having easy access to real food you do not have to prepare yourself.
    Last edited by Astro; 09-26-2019 at 12:55.
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    Registered User andymc's Avatar
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    Default Best sections of the AT in Virginia

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    Shenandoah is great, especially in October.

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    If you want to do SNP, I would recommend tacking on the rockfish gap to highway 60 section to get closer to your 150 miles. It is an excellent section, and is a much quieter and more remote feel than SNP (where you are close to the road most of the time)
    You could go southbound and finish at highway 60. Or you get the harder terrain over first (starting at highway 60) and then enjoy the relatively easier section of SNP and some waysides if they're open still.

    I personally didn't love SNP. Not that amazing of views on the AT in many sections, close to the road often, busier than other sections. But I was there in May, not October, and fall makes everything better!

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    13-45 Section Hiker Trash
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    If you want to do SNP, I would recommend tacking on the rockfish gap to highway 60 section to get closer to your 150 miles. It is an excellent section, and is a much quieter and more remote feel than SNP (where you are close to the road most of the time)
    You could go southbound and finish at highway 60. Or you get the harder terrain over first (starting at highway 60) and then enjoy the relatively easier section of SNP and some waysides if they're open still.

    I personally didn't love SNP. Not that amazing of views on the AT in many sections, close to the road often, busier than other sections. But I was there in May, not October, and fall makes everything better!
    This is some good advice here. If you are looking for "solitude" (you likely won't find this anywhere on the AT unless it's during the winter) then I would not do SNP. If you want to be around people or don't care, then it doesn't matter. Also, you didn't mention if you want something easy, hard or if you don't care. SNP is pretty easy and the trail South of there has some tough spots in it. North of there is tougher than SNP, but other than the Roller Coaster section (which is 13 miles of going up and down the entire time) it's easier than the Southern half of the AT in VA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
    Shenandoah has a major plus factor for people new to this activity. Namely, you're never far from civilization. It's like doing your first high-wire act with a net -- you can concentrate on your walking, without fear of major injury if you miscalculate.

    Forget something? Over-estimate your abilities? Just don't enjoy doing this? Then just head for Skyline Drive and get a ride to your car -- no harm, no foul.
    x2... Shenandoah might not be the most scenic or challenging section, but it’s abundant waysides, camp stores, and availability of food and beverage makes it an overall pleasant hike. And in all honesty there’s plenty of scenic overlooks along the hike.


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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakpro View Post
    I live in Virginia and want to do some section hikes on the AT in the state. Any opinions on the best sections of the AT in Virginia? I am thinking of doing around 150 mi. or so.
    Pearisburg North to 220? is my favorite section.

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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    I'd go Damascus north for 150 or so. My second choice would be Waynesboro south for 150.

    My least favorite part of the state, from a pure aesthetics standpoint, is Waynesboro north, including SNP.

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    I would add that while the AT through SNP is not wilderness, there are many side trips that are great. In some cases, you can use side trails to bypass sections of the AT so it isn’t necessarily an out and back. For example, the Rose River is a great alternate to the AT starting at big meadows.

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    SNP has always been a magical place for me. I've hiked the AT and side trails there since the 1970's... Now whenever we are there (even backpacking) we try to plan in a few nights in PATC cabins along or near the AT. Always memorable.

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    The trail is childhood reborn. Simple, carefree, and full of Wonders Captn's Avatar
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    I did Damascus north to Marion two years ago.. loved it

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    Headed to Front Royal Monday going South. 30° bag good enough ?

    thanks thom

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