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  1. #1

    Default Trailfest- Hot Springs 4/22/2006

    Anyone going?

    Officially only a 1 day affair and small compared to Trail Days, it still makes for an excellent excuse to get away for the weekend, get-together and talk hiking.

    From what I understand, Nean will be helping with the "festivities" along with Jack Dalton, Pipsissewa `93. I'll be manning the ALDHA booth on Saturday before relaxing at the Pub. Stop and say hi and if you're new to the AT and backpacking, check out what ALDHA has to offer.

    http://www.aldha.org

    There's free camping at Silvermine, a FS campground just out of town and Hot Springs Campground will have reduced rates.

    For more info...

    http://www.hotspringsnc.org/-trailfest

  2. #2
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    We may frolick over that way and I may even try to backpack again. Are there any trails in the area that aren't too challenging? I'm training after permanently injuring my leg in a bad auto accident and it isn't up to climbing a mountain with a pack just yet.

    Is Silvermine campground where most of the thru-hiker stay? Will there be enough room there for section hikers?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    The SEHHA (SouthEast Hamock Hangers Association) will be relaxing in style at the commercial campground this weekend.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  4. #4
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    I'll be hiking in Northern Virginia then....but would be nice to see the AT family
    Start out slow, then slow down.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frolicking Dinosaurs
    We may frolick over that way and I may even try to backpack again. Are there any trails in the area that aren't too challenging? I'm training after permanently injuring my leg in a bad auto accident and it isn't up to climbing a mountain with a pack just yet.

    Is Silvermine campground where most of the thru-hiker stay? Will there be enough room there for section hikers?
    Without a pack you could probably hike up to Lover's Leap Rock without too much difficulty and perhaps slack the 5 miles to the trail camp area or backpack from Max Patch into town (20 mi.) with a couple shelters along the way or Tanyard to Allen Gap (9 mi.) staying at the Spring Mnt Shelter. Probably be lots of thru-hikers though.

    I think most thru-hikers will be staying in-town since it's a bit of a drive to Silvermine CG.

  6. #6
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    Last year was fun but wet then snowy.
    The campground on the river is great but will fill up so call. There is a charge but very close to everything. Make a reservation if you plan to soak in the spa.
    Drink a chilly one for me.
    Pete

  7. #7
    tideblazer
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    looks like fun.... good to see they are encouraging drumming. It is one of the oldest musical arts that still continues to survive, albiet not always in time!

    thanks for the update, Sly....!
    www.ridge2reef.org -Organic Tropical Farm, Farm Stays, Group Retreats.... Trail life in the Caribbean

  8. #8
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    Sly, thanks so much for the info. Sadly, it looks like we won't be able to attend. The male dino's youngest hatchling (in college) is getting a huge academic award Saturday night - involves a ceremony and banquet. I'm close enough (near Knoxville's airport) I may drive over and camp Friday night and leave early enough Saturday to turn back into a step-mommy before the yawn festivities.

  9. #9
    Hug a Trail volunteer StarLyte's Avatar
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    Hey Sly that's cool you're working the ALDHA booth--don't forget to mention ALDHA's 25th anniversary DVD--a Weathercarrot masterpiece; it will be premiered at the Gathering.....

    I will make it a point to attend this event next year--promise! I'm going outwest in a week and then Trail Days.

    Take pics will ya. Hugs to Cheryl. See you at TDs for sure.

    Marsha

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sly
    Without a pack you could probably hike up to Lover's Leap Rock without too much difficulty and perhaps slack the 5 miles to the trail camp area or backpack from Max Patch into town (20 mi.) with a couple shelters along the way or Tanyard to Allen Gap (9 mi.) staying at the Spring Mnt Shelter. Probably be lots of thru-hikers though.

    I think most thru-hikers will be staying in-town since it's a bit of a drive to Silvermine CG.
    Thats a pretty hike.

    Take the blue blaze up...snicker-haha gufaw...if you want to go vertical...thats one blue blaze I probably wont ever take again!
    Its fun though..but seriously...straight up climbing more then anything else.

    There are stealthy spots on river too if you look for them past NOC housing there in Hot Springs.

  11. #11

    Default Enjoyed it but...felt a bit gouged

    We enjoyed Trailfest, but to be honest, we were a little put off by what felt like a bit of price-gouging by some of the local businesses. One of the campgrounds was charging $25 per night for tent sites. That's per night, not per weekend! Seems like an awful lot for a few square feet of dirt.

    In town on Friday night, the local pub we had planned to spend the evening at was charging $4 for a glass of beer, and $9 for a burger. At those prices, we didn't stay long, and ended up just eating snack food we'd brought with us for dinner, rather than paying that kind of $$ for food in town. We noticed another eatery was charging $3.50...for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Gas was $3.09/gallon at the station, 20 cents higher than anywhere else we saw that weekend (and we'd driven through 4 states to get there).

    Other than that, it was fun, and the music was nice on Saturday afternoon. We did end up leaving Saturday instead of staying another night as we intended, primarily due to the high prices.

    We know it wasn't the organizers/volunteers fault about the gouging, so a big "thank you" to them for all their hard work.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Frog
    ...and the music was nice on Saturday afternoon.
    This woman was amazing. http://www.elizalynn.com/

    Check her out if you get a chance!

  13. #13

    Default

    Based on a couple emails I've received, wanted to clarify some details about our experience at Trailfest.

    The $25/night campground was the only apparent option Friday night, since the Silvermine campground touted on the trailfest website as free was in fact closed. There was a locked gate across the entrance to Silvermine, no explanation or signs explaining why, or even when it might open. Just a locked gate. It was still locked when we left mid-afternoon on Saturday. That left the $25/night campground or sleeping in our car in a parking lot. Not what we expected at all.

    The pub w/the overpriced food and beverages appeared to be the only place in town open when we arrived at dusk on Friday night.

    Like I said, Saturday was fun and the organizers did a great job with the music. We just felt that some of the local businesses tried to take advantage of the hikers with the steep prices. That, together with the camping fiasco, ended up making us reluctant to spend any money in Hot Springs. We had planned/hoped to make some large gear purchases at Trailfest, but just didn't have a good feeling about spending money there, so we kept our wallets closed and will do our shopping at Trail Days in Damascus.

  14. #14

    Default

    Sorry you had a bad weekend.

    A few quick comments:

    1. The Silvermine site was open.....it just wasn't opened for car traffic. It
    was very easy to get there on foot and many people did so.

    2. Sorry you couldn't find other places to eat as there were several other
    establishments open and doing a thriving business long after dusk on
    Friday. The best food and drink in town is found at the Bridge St. Cafe,
    and there's a new place around the corner from the Outfitter, called
    the Bright Leaf, which is very pleasant.

    3. The Pub might indeed seem somewhat overpriced at first, but you didn't
    mention what you were drinking. They serve several fine local micro-
    brews as well as a favorite of mine, Bass Ale. $4.00 for a full pint of Bass
    is not that unreasonable, especially in a town whose main industry is
    sport/recreational tourism. Likewise, even pub grub like burgers or pizza
    is going to be a bit pricey in a tourist town.

    4. Just so it's clear, NOT every place in H.S. has crazy prices or gouges
    tourists. Most of the restaurants don't; the Smoky Mountain Diner is
    damned cheap, in fact; the Outfitter sells it's stuff at Manufactured
    Retail prices, and so on. Anyone else on the Trail charging eight cents
    an ounce for Coleman fuel?

    You wanna see price gouging? Try the general store in Fontana Dam, home of the $2.69 Lipton!!

    I'm sorry Little Frog evidently had a disappointing weekend, but most folks that come to Hot Springs leave feeling much better about the place; I hope she gives the town another chance sometime.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tarlin
    You wanna see price gouging? Try the general store in Fontana Dam, home of the $2.69 Lipton!!
    No complaints about HS, nice town and I enjoyed my stay there while on my thru, but I think $3.50 for a PBJ sandwich is a heck of a lot worse than a $2.69 Liption!

  16. #16

    Default

    IMO, Paddlers Pub has gone downhill since it 1st opened.

    I ordered Buffalo Wings that was supposed to come with celery but didn't. Not a big deal but at $1 a wing they never mentioned being out and kind of flip the plate down and walked off.

    After leaving a $20 and getting $3 change (which was left as a tip) I asked how much the Yuengling was and was told $4 although looking later the menu said $3.75 Yeah, I was a little miffed, Yuengling isn't imported or a fine local micro-brew and the same glass is sold for $1 or less in PA.

    Later a couple people ordered the Sampler plate and just got Buffalo Wings, again without explaination beforehand. Atleast that time they adjusted the check.

  17. #17

    Default

    I said it from the stage on Saturday, and I'll say it again here on Whiteblaze. Hot Springs is my favorite trail town on the entiire AT. Period. The fact that there isn't a whole lot to it is half the charm.

    Come back and visit again sometime Little Frog.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MOWGLI16
    I said it from the stage on Saturday, and I'll say it again here on Whiteblaze. Hot Springs is my favorite trail town on the entiire AT. Period. The fact that there isn't a whole lot to it is half the charm.
    I also think Hot Springs is a dynamite trail town. Whether it's the best of my favorite, I can't decide. To me they're all great!

  19. #19
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    [quote=Sly]... supposed to come with celery but didn't. quote]

    When I was in the Pub Saturday afternoon, I was told there were no salads available. But when I ordered a veggie burger, there was lettuce and tomato on it. Apparently they were trying to stretch the supply of greens.

    HS doesn't strike me as being particularly overpriced for food. It must be very tough to keep a fresh supply, without ending up wasting most of it.

    Bluff Mtn. Outfitter is my favorite, bar none.

    The campground is rather overpriced, but it does have a nice location there by the river. And it's not terribly hard to find another place to stay.

    I'm sorry you had a bad time in Hot Springs, Little Frog. Try it again some day. Camp in the woods, eat at the Smokey Mtn. Diner, and check out the Outfitter's selection of stoves and things. Maybe it will be better next time.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MOWGLI16
    I said it from the stage on Saturday, and I'll say it again here on Whiteblaze. Hot Springs is my favorite trail town on the entiire AT. Period. The fact that there isn't a whole lot to it is half the charm.
    Hot Springs is a great town.

    But when you talk about favorites I think its hard to beat Hanover. I keep remembering Thayer Hall....

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