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A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
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  1. #1
    Fat Guy Lemni Skate's Avatar
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    Default Blackburn Trail Center

    I just finished an overnighter on the AT in Northern Virginia. Spent the night at Blackburn Trail Center.

    That place is great! I didn't know I was going to be at a place that great or I would have packed lighter (less food--no tent).

    Caretaker (Brian) brought us a gigantic bowl of spaghetti (pretending he accidentally cooked too much and sodas). I slept in my tent (others don't need to hear me snore), but hung out on the porch and had a blast with the other hikers there.

    It was further downhill than the signs on the trail indicated, but other than that I can't think of a negative thing to say.

    Anyone got any good stories about the place?
    Lemni Skate away

    The trail will save my life

  2. #2
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    Location? I'll be traveling to VA in a couple of weeks.

  3. #3

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    Negative things to say?

    It was three miles further than I was willing to hike given the stops I took on the trail that day (at least if I wanted to arrive at a sociable time of day, it would have been well after dark if I had pushed it), so I couldn't stay a night. Along the same lines, it's also too close to Bears Den.

    But that's just me being grouchy to be grouchy given your implicit challenge, especially after pushing myself as hard as I did that day. I stopped and lounged for a few hours the next day sipping a Dr. Thunder (?, some generic pop with that sort of name) from the caretaker (not Brian, this was last year), had a very relaxing break from hiking -- part of a nice wind-down day after the previous day's hiking. BTC looked cool (and was cool to the extent I experienced it), just wish it had coincided with my hiking plans better.

  4. #4

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    Location is three miles south of David Lesser Shelter and six south of Keys Gap, the first road crossing in Virginia heading south on the A.T. out of West Virginia. It's also eight miles north of Bears Den, seven miles north of VA 7/679 at Snickers Gap near Bluemont. Given this, odds are it's not near where you're going to be traveling, or you'd have mentioned being close to WV (and MD) as well.

  5. #5
    Fat Guy Lemni Skate's Avatar
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    I think it's a nice stop for somebody who's just beginning or doing a shakedown hike or just wants an easy overnighter.

    Also it would be a good place for a thru-hiker to stay who wanted to resist the urge to spend a zero in expensive Harpers Ferry.

    It's 12 easy miles from Blackburn to Harper's Ferry so you could hit the town by noon. Get lunch, hang out at AT Headquarters and get the "required" photos and then head into Maryland and probably save some bucks.
    Lemni Skate away

    The trail will save my life

  6. #6
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    I heard there was a big party down there on Saturday. I was coming from Harpers Ferry in the heat and got a late start. I wouldn't of been there till 4ish so I decided David Lesser was a better option.

    Do they charge to camp there?

  7. #7
    section hiker sly dog's Avatar
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    That place was a godsend for me. By the time I got there I was walking in a steady downpour with lightning and was soaked to the bone. My brother and I arrived there after dark and the one hiker on the porch told us the hostel was empty so we went up to it soaked, got a nice fire going in the woodburner and dried everything out. Got a good night sleep and really lifted our spirits. So very thankfully that place was there. Never had a chance to meet the caretaker but maybe next time.
    "I drank what?" Socrates

  8. #8
    gregburke greg burke's Avatar
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    got any new pics to share?? I love that place...read "2175 Trail Essay .by Greg Burke.you will have to do a post search to find it.have a great day. greg.

  9. #9
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    Default They rent it out

    We were on a short overnight, from Snickers Gap to Harpers Ferry, in 2005. We got to Blackburn and there was all sorts of activity there. Turned out they had rented it out for a wedding and reception. It was completely closed off to hikers. The wedding families offered us sodas and bottled water but we could not use the facilities otherwise. No big deal because we were headed for the David Lesser shelter anyway, and they did let us use the outside water tap to load up on fresh water. But I'm sure that if any thru-hikers got there (this was late June) they were hugely disappointed that it was swamped with non-hikers and all of the guests/preparations/vendors of a wedding.
    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharky View Post
    Do they charge to camp there?
    I believe Blackburn (both the bunkroom and tenting) is by "donation" only. Please leave a nice donation....it is a great stop on the Appalachian Trail.

  11. #11
    section hiker sly dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    I believe Blackburn (both the bunkroom and tenting) is by "donation" only. Please leave a nice donation....it is a great stop on the Appalachian Trail.
    I would have donated but there was no one there when I got there and no one there in the morning before we left. In a case like that, what do I do?
    "I drank what?" Socrates

  12. #12
    2008 SOBO Frick Frack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sly dog View Post
    I would have donated but there was no one there when I got there and no one there in the morning before we left. In a case like that, what do I do?
    There is a donation box on the porch next to the register. An excellent stop I might add!

  13. #13
    section hiker sly dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frick Frack View Post
    There is a donation box on the porch next to the register. An excellent stop I might add!
    ooops....I never made it onto the porch, I was in the bunkhouse and when I left in the morning there were 2 hikers sleeping on the porch so I didnt want to disturb them. Thats the first time I never gave anything and I'm going to make up for it next time I go thru that area.
    "I drank what?" Socrates

  14. #14

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    What are their dates of operation are they open in the fall?

  15. #15
    Registered User Tuckahoe's Avatar
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    About to do a hike from Bears Den to Harpers Ferry, and planning to spend the first night out (October 27) at the Blackburn Trail Center. Are there any sort of arrangements or reservations that need to be made beforehand?

  16. #16
    Registered User Long feet's Avatar
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    I went through there last December. Unfortunately, it was already closed for the season. It seemed like a great place. We stopped for water and had lunch on the porch.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckahoe64 View Post
    About to do a hike from Bears Den to Harpers Ferry, and planning to spend the first night out (October 27) at the Blackburn Trail Center. Are there any sort of arrangements or reservations that need to be made beforehand?
    Appalachian Pages lists a phone # (540) 338-9028

  18. #18
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    I think Blackburn has always been a good stop for hikers on the most part......and Bears Den as well...

  19. #19

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    Blackburn Trail Center



    Blackburn Trail Center, hiker hut

    “Only two things are infinite; The universe and human stupidity,
    And I’m starting to wonder about the universe.”
    Albert Einstein

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by veteran View Post
    Blackburn Trail Center



    Blackburn Trail Center, hiker hut


    I fell in love with a girl in that cabin one night.........

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