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  1. #1
    Registered User Chrisj's Avatar
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    Default Overnight hike for my girlfriends first hike!

    I'm trying to decide a good loop to take my girlfriend on for her first overnight hike around 20-25 miles.

    We went on a day hike Saturday which was her first hike at Grayson highlands plus her first on the AT. We parked at Massie Gap and hiked the AT to the top of Mt. Rogers and back the same way we came. She didn't have any problem or complain too much! So I think around 20 miles or so for her first overnight will be just fine.

    Please let me know what you guys think on a good overnight loop hike with good views and just cool stuff that will impress her. She wants to stay on the AT as much as possible seeing how now she is crazy about the AT and wants to see every possible mile of it she can.

  2. #2
    Registered User Panzer1's Avatar
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    If its her first hike I wouldn't have her hike too many miles with a pack. Leave plenty of time to hang out in camp and have fun.

    And sorry, I don't know any loops in VA.

    Panzer
    ps welcome to whiteblaze

  3. #3
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    There is a great loop of the AT and the Pine Mountain Trail. It's not very long but makes a terrific overnight hike. Good campsites in several spots along the way, some with amazing views.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  4. #4
    Registered User Seeker's Avatar
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    ditto the advice on too many miles... 20-25? that's 10-12 each way! i'd cut it to about 3-5... that's an hour and a half to 2 hours of walking or so... she absolutely MUST have a good time her first couple trips, or she will never go again...
    Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you. John Muir

  5. #5
    Registered User Chrisj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    There is a great loop of the AT and the Pine Mountain Trail. It's not very long but makes a terrific overnight hike. Good campsites in several spots along the way, some with amazing views.
    Thanks for the info.

    This was one of the loops I have been thinking about.
    I agree with cuting the miles down some I don't want her hate it on the first trip and plus she isn't use to carrying a backpack let alone hiking a couple miles with a pack.
    Thanks for the advice.

  6. #6
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Park at Massie Gap and climb Wilburn Ridge to Rhododendron Gap, then take a right turn onto the Pine Mountain Trail. Where the PMT intersects the Lewis Fork trail at a big saddle, walk to the right to the horse trail and there is a good spring inside a corral at the horse trail. You can camp there (nice spot), or you can keep going to where the PMT hits the AT. If you turn left (nobo) on the AT, you can hike 2 miles to Old Orchard Shelter, which has water and privies and a really nice camping spot out in front in the old orchard. Then the next morning reverse direction and hike back up the hill on the AT. When you get back to the top, keep going on the AT and complete the loop. You go through Scales, and cross Stone Mountain, then drop down to Wise Shelter, and climb back up to Massie Gap to your car. Total of about 16 miles if you go to Old Orchard. Not a bad first hike if you get an early start and take it easy.

    Other camp site possibilities: at the AT/PMT intersection, out in the open. And several places along the open ridgeline of Stone Mountain. Also, when you drop off Stone Mountain into the woods, there is a nice little homesite about 1/4 mile south of the Bear Pen trail junction. It usually has water (spring on AT) and some nice campsites back in the small open meadow.

    Have fun.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  7. #7

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    bring some comfort treats that she wouldn't expect you to have, just to show her you want her to be more comfortable.....wine, cheese, couple of steaks, cook up a really nice meal, candles, foot massage oil.....whatever she's into.

    it'll be worth the extra weight for you to carry.

  8. #8

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    Take her out to eat at a nice place when you get back to show her that you really DO love her and weren't really trying to kill her. MAYBE she'll understand. My wife tried to hike with me, and she really DID like camping, but the exertion required, even to make short miles, wasn't her thing.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  9. #9
    Registered User vamelungeon's Avatar
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    There are TWO Pine Mountain Trails that I know of, one on the VA-KY border near where the OP and I both live, but it doesn't come near the AT that I know of. I've heard of another in Georgia. Which are you talking about?

  10. #10
    Registered User vamelungeon's Avatar
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    Never mind, I know where Massie Gap is. I think there are too many Pine Mt. Trails! It's confusing.

  11. #11
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    The Pine Mountain Trail that I mentioned is a 2-mile trail across the top of Pine Mountain, east of Mt Rogers in Virginia. It used to be the AT until a relo many years ago. It's a pleasant trail and makes a great loop with the AT.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

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