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  1. #1
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    Default Blackburn AT Center

    I'm doing a 3 day stretch this weekend and was looking to camp at the Blackburn AT Center so that a friend could join me for the day in to Harper's Ferry. I'm reading in multiple places that the place is weird / people have had bad experiences / etc. Are there places to pitch a tent or hang my hammock? Will my friend be able to park a car for saturday and then we'd drive back that evening and get it once we got my car from HF?

    comments/suggestions?

    thanks!
    steep grade, sharp curve - ymsb

  2. #2
    Registered User FarmerChef's Avatar
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    Weird? I've never heard that. The PATC run Blackburn and I've had really great experiences there. There is plenty of space for pitching a tent. I suppose for hanging a hammock as well but I wasn't paying attention to that when I stayed. It's one of the two places I recommend to hikers on their way through Virginia/WV.

    As far as a place to park, you can drive. It's way off the beaten path and the path itself is pretty beaten Just drive slowly and carefully. Make sure to pop into the cabin itself and say hi to the folks there. When I stayed with extended family (at the tent site) they gave us sodas and some cookies and we were just out for a long weekend. Really great place.
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

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    I did a stop there last summer where I waited out a thunderstorm. Absolutely nothing weird about it. Great group of people were assembled there.

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    I had a perfectly fine stay there also. The new (this winter) caretakers were nice as well.

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    I stopped there on a short weekend hike a few months ago. Seemed like a nice place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marylandmymaryland View Post
    I'm reading in multiple places that the place is weird / people have had bad experiences / etc.... comments/suggestions?
    One suggestion is to give citations for those alleged "multiple places." One comment is that there are good reasons why some hikers have bad experiences at trail services. I could name The Place in Damascus as one, where a*holes who can't follow a few simple rules might indeed have a bad experience, and rightly so. Perhaps it's not Blackburn, but the hikers posting negative things in multiple unmentioned places, who are "weird"?

    Impossible to tell without details and only gossip and rumors.

    RainMan

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    [I]ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit....[/I]. Numbers 35

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  7. #7

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    I have to admit, my experience was a little 'weird.' Only because a group was packing up and leaving from the caretaker's house after what appeared to be a night of partying. No big deal, they were very nice and helpful... But it did catch me off guard a bit; it was like we had walked up to someone's private cabin... Which it kind of is.

    I guess my point is that it's not a shelter, and if that's what you're used to on the AT (as I was) then it probably will seem a little 'weird.'

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    Smile Was there two weeks ago

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...t=#post1463845

    And the only thing I would define as "weird" is how quiet the place was when I spent the night there. For me it was exactly what I wanted; the experience of others can be different.
    Last edited by GoldenBear; 05-05-2013 at 20:47.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    One suggestion is to give citations for those alleged "multiple places." One comment is that there are good reasons why some hikers have bad experiences at trail services. I could name The Place in Damascus as one, where a*holes who can't follow a few simple rules might indeed have a bad experience, and rightly so. Perhaps it's not Blackburn, but the hikers posting negative things in multiple unmentioned places, who are "weird"?

    Impossible to tell without details and only gossip and rumors.

    RainMan

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    I read about the experiences from old archived posts from whiteblaze actually, but now I'm having trouble finding them as the only google results bring up this post now that it's new.

    Mostly they talked about how they felt "unwelcome" and that it was kind of hikers VS trail maintainers, but the posts were like 6 years old and so I figured I'd start a new thread asking about similar but more up to date experiences.

    Having said that, there were plenty of other posts in the same archived thread about how the people there were fantastic and gave them dinner and made sure that they were well taken care of!
    Last edited by marylandmymaryland; 05-01-2013 at 15:57.
    steep grade, sharp curve - ymsb

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...t=#post1463845

    And the only thing I would define as "wierd" is how quiet the place was when I spent the night there. For me it was exactly what I wanted; the experience of others can be different.

    How'd I miss that thread...

    Thanks for pointing it out for me! Sounds good, I don't mind it being quiet, I just don't want to have my friend meet me and then have someone approach us and make her and I feel uncomfortable or something because there is a private event going on. But from the looks of the PATC site, there is separate parking for hikers and building users/event folks.
    steep grade, sharp curve - ymsb

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    I loved it at the Blackburn Center. I even asked the caretakers (thru-hikers from 2011) about renting out the big building. I would definitely consider having a gathering/party/weekend there if I was nearby, though Bears Den would also be a strong draw.

    Here's the blog post from the second night I stayed there. I also describe it a little bit in the post for the day before. The roads to get there were a bit confusing in the dark and we had to call the caretakers to get directions a couple of times. Then the dirt road up to the center was rough as well in Low Gear's low car, but he just took it slow and we made it fine. It's primitive, with privies, but it was wonderful.

    http://www.thedustycamel.org/carey/2...1/11-1-12.html

  12. #12

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    I've been there twice. The last time was a few yrs ago but ditto all the positive posts above. They have a great view, it's quiet because it's off the AT on a SHORT side trail, tent platforms, a large deck that they let hikers sleep on overlooking the country side, interior rooms/bunks, and have some kitchen facilities. IMHO, the caretakers have always been top notch(I think the PATC does a damn good job finding suitable caretakers for the Blackburn Center), although I do know the caretaking position has been filled by at least two different sets of folks over the last six yrs or so. Ditto Rainman's statements above too! Arseholes seem to have more problems wherever they go! Then they complain about everyone else!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDSection12 View Post
    I have to admit, my experience was a little 'weird.' Only because a group was packing up and leaving from the caretaker's house after what appeared to be a night of partying. No big deal, they were very nice and helpful... But it did catch me off guard a bit; it was like we had walked up to someone's private cabin... Which it kind of is.

    I guess my point is that it's not a shelter, and if that's what you're used to on the AT (as I was) then it probably will seem a little 'weird.'
    Like MDSection12 said it's no BIG DEAL that the Caretakers have a life outside of their caretaking position either. Some hikers, especially AT thru-hikers, have this idea that everyone has to dedicate their entire lives to them because they are hiking, like they are entitled to something "special." I've seen it TOO MANY times to pretend that attitude doesn't exist among some people.

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    just wanted to go on record that any worry i had about the blackburn at center was quickly squashed immediately upon arrival. not only are the grounds fantastic, the caretakers chris and caroline, are wonderful people!
    steep grade, sharp curve - ymsb

  15. #15

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    See, in the end no matter what anyone else says you have the final perspective you wish to take of anyplace. Glad to hear it worked out for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marylandmymaryland View Post
    just wanted to go on record that any worry i had about the blackburn at center was quickly squashed immediately upon arrival. not only are the grounds fantastic, the caretakers chris and caroline, are wonderful people!
    So nice to get positive reports, but even better to get first-hand reports. Thanks for sharing yours!

    RainMan

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