AT Roller Coaster! Snickers Gap-Blackburn Trail Center: Strenuous: 7.3 Mile Hike

  • May 5, 2013 · 9:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Strenuous 7.3 Mile Appalachian Trail Hike! The Infamous AT "Roller Coaster"! Snickers Gap to Blackburn Trail Center

Take note that although this hike is in Virginia, it is ONLY 1.5 hours away from our carpool location! This is 1.25 hour less of a drive than Skyline Drive and SNP is for most of us.

Hikers eager for, say, 4,800 feet of elevation change should try this one-way, 7.3-mile Appalachian Trail outing with 15 hills that have up to 500 foot climbs. Over half of it is on the aptly nicknamed Roller Coaster. It also provides seasonally diverse woodland landscapes and time on one of North America’s greatest hiking trails. Trees dominate the hike, helping anchor the mountain soil, shelter the area’s bountiful wildlife and shade the trail.

Along the Virgina/West Virginia border North of Snickers Gap, hikers on this AT trek can experience the Roller Coaster, Crescent Rock, and other local Blue Ridge treats.

This hike is NOT newbie friendly and is only for the experience hiker that can tackle close to 5000 feel of elevation change in under 8 miles!

NOTE: Please only sign up for this hike if you are up to this level hiking. There will be close to 5000 feet of elevation change on this 7 mile hike and it is very strenuous for its distance. It traverses the infamous roller coaster section of the AT and is a must for anyone who can hike at this level so get your rear in gear and come on out for good times!

Trail Information
Nearby City: Bluemont, VA
Length: 7.3 total miles
Trail Type: Point-to-Point (we have arranged shuttle service to take us back to the trailhead)
Scenery: Mountain Woodlands, steep slopes, boulder filed, farmland views
Exposure: Mostly shady, less so in winter
Trail Surface: Chiefly dirt and rocks (both loose and embedded); some grassy patches
Skill Level: Quite difficult
Elevation: +/-: 1000 to 1300 to 1050 ft.
Duration: 4.5 - 5.5 hours
Natural History Features: Bears Den Rocks; Lookout Point; Buzzard Hill
Facilities: None at trailhead; water and phone at Blackburn Trail Center; toilet at nearby campground.

Weather Information
We hike rain or shine! Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.

Gear Information
Here are some suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.

Carpool Information
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, you can arrange to meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station.  Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.

DC Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the metro DC area, you can arrange to meet at the Centerville Park and Ride. Click here for information and directions to the Centerville location.  Use the comment to discuss carpooling with other members.

If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!

Directions to the Trailhead

Click Here for Directions to Where We Meet for This Hike!

Note: Parking is limited to 2 or 3 cars at the end of the trail and needs to be used for our shuttle cars. We will meetup up in the trailend parking lot and leave the shuttle cars and caravan to the trailhead. Directions are to the end of the trail, trailhead, and overflow parking in the link above. Carpooling is HIGHLY recommended for this hike!

Hike is at 9:00 a.m.

Carpool meetup time at Savage is 7:15 a.m.

Carpool meetup time at Centerville is 8:00 a.m.

Fido is not welcome on this hike without the leaders permission due to the hikes difficulty

Steve [masked]


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  • Jazzi Jessi

    I had a great time, despite getting lost and the rerouted plan, etc, etc. etc. :-) Our trip was about 12 miles in total length and we enjoyed ourselves. Thanks for everything!

    1 · May 5

  • Andy C.

    Thanks for the great hike Steve!

    1 · May 5

  • Jessie

    its a wonderful experience i have pains on my legs now but very much worth it. i thanks the guys for waiting for me in the trail head my energy was drained after the roller coater then my water runs out but still am a happy hiker i'll do it again but maybe not 14 miles :-) . thanks again guys nice meeting you all.

    1 · May 5

  • Dwayne Jackson

    Our original plan to hike from Blackburn Trail Center to Snickers Gap fell victim to a poorly maintained road leading to the BTC. But in the spirit that exemplifies MAHG, Capt. Steve rerouted us from Snickers Gap thru Buzzard Hill to Ashby Gap. So the day was a great success after all!

    1 · May 5

  • elan zafir

    Jessi, thanks for offering the ride. Steve—unfortunately I won't be able to make it on the hike tomorrow. I was a little ambitious in thinking I could get to the carpool site when metro service begins at 7am, and I'm riding from Eastern Market. Have an amazing time!!!!

    May 4

  • Jessie

    hi there am new to meetup and just join this group yesterday so dont really know how this works but i live close to centerville so ill be there sunday at 8am. carpool or driving work for me but need direction to trailhead.

    May 4

    • Jazzi Jessi

      I'm driving a carpool from Alexandria and my car is full. We won't be stopping in Centreville.

      May 4

    • Jessie

      thanks for the update i got the direction ill meet you guys in the traihead.

      1 · May 4

  • Dwayne Jackson

    This is a wonderful stretch of the AT. Looking forward to seeing Steve and Irene again, and meeting everyone else.

    1 · May 4

  • Jazzi Jessi

    Hey, hey! I'm coming from Old Town Alexandria. I'm willing to carpool with metro-accessible folks who need rides. King St. or Van Dorn Station are easiest for me. Otherwise, I'll start at Centreville.

    I can take 3 passengers comfortably. I have dinner plans for Cinco De Mayo, so I will need to be back in Alexandria before 6 p.m. :-)

    April 28

    • elan zafir

      Hey, Jessi. Just wanted to make sure you got my email. I'm in! See you at the Van Dorn stop at 7:30am.

      May 3

    • Jazzi Jessi

      I got it and replied late last night! See you tomorrow!

      May 4

  • Kellie Carlisle

    How to Move from the Wait list to a “Yes” - If you are on the wait list, you will get an e-mail as slots become available. It is a “first come first serve” system for available slots. Slots are open to everyone, whether on the wait list or not. However, being on the wait list will make certain that you are notified when open slots become available as well as letting me know to look for another leader if the trails (and parking) can accommodate it and still comply with our Leave No Trace pledge. Click the following link for how to get off the wait list and RSVP “yes”,­ Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need further assistance as that is what I am here for.

    May 3

  • Jazzi Jessi

    Hey - I have two riders from Alexandria. We can stop in Centreville, but it's not really on our way. Is anyone in NEED of a ride from Centreville or elsewhere along the route? Otherwise, I can take one more from Alexandria.... :-)

    May 1

    • James Woo

      Hey Jessi, I could use a ride out of Alexandria if you still have room.

      May 1

    • Jazzi Jessi

      Marti - My car is now full (thanks James!), so I won't be stopping at the carpool location - just heading directly to the parking lot at the trailhead.

      May 2

  • Enas

    Still not fully recovered, enjoy

    May 1

  • Shmuel


    April 30

  • Andrew M. (aka Archibald Talus)

    Is anyone coming from the Baltimore area and looking to carpool?

    April 29

  • Sharlene

    Is anyone driving from DC? :)

    April 25

    • Jazzi Jessi

      I am coming from Alexandria and would be willing to carpool from King St. or Van Dorn.

      April 28

  • Shmuel

    After a recent car accident, I'll make a decision whether I am in shape to tackle this hike (and extension thereof).

    April 26

  • Rob

    Unfortunately will have to catch this hike next time.

    April 5, 2013

10 went

Your organizer's refund policy for AT Roller Coaster! Snickers Gap-Blackburn Trail Center: Strenuous: 7.3 Mile Hike

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 2 day(s) before the Meetup

Additional notes: If your RSVP is changed to no PRIOR to 48 hours before hike time!

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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