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Hike The Shenandoah National Park

  • Oct 18, 2012 · 7:00 AM
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A huge thank you to Matt Madden for setting up the itinerary and making the reservations!

October 18th

We'll drive from Nashville to just north of Front Royal. The trip should take about 10 1/2  hours plus any stops for dinner. We have to be at the Bears Den Hostel between 5pm and 9pm for check in.

October 19th

We'll drive from the Hostel to the North Virginia 4-H Center just north of where the AT  exits the park to drop of our vehicle and meet our shuttle.
The 4-H Center allows AT hikers to leave their vehicles in their parking provided they fill out  a waiver which is provided on their website and hand it in to them. Their office opens at  8am.

It's about a 2 hour and 15 minute drive from there to Rockfish Gap where we will start our  hike.
Once we get to the southern Park Entrance Station we'll fill out our free permit and be on  our way to the Calf Mountain Shelter a total of 7 miles from Rockfish Gap. Note: Calf  Mountain Shelter is not actually within the Park even though we will have already gone  though the Entrance Station.

"Shelters" inside the Park are called "Huts" and what they call "Shelters" actually are  day use only Pavilions. There are no designated backcountry campsites in the park except  as overflow near the Huts and Campgrounds.
Instead the park service has a policy of dispersed camping using Leave No Trace ethics.

October 20th

> 13 miles from Calf Mountain Shelter to Blackrock Hut.

October 21st

> 10.2 miles from Blackrock Hut to dispersed camp near Ivy Creek. We'll pass near the Loft  Mountain Campground which has a camp store where we can resupply and a wayside where  we can have dinner. Ivy creek is not quite 2 miles beyond that.

October 22nd

> 11.2 miles from Ivy Creek to Hightop Hut.

October 23rd

> 9.8 miles from Hightop Hut to Pocosin Cabin. The cabins have fireplaces on the  frontporch and wood stoves and bunks on the inside.

October 24th

> 14.3 miles from Pocosin Cabin to Rock Spring Cabin. This will be our longest day both in  terms of mileage and things to do. About 4 miles before reaching the cabin, we'll pass  though Big Meadows. There is a waterfall on a side trail nearby and the Lodge there has a  nice Restaurant.

October 25th

> 11.1 miles from Rock Spring Cabin to Byrds Nest Hut #3. Four miles or so into this day  we'll pass by Skyland Lodge with yet another fine dining opportunity.

October 26th
> 13.4  0r so miles from Byrds Nest Hut #3 to Matthews Arm. We'll pass near Elkwallow  Wayside along the way where we can eat yet again. There is supposed to be a limited  selection of groceries here also.

October 27th

> 10 miles from Matthews Arm Campground to dispersed camp near Compton Spring.

October 28th

> 5 miles from Compton Spring to North Virginia 4-H Center.

Some of the campgrounds have laundry facilities and showers available. One of the biggest complaints from thru-hikers about the park is the cost of everything.

Below is a breakdown of the costs associated with the cabin rental, post hike shower and  pre-hike accommodations at the Bears Den Hostel.

Cabins                         $105
Shuttle                         $175
Hostel and Showers      $18 each
Total for each                $112

That also doesn't include gas money for the trip out and back and whatever is spent inside the park.

The above costs are for three people, so if others sign up the costs will change.


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  • Matt M

    I Couldn't imaging a better trail, better weather, and better people to hike with.

    November 1, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm assuming there's no way to do part of this hike? I just started a new job so taking a week off is out of the question...

    September 9, 2012

    • Matt M

      It may very well be possible although you would have to make separate travel arrangements. The trail through the park passes through 4 campgrounds and parallels Skyline Drive from start to finish. You might want to check with the park service to see if they can recommend a place for you to leave a vehicle. Let me know if you are able to work something out. Should be a really good hike.

      September 9, 2012

  • Robin

    Cynthia, I'm so disappointed! My boss just reminded me that I have to cover for her during this time. I was very much looking forward to learning from you and Mathew. I'm going to continue training so I'm ready for the next one- still need your advice on equipment and stuff.

    September 9, 2012

  • Robin

    Cynthia, just let me know when you are available! Thanks!

    September 8, 2012

3 went

  • Matt M
    Co-Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Cynthia O.
    Co-Organizer,
    Event Host
  • A former member

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