What we're about

The Charlottesville Chapter of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) is the oldest hiking and trail maintenance organization in the Charlottesville area, hiking and helping the trails since 1986! Our members are avid hikers and backpackers. We welcome guests to come along on our hikes. We usually have a group hike each Saturday, and often have hikes on other days, as well. Our hike leaders include folks who have thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, all of the trails in Shenandoah National Park, in Nepal and South America. There is a lot of experience in this group!

We have a blast exploring local trails, but trail building and maintenance is the centerpiece of the PATC's mission. The PATC dates back to the Club’s formation in November, 1927. Today the Club maintains 240 miles of the Appalachian Trail (Pine Grove Furnace, PA to Rockfish Gap, VA), and almost 1000 miles of other trails in the Mid Atlantic Region, with the Charlottesville Chapter holding responsibility for the southernmost section. The effort requires the contributions of hundreds of volunteers, who contribute as trail overseers, trail crew members, or in various other capacities. PATC volunteers log tens of thousands of work hours every year, in their efforts to keep hiking trails well maintained.

You need not be a PATC member to hike with us, though we hope that you will consider joining the club as your dues contribute to purchasing equipment used to maintain trails, acquiring land for parking areas and buffers, and building/maintaining trail shelters. As a member, you will receive multiple benefits, including a monthly magazine, a 20% discount on PATC produced trail maps and trail guides, members-only cabin rental privileges, and discount on workshops such as Leave No Trace, Backpacking Fundamentals and trail maintenance.

Don’t just HIKE the trails, HELP the trails! The trails you hike were maintained by volunteers, not federal employees. Join us on a worktrip!

1. NO SHOW POLICY FOR RECREATIONAL HIKES: Meetup participants who "No Show" for hikes 3 times in 6 months will be removed from Meetup for 3 months. Participants who No Show 6 times in 6 months will be removed from Meetup for 6 months. This does NOT include social events or meetings. Reason: our hikes are popular, and there are often wait lists for them. We do not want to discourage anyone from signing up for our hikes, we just want to make sure that the people who want to attend our hikes can do so. If you sign up for a hike and realize you cannot attend, update your RSVP to NO on Meetup, in a timely fashion. There are often several people on a hike's wait list, hoping to get a spot on the hike. If you realize you can't attend the hike, and change your RSVP from YES to NO, someone on the wait list can attend. We thank you for being considerate of your fellow adventurers.

2. For safety and liability reasons you MUST have a clear PHOTO of yourself on your profile that shows up on the listings. Also provide your FIRST NAME and AT LEAST the FIRST INITIAL initial of your last name (though we prefer the ENTIRE last name). Answer the survey questions. WE CANNOT ACCEPT YOU TO THIS MEETUP UNLESS YOU PROVIDE THESE.

3. In the event a wait list exists, priority may be given to Chapter members over hikers who reserved earlier but are non-members. (Another perk of membership!) This would likely happen only in rare cases.

Upcoming events (5+)

Fridleys Gap and Massanutten South Trails

Albemarle High School

A joint hike with the Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter. Moderate, approximately 1500’ elevation change. Hike Leader Jim Fye. Check out trail building done with University of Maryland Terrapin Outdoor Club. Total valley view from Woodstock to Staunton on return loop.

West Swift Run Bushwack

Swift Run Gap Entrance Station

West Swift Run Bushwack, 4.0 miles Strenuous 800 feet ascent, Hike Leader Gabriel Garretson. This 4 to 5 hour adventure trek starts at swift run gap and follows an old abandoned road west of Swift Run Gap and connects with the West Swift Run stream and continues until we reach Rte 628, Beldor rd. Depending on water levels on hike day, we may adjust hike to avoid up to 5 stream crossing. Trekking poles and microspikes are recommended. Please form carpools at Albemarle High School at 9am or join us at Swift Run Gap next to monument on Rte 33 East at 9:45am.

Chimney Hollow Trail Hike

King's Gourmet Popcorn

7 miles out and back, moderately difficult. This trailhead is right off Rt. 250, a few miles west of Churchville. We'll wander in a hollow along a beautiful little stream where there will be some minor stream crossings. Then we will begin to climb toward Crawford Mountain. This is a gradual climb of about 2 miles with elevation gain of about 2000 feet. Along the way will be very pretty views. I will connect those responding who wish to carpool from Charlottesville if I receive those requests in ample time to do so.

Joint Trail Work Hike with GetHiking! Charlottesville Meetup Group

8.5 miles, moderate. Hike Leader Jeff Monroe. Don't just hike the trails, help the trails! We will be working on cleaning up one or more access trails to Elliott Knob – the highest point in the George Washington National Forest. Clear the trail and experience a breathtaking vista! Possible microbrewery visit after the hike. Sign up in advance if you plan to attend, so we know how many tools to bring. We can meet you in Afton or Staunton - state in the comments if you want to meet west of Charlottesville. Joint adventure with the GetHiking! Meetup.

Past events (1)

Powell Mountain Trail Hike - Shenandoah National Park

Albemarle High School

Photos (19)