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How do you go about planning a 3 day hiking adventure on VA's section of the Applachian...

How do you go about planning a 3 day hiking adventure on VA's section of the Applachian Trail in Skyline Drive. What do I need to consider?
  • An anonymous user
     asked this on May 18, 2011 at 07:27 AM
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That stretch of the AT is one of the nicest and best-maintained sections on the entire trail, so expect crowds--especially if you're going to hike it on the weekend. Same goes for people in the camping shelters--bring a tent, as thru hikers and overnighters might be occupying the best spots. Also, unless you're planning an out-and-back, you'll have to arrange for a shuttle, so you want to find a spot where you can leave your cars near the start/end--which isn't always the easiest thing within the park proper.

My suggestion would be to consider starting near Old Rag (easily one of the best day hikes around). This is not off Skyline, but from that parking lot you can hike into the park pretty easily. (and if you want to summit Old Rag with your pack, take the fire road--the direct roue would be tricky w/ a big backpack).

From Old Rag you can get into White Oak Canyon, a great spot where you can follow the river to dodge the crowd and find some swimming holes. There's over 100 miles of the AT in the park, so you options are pretty open. This approach, tho, does hit some of the highlights. You can also carve out a loop by hopping off the white blaze (the AT) the blue blaze trails within the park. Here's a decent resource for hikes in the park itself: http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-shenandoah-national-park-hiking-front-royal-virginia-sidwcmdev_056137.html

Also, you need a backcountry camping permit (that you must display on your tent). Don't forget to camp 100 yards from any established trail, and use bear bags--the rangers are fastidious in Shenandoah, so play by the rules.
  • An anonymous user
     answered this on May 18, 2011 at 07:45 AM
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