The Appalachian Trail truly has mythic status and for many of us, hiking it is a dream. But then we look at the reality of it and find the prospect of carrying a 30-40 pound pack on our back and sleeping on the ground rather daunting. Solution? Slackpacking! We offer many slackpacking trips along the trail and this beautiful section in Virginia is one of the best! We'll cover a little over fifty miles, returning at the end of the day to our lodging in the friendly little town of Damascus. We cover significant mileage on this trip so it still requires being in good shape. Maximum group size: 12
What's not included: Airfare to/from Virginia (TRI), travel to Damascus, one dinner, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities.
This trip involves hiking from 7 to 13 miles a day (see the itinerary for daily mileage) with significant elevation changes and footing that is both rocky and uneven at times. It requires being in very good physical condition. While you can always choose to stay in town for the day, there are no options for shortening the daily hikes. This trip is rated 4. Prior to beginning the trip, participants should be engaged in aerobic conditioning for at least 40-50 minutes 4-5 times a week. Additional endurance exercise (e.g., going for a 2 hour hike once a week) and/or strength training is usually required. Rating: Rating: 1 2 3  5.
This is a hiking trip on the Virginia section of the legendary Appalachian Trail. You will be hiking in the mountains with constant elevation gain and loss on a trail that is rocky at times. We're staying in the legendary (but small) trail town of Damascus and there will be time to visit some of the shops there.
We will be spending 6 nights at our accommodation on Main Street (specific details will be sent with the Pre-departure Document). Our ‘home’ sleeps a maximum of 22 and has 4.5 baths. Plenty of room to move around, good gathering spaces, and a spacious kitchen. Wifi and linens are provided. Please note: Unless you are requesting a single supplement, rooms/roommates will be assigned as you register. Using VRBOs is a wonderful way to enjoy slackpacking trips but note that VRBOs are homes and rooms will not be uniform. Some rooms will be larger/smaller than others and beds will range from day beds to king beds. Having a single supplement guarantees a room to yourself – not all single supplements will have ensuite bathrooms.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
Loved hiking the AT with my Mom and a great group of ladies. Will be my last hiking trip in a long time since I am pregnant, so this was a very special trip for me. The guides were fantastic! Tallie's knowledge of this second of the AT is beyond impressive.
Being able to hike and meet new people
Loved the hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
I am not sure how to rate this trip overall. I feel I was misled on the difficulty of the hikes. I had asked a number of times if what I had been doing fitness wise was appropriate for this trip and was told I was in great form for the trip I clearly was not. I run 2-3 miles 3 days a week, a spinning class 3 days a week, do the elliptical 4 days a week, lift weights/condition 3 days a week and average 8 miles a day walking outside or on a treadmill. I was blown away by the ruggedness of the AT. This particular group of women was made up of 3 of us with no experience on the AT and 9 who were super experienced with hundreds of miles completed and the goal of doing the entire trail over time. I wish I had been warned what a feat it would be for someone just starting out. And possibly steered to a different trip like the Shenandoah Lodge to Lodge trip that looks like a more suitable one for a newbie on the AT
I loved meeting women from across the country who are interested in hiking and exploring new places - and getting to check off a section in a many-years-long quest to hike the Appalachian Trail was great, too!
It was the right level of challenge, and the right level of luxury. I liked hiking and then coming home to a tasty meal and a hot shower!
Tali is a wonderful guide and very knowledgeable. Mel had never hiked the AT so she knew nothing about the trail which seemed unusual for a guide. I have never been on a trip where the guide wasn't an expert on the trail and the area. I loved the trail and the hiking
This in only a 4 because the first AGC trip I attended was so great I was expecting the same experience again. This experience was not bad at all (as I mentioned above), but just different, so now I know that the expectations will vary from trip to trip.
Accommodations were amazing as were the trip leaders.
I just love the AT and like to experience the different sections.
Was looking forward to seeing the ponies at Grayson Highlands, and they didn't disappoint. Going to the top of Mount Rogers exceeded my expectations. Wasn't expecting the different microclimate, and the cloudy/misty weather conditions that day further enhanced the experience. Finally, I was not expecting to be able to hike ahead at my own pace. That was such a treat!
It was the optimal amount of challenge for me. The right amount of risk and relaxation. Tali and Wendy were incredible, and their personalities and expertise added to the experience.
Beautiful lodging. Wonderful people!
Highlights- The commraderie, the terrain, food I wish there had been more sharing about the AT, its history, use of its resources, maps and systems etc; all may not have needed but more “formal” sharing on hiking tools and tricks of the trade-
The amazing vistas we encountered. The connections made with other women with whom we traveled. Having coffee and sometimes breakfast outside, too.
Hiking on the AT with a wonderful group of women
Wonderful scenery, good accommodation, great food, great guiding.
I really enjoyed beautiful countryside we hiked through. The views were spectacular. I also enjoyed meeting the other ladies participating.
I'd have to say first and foremost was the company. It was a fabulous group of ladies who all shared similar interests. Also, the views.
This trip pushed me to a new physical level. It was great. Guides so supportive, and our group coalesced perfectly.
Group dynamics, Claire, scenery, laughter, feeling of accomplishment, challenge
Very slow pace by lead guide and group was walking along like a freight train and we were so tight it was hard not to step on one another heels.
The best part was that the group of women was so easy to get along with and had zero drama, even when yellow-jackets tried to create lots of drama!
beautiful scenery, good food, wonderful guides and a great group of women
Briar Ridge past Mt Rogers--where you could see to North Carolina--after a close encounter with the wild ponies--equal to Angel's Landing as a peak experience. Also, perfect weather despite predictions, amazing.
Enjoyed spending a week with like minded individuals that were strong and willing to be active.
Wonderful group of women, good hiking. My only issue is with the accommodations (see below).
Wonderful group of participants. Hardworking, helpful guides.