When Spring arrives, I can’t think of a better town to trek through than Damascus, Virginia. Why Spring? One reason is Trail Days. Trail Days (documentary) is an even that brings thousands of Appalachian Trail Hikers together. While I was there last May, I took opportunity to go on a short backpacking trip.
I wanted to start in town, follow the white blaze out of town and hike North. Hiking through town is the best part of an AT thru-hike. The friendly people of Damascus will make you feel right at home. Not only are you appreciated, but hikers help with an important issue to Damascus, the economy. With a population of less than a thousand people, a steady flow of backpackers help shops, restaurants, Bed & Breakfasts, and Damascus loves it.
Even if you are not Thru-Hiking, it would be worth your while and stop in. Park your car, and head off on the AT.
My plan was to hike 10 miles, including through town, and then up on the AT. Oh, well I did stop for breakfast at MoJo’s. Once I started on the AT, it was pretty much uphill. Plenty of water in the Spring, so don’t weigh down your pack coming out of Damascus. I stayed at Saunders Shelter which is a pretty nice shelter with plenty of places to pitch a tent. Water is below the shelter down hill. There is a trail that will take you right to the water.
The AT follows the Virginia Creeper Trail. In fact, you can see the trail parallel as you climb on the AT.