Virginia Regional

September 2017

Take Your Family on a Hike

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) invites family members young and old to lace up their hiking shoes for the seventh annual Family Hiking Day on Saturday, Sept. 30. Celebrating National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands, Family Hiking Day was developed by the ATC to encourage people of all ages and experience levels to visit the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and enjoy a day of outdoor activity, as well as to see the valuable role that the A.T. plays in communities from Georgia to Maine.

In our region, there will be two Family Hiking Day events you can take part in.  The A.T. Community™of Pearisburg will be hosting a hike to Rice Field and the Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club will be hosting a hike to Maupin Field Shelter near Waynesboro. More information about all Family Hiking Day events, as well as information on how to RSVP can be found here.

Even if you're unable to join an official Family Hiking Day event, ​participants who walk on the A.T. with their family on September 30 and October 1 are invited to share their Family Hiking Day experiences for a chance to win one of four Osprey ​daypacks. Photos and videos uploaded to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ATFamilyHike will be automatically entered into the contest. Entries can also be emailed to Amanda Wheelock at awheelock@appalachiantrail.org. Winners will be announced in mid-October. 

Kick off the Season with a Festival
If the autumn weather and changing leaves has you itching to go to a festival, you're in luck!  There are many upcoming events this season to take part in, and they're a great chance to connect with ATC and/or one of our regional Trail maintaining clubs!

Devil's Backbone Brewing Company Hoopla
September 28-October 1   Roseland, VA
"Hoopla is a festival to bring folks together to craft an adventure!" Enjoy workshops and activities along with great live music in the A.T. Community™ of Nelson County!  Stop by Visit with ATC when you stop by Stewardship Row.

ALDHA's Gathering
October 6-9 - Abingdon, VA
The signature event for the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA), the Gathering is an annual event of fellowship and renewal. This year, the 36th Gathering will take place in Abingdon, VA!  Join the Gathering for a weekend of workshops, presentations, programs and events in the beautiful mountains of Southwest Virginia.

GO Outside Festival
October 13-15 - Roanoke, VA
The Go Outside Festival is an annual event to encourage healthy, active outside recreation.  This free event combines the things outdoor enthusiasts love - camping, music, gear, races, and demos all in a beautiful outdoor setting.  Join ATC, RATC and SAWS for this celebration of everything outdoors!

Mountain Day
October 14 - Buena Vista, VA
Mountain Day is an annual downtown street festival featuring arts and crafts, dance, and community organizations in the A.T. Community™ of Buena Vista.

What is Trail Magic?
Trail magic has charmed A.T. long-distance hikers for decades, surfacing as serendipitous experiences. Trail magic just happens!

When trail magic is planned or expected, it lacks that crucial spontaneous nature, thus losing its 'magic.'  While things like hiker feeds, cooler drops, and water caches may be setup with the best of intentions, these instances not only lack spontaneity, they can actually be harmful to the A.T. Experience.

Examples of trail magic that contribute to the A.T. Experience include anonymously paying for a hikers meal in town, or a chance encounter on the Trail with a long lost friend.  These sort of unexpected events are a part of the magic one experiences on the A.T.

You can find updated information on the ATC's view on Trail Magic here.
Crumbsnatcher's Corner: Pack Mouse
I hope you won't mistake me for a pack rat, I'm Crumbsnatcher the A.T. Shelter Mouse!  I would forgive you for the mistake, however, given that I've been doing a lot of packing lately.  Only this time, I'm not packing up for a Trail adventure.

Instead, I'm packing up maps, files, educational materials, tools, pens & pencils, and a whole lot of plants to help my friends with the Virginia Regional ATC move to a new office!  

The new building is located in a bustling part of downtown Roanoke, which is a whole new experience for a shelter mouse like myself.  Luckily I'll have Andrew, Josh, Kathryn, Conner and Molly to help me settle in to the new environment.  I'm also very excited that Eric, our friend with the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) will be moving with us into the new office!

Starting October 1st, you can find us all at the new location:

416 Campbell Avenue SW
Suite 101
Roanoke, VA 24016

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In This Issue

Take Your Family on a Hike

Kick off the Season with a Fall Festival

What is Trail Magic?

Crumbsnatcher's Corner


Contact Our Clubs

Volunteer of the Month

Judy McGuire - Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Potomac A.T. Club

Before her 2007 A.T. thru-hike, Judy McGuire only knew of ATC as the source of hiking maps. After her hike, she began volunteering, putting together map and guidebook sets. She then began working in the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Harpers Ferry visitor center, where she enjoys meeting “kindred spirits,” as well as introducing people to the A.T. and helping them find the right hike. 

Judy says she has the ideal volunteer job: “I'm working for a cause I'm passionate about, for an organization I respect and support, doing work I love, and working with terrific people.”

Judy volunteers weekly at the visitor center and is a trail maintainer for the Potomac A.T. Club. She is a hiking book editor, gives talks at local REI stores, works on A.T. events, and also is section-hiking the Trail. She served on ATC's Stewardship Council for seven years and chaired the Landscape and Resource Protection Committee.

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Upcoming Events

*For more information, contact Kathryn Herndon atkherndon@appalachiantrail.org*
Devil's Backbone Brewing Company Hoopla
Roseland, VA
-- Sep. 28 - Oct. 1, 2017 -

Family Hiking Day
-- September 30, 2017 -

Hiker Happy Hour w/ OCVT
Blacksburg, VA
-- October 3, 2017 -

ALDHA: The Gathering
Abingdon, VA
-- October 6-9, 2017 -

GO Outside Festival
Roanoke, VA
-- October 13-15, 2017 -

Regional Partnership Committee (RPC) Meeting

Lovingston, VA
-- October 14, 2017 -

Buena Vista's Mountain Day
Buena Vista, VA
-- October 14, 2017 -

Leave No Trace Hot Spot

McAfee Knob, VA
-- October 26-28, 2017 -

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Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. To become a member, volunteer, or learn more, visit www.appalachiantrail.org.

Our mailing address is:
Southwest and Central Virginia Regional Office
5162 Valleypointe Parkway
Roanoke VA 24013
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Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club (c). 
P.O. Box 25283 
Richmond, VA 23260-5283
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