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  1. #1

    Question Camping between Catawba, VA and Troutville?

    I was looking at the 2015 AT Guide and I see that camping is restricted between Catawba, VA and Troutville. How strict is that regulation? The reason I ask is I am trying not to plan my hikes from shelter to shelter, but also don't want to attempt to over achieve and get stuck somewhere with no place to sleep.

    Based on what the AT Guide says you are able to camp until roughly mile 709 (NoBo), but most of that is near a roadway and that seems less than desirable. I guess my worst case scenario is I hike less miles those days and do the old body a favor and get some extra rest.

    Thanks in advance.
    **Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.**

  2. #2

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    Once you pass 311, you'll have shelters at (roughly) 1, 3, 5, and 10 miles. Each of those has camping, but the best in my opinion is along the creek north of Lambert's Meadow shelter at about the halfway point to Troutville.

  3. #3

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    Trail runners regularly police that section.
    The first 2 shelters NOBO close to 311 were dry a few weeks ago.
    McAfee Knob and Tinker's Cliffs are fairly fragile areas. Please don't camp there.
    Lambert's Meadows is really nice, has good water, room for many tents - a large area for legal camping with picnic tables and fire rings. The shelter there just above the meadow did have a snake under it.

  4. #4
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    Agree with the oilman.

    Just got back from that section.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by misterfloyd View Post
    Agree with the oilman.

    Just got back from that section.
    What were the trail/water and temp conditions?
    **Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.**

  6. #6
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    trail conditions were fine. Lots of day hikers going up to McAfee Knob. the trail up to that point was like glass, you can tell because the sections after were not as well groomed but still in good shape IMHO. Temps were in the 80's and the humidity was high. Summer in Virginia. Water is pretty good as long as you stick to the shelters. I drink a lot of water in these conditions so I always drank what I had and filled up when I could.

    McAfee Knob is pretty nice but I liked Tinker cliffs better.

    Floyd

  7. #7

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    Glad you liked it. The whole section from Dragon's Tooth up to Daleville is excellent.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the info everyone. I'll be there in a few weeks.

  9. #9

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    I just did from Pearisburg to Troutville across last holiday weekend (4th of July). It was a pretty rainy four days, so trail conditions were of course wet - but otherwise fine.
    Of note for the section you mention: there was no water at Johns Spring Shelter, BUT there was water a mile further north at Catawba Mountain Shelter (I didn't personally get water from there, but another hiker I saw did & was carrying it back down to Johns Spring Shelter where he was staying the night). There is water at every other place mentioned in the guide(s). There is a snake in Lamberts Meadow Shelter (small black snake). You're gonna love McAffee & Tinker Cliffs, and there are some Great views from the powerline crossings above Daleville.
    u.w.

  10. #10

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    FYI >>> A NPS ranger was there a weekend ago and wrote 18 citations for illegal camping, illegal fires and alcohol possession. He came at the request of the local trail club. There have been a lot of broken bottles and trash left around and on the trail as of late. The fires were built on the Knob and defaced some rocks. I think the citations were given to students from VT. Enjoy your trip thru that section it really is nice.

  11. #11

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    Hopefully water is still readily available and the weather isn't too bad, I'm starting in a few days.
    **Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.**

  12. #12
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    My sources say that the water sources at both shelters between VA311 and McAfee Knob are unreliable in the summer so check befor you hike, or be sure you carry enough. Local trail angels will often cache water at the VA 311 trail head. Also, the camping restriction applies from VA311 to the next road crossing to the south and there are no designated camp sites or shelters in that section. I don't think there's much water either.

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