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  1. #1

    Default Flip Flop Festival April 22-23

    Backpacking workshops, pack shakedowns, and programs showcasing the rich history and wide variety of recreational opportunities in around Harpers Ferry, WV are part of the line-up this year. There will be music, food, vendors. The event is free, and parking for the weekend is free as well.

    The evening speaker will be Derick "Mr. Fabulous" Lugo, a 2012 thru-hiker.


    The core purpose of this event has been to promote Flip Flop thru-hikes that start mid-Trail, but it has grown to include much more.

    Lodging in the area is filling up fast, so make your reservations now. There is no in-town camping in Harpers Ferry or Bolivar. I'll post more about camping options later.

    SCHEDULE


    SATURDAY, APRIL 22
    (9:00 am - 9:00 pm)

    Music
    Odd Fellows Lodge Lawn
    • 10:00 - 11:30 The Hokums
    • 12:00 - 1:30 Lisa & Friends
    • 1:45 - 3:15 Bob Keel
    • 3:30 - 5:00 Craggy Island



    Vendors
    Odd Fellows Lodge Lawn, Fillmore Street
    • 9:00 - 5:00
    • Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (Long-distance hiking on the A.T. and trails worldwide)
    • Appalachian Trail Conservancy (Enjoyment and preservation of the Appalachian Trail)Hawk with raptor lady at Flip Flop Festival
    • Appalachian Trail Museum (Telling the stories of the Appalachian Trail since its creation)
    • Audubon Society Potomac Valley Chapter (Conservation and nature programs)
    • Eagle's Nest Woolens (Hats, scarves, and sweaters)
    • Guide Shack (selling snacks, drinks, and handmade crafts)
    • Shenandoah University (Hiker survey on effects of long-distance hiking)
    • Hosteling International (Inspiring and diverse locations in different cultures)
    • Rolling Pepperoni (Packaged Sweet and Savory West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls)
    • Mishkin Photography (Photographs that tell stories of places and the people that love them)
    • Outfitter at Harpers Ferry (Hiking and outdoor equipment, foot care and shoe-fitting)Cornhole
    • Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (Hiking and trail maintenance in VA, WV, MD, and PA)
    • River Riders (Rafting guides, tubing, zip-lining)
    • Shepherd's Spring (Maryland retreat; water bottles, cooling scarves, other mdse.)
    • Sly Ultralight Outdoor Gear
    • The Towns Inn (Inn, cafe, and shoppe in historic Harpers Ferry; hiker supplies and snacks)
    • Trego Mountain Nature Center (Live birds of prey)
    • Two Rivers Tread (Running Store selling shoes, socks, etc.)
    • Wood Eye Wood (Handcrafted wood products)



    Festival Food Vendors
    • Bisou Bistro (Sandwiches & Soups)
    • Kona Ice Truck (Shaved ice and other sweets)
    • Odd Fellows Lodge (Hamburgers and Hot Dogs)
    • A Step in Time Bake Shop (Baked Goods)



    Games and Kids' Activities
    Mather Lawn (across from Odd Fellows Lodge)
    • Pack the Pack (featuring "The 10 Essentials)Dick on bike on C&O
    • Guess the Weight
    • Name that State
    • Disc Golf
    • Corn Hole Toss




    Recreation & History Workshops
    ​Curtis Freewill Baptist Church, upper floor
    Times tba
    • Biking the C&O and GAP Trails (Doug Riegner, Great Allegheny Passage)
    • Following the Path of the Underground Railroad(Brittany Leavitt, Outdoor Afro)Outdoor Afro group shot in front of ATC
    • Storer College: A Legacy of Civil Rights on the Heels of Slavery (Guinevere Roper, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park)
    • Introduction to Long Distance Biking (Chris Craig)
    • Leave No Trace (Appalachian Trail Conservancy)
    • Nature Therapy: Finding Peace in Wild
    • Rock Climbing (Chris ​Price)


    Hiking & Backpacking Workshops
    Curtis Freewill Baptist Church, lower floor
    10:20 - 11:20 Hiking for Beginners (Max "Bearbag" Mishkin)Shakedown for Flip Flop Festival
    11:30 - 12:20 Long-distance Hiking on the A.T. (Jim "Sisu" Fetig)
    2:00 - 2:50 Health & Safety (Heather "Brave" Sloan)
    3:00 - 3:50 Trail Etiquette and Trail Magic
    4:00 - 4:50 Flip Flopper Panel

    Pack Shakedowns
    9:00 a.m. - 12:00, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Curtis Freewill Baptist Church lawn
    Learn from expert hikers what you do and don't need in your pack for a safe and enjoyable backpacking trip while practicing Leave No Trace. Bring your own fully-loaded backpack and get recommendations on how you can lighten your load, or watch as others go through a "shakedown"!

    Safely Storing Food in the Backcountry
    Appalachian Trail Conservancy side yard
    11:00 am - 12:00pm, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
    Different methods for keeping food and "smellables" safe from bears (and mice) in the backcountry will be demonstrated, including the "PCT Method" bear-bag hang and tips for using a "bear canister."


    Evening Entertainment

    An Unlikely Thru-Hiker:
    Derick "Mr. Fabulous" Lugo (7:00 pm)
    Light Horse Inn Barn, 1084 W. Washington St., Bolivar
    Derick Lugo is a hiker, writer and blogger. Since completing his thru-hike in 2012 he has spoken at several venues about his passion for hiking the Appalachian Trail. He is currently on final edits of his book entitled ĎAn Unlikely Thru-Hiker,' a humorous account of his unusual and life changing AT thru-hike. Derick resides in New York City, but his heart lives where the AT takes him. You can find Derick, his works and his future projects at Facebook @An Appalachian Journey / Instagram @dericklugo / Twitter @Derick_LugoĒ
    Donations requested.

    Derick recently ​starred in the myATstory video "Trail Brothers."



    SUNDAY, APRIL 23
    (7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

    Pancake Breakfast (7:00 a.m. to 9:00 am)
    Camp Hill-Wesley United Methodist Church
    654 Washington St, Harpers Ferry
    Donations accepted.

    Flip Flopper Send Off (9:00 a.m.)
    Appalachian Trail Conservancy
    799 Washington St., Harpers Ferry

    Workshops (11:00 - 3:00)
    Curtis Freewill Baptist Church upstairs
    schedule tba
    Long-distance Hiking on the A.T. (Jim "Sisu" Fetig)
    Appalachian Trail 14 State Challenge (Appalachian Trail Conservancy)
    Introduction to Long Distance Biking (Chris Craig)
    Rock Climbing (Chris ​Price)

    Pack Shakedowns
    10:00 a.m. - 12:00, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Curtis Freewill Baptist Church lawn
    Learn from expert hikers what you do and don't need in your pack for a safe and enjoyable backpacking trip while practicing Leave No Trace. Bring your own fully-loaded backpack and get recommendations on how you can lighten your load, or watch as others go through a "shakedown"!

    Safely Storing Food in the Backcountry
    Appalachian Trail Conservancy side yard
    11:00 am - 12:00pm
    Different methods for keeping food and "smellables" safe from bears (and mice) in the backcountry will be demonstrated, including the "PCT Method" bear-bag hang and tips for using a "bear canister."

    Guided African American History Hike (1:00 - 3:00)
    Begins at Appalachian Trail Conservancy
    799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry, WV
    A Harpers Ferry National Historical Park ranger will lead a one-mile hike along the grounds of Storer College, ​one of the nationís first institutions of higher learning open to all Americans. The hike will also follow the Appalachian Trail past Jefferson Rock, Civil War ruins, and John Brown's Fort. ​Participants will also learn about the Niagara Movement, considered to be the cornerstone of the modern civil rights era. The route includes numerous steep steps. The hike ends at the scenic location known as The Point in the lower town historic district. Registration is strongly encouraged; send email with AAHH Registration in the subject line to lpotteiger@appalachiantrail.org.

    ASL interpreters available.


    We are also have a second flip-flopper send-off on Monday morning, April 24, to help spread out the traffic, and encourage flip-floppers to stay another day.

    If you are a flip-flopper starting your thru-hike around the time of the festival, we have some additional activities for you that don't appear on the festival schedule. Some of those folks have already heard from me if they registered their thru-hike before the end of February. I'll be reaching out to more who've registered since then soon. Feel free to email me at lpotteiger@appalachiantrail.org if you have questions.

  2. #2

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    Thank you. Greatly appreciated.

  3. #3

    Default Lodging/Camping in the vicinity of Harpers Ferry

    Lodging right in Harpers Ferry is close to full already on Friday and Saturday night of the festival, so make your reservations right away if you are hoping to stay in Harpers Ferry proper. There are many motels in Charles Town, 5-6 miles west, though

    Here are listings for lodging in Jefferson County (Harpers Ferry and west toward Charles Town and other towns in West Virginia)

    We encourage you to patronize the businesses that are A.T. Community Supporters in Harpers Ferry-Bolivar.

    Camping is available at the following locations:

    Harpers Ferry/Civil War Battlefields KOA (1.6 west of ATC)
    River Riders Harpers Ferry Campground (2.5 west of ATC)
    HI Harpers Ferry Hostel (in Knoxville, MD, 5 miles north of ATC)
    Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship (Neersville, VA, 8 miles south of ATC)
    Brunswick Family Campground (Brunswick, MD, 9 miles east of ATC)
    Maple Tree Campground (Rohrersville, MD, 11 miles north, 1/2 mile from A.T. at Crampton Gap)


    There is currently no in-town camping available (Harpers Ferry is a small town between two rivers, surrounded by a national historical park where no camping is allowed; the entire area was an active battleground during the Civil War).

    The closest free primitive camping is at the Huckleberry Hill Campsite on the C&O Towpath in Maryland about 2 - 2.5 miles upstream from Harpers Ferry (about 4 miles from ATC Headquarters). You cannot drive to it.

    The closest non-designated site camping on the A.T. is 3-4 miles south, with about 1'000 feet elevation gain. In Maryland, camping is allowed only at designated sites. The closest one on the A.T. headed north is 7 miles from ATC at the Ed Garvey Shelter.

    Information about parking is above and on the website at www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop (it will be free during the weekend, but before and after the festival all day-time parking is paid, except in the Appalachian Trail Conservancy visitor center lot while stopping in to see us.)

  4. #4

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    If I had realized I'd have scheduled my section hike a week earlier.

  5. #5

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    Ethesis, darn! You'll miss the festival, but you'll be sure to see some flip-floppers--and nobos--out there. Anytime late April or early May is a great time to hike in the area.

  6. #6

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    Made my reservation. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
    Trillium

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauriep View Post
    Ethesis, darn! You'll miss the festival, but you'll be sure to see some flip-floppers--and nobos--out there. Anytime late April or early May is a great time to hike in the area.
    That part will be fun. We are going south to Luray from Harpers Ferry.

    May get further. But looking forward to seeing people on the trail.

    Next year we upgrade our tent. Eventually we are headed for a two month section hike in a year or two to set up other hikes.

  8. #8
    Registered User glassman's Avatar
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    This is great I have yet to register but will be starting my flip flop thru-hike about then anyway!

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    CSS

  9. #9

    Default Flip Flop Festival is this weekend!

    While you're thinking about what to do for your Earth Day weekend, remember that the Flip Flop Festival offers something of interest for just about everyone.

    If you're just getting into backpacking, you can learn the basics. If you're intermediate, you can learn more about how to prevent Lyme disease, norovirus, and chafing from Heather "Brave" Harmon Sloan, who has an advanced degree in public health and is also a backpacker.

    If you're a backpacking expert and want to branch out into long-distance cycling or climbing you can learn how to do that.

    If you're interested in history, you can learn about how Storer College was created after the Civil War to provide educate for freed slaves in the area, and the challenges and danger both blacks and whites faced who pursued this effort. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the College.

    If you're contemplating a flip flop thru-hike, you can attend a panel and hear all the pros, cons, and tips from those who have done it.

    If you love the idea of hiking the A.T. and want to set a goal for yourself, but day-hiking is your thing, or you get great satisfaction from just seeing a vista or visiting famous place along the Trail, learn about the new 14 State Challenge.

    If you want to learn more about birds along the A.T. in this area and how to identify them, attend a program offered by an Audubon Society member.

    If you want to learn how Outdoor Afro member Brittany Leavitt was inspired by the legacy of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad to lead a hike across the A.T. in Maryland last fall, come for that.

    If you want to learn more about African American history, the Civil War, and early settlers of Harpers Ferry, come for the African American History Hike on Sunday at 1:00. I don't know any place in American that combines such significant and rich history in such a scenic backdrop. The hike also offers a look into the Lockwood House, which is normally closed to the public, and you'll learn about the drama and strife that took place in an overlooked building that sits between ATC's first home in Harpers Ferry and the spectacularly beautiful Harper Cemetery.
    (If you're coming in for this even, plan to arrive an hour early so you can find parking and sign in; you can also pre-register by sending an email with AAHH Registration in the subject line to lpotteiger@appalachiantrail.org.

    And if you just want to relax and have fun, there will be music, vendors, and games for kids on Saturday during the day, and the talk by "Mr. Fabulous" on Saturday evening. On Sunday there will be a pancake breakfast, and a flip flopper thru-hike send-off.

    All the details can be found at www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop

    Hope we see some WhiteBlazers!

  10. #10

    Default Special activities for 2017 Flip Floppers at the Festival

    If there are any 2017 Flip Floppers planning to attend the festival this weekend who have not registered your thru-hike with ATC, have only done so in recent weeks, did not indicate you were attending the festival when I sent out the survey, or whom I somehow missed for other reasons, here is some information.

    There are activities planned that are not listed on the main event website at www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflophttp://www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop

    Saturday, April 22
    8:00 am - Opportunity to have your hiker photo taken at ATC before opening.

    Sunday, April 23
    8:00 am - Opportunity to have your hiker photo taken at ATC before opening.
    6:00 pm - Flip Floppers, Friends and Family meet for dinner Mena's Pizzeria, (0.1 west of ATC)

    Monday, April 24
    8:00 am - Flip Floppers, Friends and Family meet for coffee at Guide Shack Cafe, discounts for flip-floppers (0.3 west of ATC for coffee and sweets)
    9:00 am - 2nd Flip Flopper send-off from ATC

    The visitor center will be so busy during the weekend it may take a long time to get your photo taken and printed for the album (the photo is sort of an unofficial Harpers Ferry registration that helps us with numbers), and you'll miss out on all the other things going on.

    The Sunday evening and Monday morning activities are just designated locations so flip floppers, and friends and family and anyone who wants to meet and support them, can be together if they want to.

    We are having a Monday morning group send-off to help spread out the flip floppers starting the weekend of the festival, as well as giving flip floppers a chance to enjoy the planned activities, and spend a little more time in Harpers Ferry. It will also be a quieter send off than on Sunday.

    There's also a meet and greet in a small venue Saturday morning--email me (please don't pm via WhiteBlaze.net, as I may not see it) at lpotteiger@appalachiantrail.org if you are starting your flip flop thru-hike around this weekend and would like to attend.

  11. #11
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    I think they should have a "coin flip flop" event. Get a group of hikers to agree that when they get to the trail they flip a coin. Heads they hike north - tails they hike south.

  12. #12

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    We just got word that the Town's Inn, located right in the middle of the historic district downtown in Harpers Ferry, had some cancellations.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauriep View Post
    We just got word that the Town's Inn, located right in the middle of the historic district downtown in Harpers Ferry, had some cancellations.
    All the rain that is forecast is giving me pause. Are all the panels, speakers, music, vendors indoors?
    Trillium

  14. #14

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    We had rain earlier today but right now it is absolutely beautiful!
    80 degrees and sunny with a light breeze.
    I would not let the weather forecast discourage you!


    Hitch
    "May the four winds blow you safely home ..." ​Garcia, Kreutzmann, & Hunter

  15. #15
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    Awesome breakfast! IMG_4634.JPG

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