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  1. #1
    Registered User BadAndy's Avatar
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    Default Central VA Section ideas

    I am in the early stages of planning a short 4-5 day hike in mid-October. Looking to hike somewhere arund the Roanoke area (I am from Harrisburg and another hiker is from SC so it's in the middle for both of us).

    I've orderd the maps/guide but don't have them yet. Just looking for some good suggestions as we're totally unfamiliar with the area. It'd be cool to hit some of the "big sights" like McAfee knob and Dragons' tooth perhaps.

    In addition, any suggestions on shuttles/lodging in the area? Weather conditions that time of year? Other special considerations?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Daleville (just west of Roanoke on US 220) south to VA 613 would be 65.8 miles and would include Tinker Cliffs, McAfee Knob and Dragon's Tooth. This is an absolutely beautiful part of Virginia. If it fits your schedule, you could duck into the Homeplace Restaurant in Catawba (only open Thursday through Sunday), reputed to be some of the best food on the AT. The Companion lists Mountain Lake Conservancy and Hotel 5 miles east on VA 613 and notes that it offers shuttles to and from the AT. That might be a safe place to leave your car, if you can arrange a shuttle north to Daleville. If you check on ATC's website, you will find a list of shuttle drivers.

  3. #3
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    Default Another possibility

    Possible consideration is the SNP. SNP runs 105 miles starting in the south in Waynesboro, Va ending 105 miles north in Front Royal. The Skyline Drine criss crosses the AT MANY times so you could park maybe in Waynesboro (Rockfish Gap Welcome Ctr is free parking) and hike north then call one of the many shuttlers in Waynesboro to pick you up. Much traffic on Skyline so you could probably just hitch a ride. Tons of wildlife in the park and almost sure to see a bear or two. Waynesboro very hiker friendly.

  4. #4
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Daleville is a great spot to start or end, because it's right on the AT and I-81 a few miles north of Roanoke. There is a good outfitter there that does shuttles. Depending on how many miles you'd like to hike, you can do the section south of Daleville -- say, from VA 42 north, or the section north to the James River Bridge. Both are nice, but the southern section has Dragon's Tooth and MacAfee Knob.
    Ken B
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  5. #5
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    The trail around Roanoke is surprisingly scenic. You could start at one of the Blue Ridge Parkway Overlooks north of Roanoke (perhaps the Sharp Top or Harveys Knob Overlook) and end at Trout Creek or Craig Creek Valley.

    There are a number of hotels in Daleville, near the intersection of US-220 and I-81.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  6. #6
    Wild at Heart J5man's Avatar
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    Contact Hikerhead on here. He is one of the local experts, I have only been here a couple of years but he is the one to talk to. Dragon's Tooth is close to the Homeplace which you definitely want to plan to eat at (Thur- Sunday only - fyi, they allow hikers to camp on their grounds) Also this is close to McAfee Knob. For a 4-5 day hike, you could start somewhere on the Blue Ridge Parkway and hike SOBO and end up at Dragon's Tooth averaging about 10 miles per day. As mentioned above, Daleville is a great spot for a hotel, outfitter, supermarket, etc....Definitely pm Hikerhead and get the expert's recommendations. It is absolutely beautiful here!
    Roanoke Trivia factoid: Roanoke is Wayne Newton's birthplace. For real.

  7. #7
    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    I did a pretty fun section from Blue Ridge Parkway Mile 51 (near Punchbowl Shelter) up to Rockfish Gap a few years ago. Very pretty sights abounded. I'd blue blaze over to the Humpback Rocks where the AT used to go. The bypass for Dragon's Tooth (Mo Har Trail) is way cool.

    I'm looking into an October walk, also, thinking about something north of Mt Rogers and past McAfee's Knob.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangebug View Post
    I did a pretty fun section from Blue Ridge Parkway Mile 51 (near Punchbowl Shelter) up to Rockfish Gap a few years ago. Very pretty sights abounded. I'd blue blaze over to the Humpback Rocks where the AT used to go. The bypass for Dragon's Tooth (Mo Har Trail) is way cool.

    I'm looking into an October walk, also, thinking about something north of Mt Rogers and past McAfee's Knob.
    I think you meant the Three Ridges instead of Dragons Tooth.
    Hokey Pokey

  9. #9
    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    That would be right

  10. #10
    Wild at Heart J5man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikerhead View Post
    I think you meant the Three Ridges instead of Dragons Tooth.
    See what I mean, he is the expert!

  11. #11
    Registered User BadAndy's Avatar
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    It looks like US 220 to VA 630 over 5 days will work well.

    How is the trail? I know some have said it is strenuous, is it really that bad? Keep in mind I'm used to hiking in PA so rocks don't bother me a bit. What are recommendations on NOBO vs. SOBO in this section? Any shelter, camping, or water issues?

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