After a month off the trail, Birch and I were eager to get back on the AT. This time, because of the lack of shelters on our route, we decided to do a day trip. Be began our hike just off VA-42, which is a nice well-paved road with plenty of parking. Although the first mile of the hike is through farm land it wasn’t long before we turned into the woods and began making our ascent to Big Walker Mountain.
It was a glorious day! Cool temps, bright blue sky, a pleasant breeze, and just a hint of leaves turning color. Although steep, getting to the peak was easy. We stopped for coffee so that we could take in the beautiful view and enjoy the weather.
Before long, we got to a campsite and promptly marched ourselves off the trail. Although we were clearly on some path, it wasn’t the AT. Walking back to the campsite, we searched for the white blazes and got back on track. According to a sign, this spot marks the 1/4 point Northbound.
We stopped for lunch at the former Davis Path Campsite. This area has a picnic table and a privy but the shelter is long gone. We then hiked the remaining three miles to where our car was parked.
On the last mile or so, we ran into a group of volunteers doing trail work. The group included a couple of high school students putting in their volunteer hours that are required for graduation. I don’t think they had ever been on the trail before but I hope they were inspired to hike!
Fall is my favorite time to hike. However, it isn’t without challenges. The water situation was pretty precarious. Anyone hiking this area should make sure to bring plenty of water. Otherwise, this is a wonderful 11+ mile day hike.