|Group shot at the Jim and Molly Denton Shelter|
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Appalachian Trail from Chester Gap to Manassas Gap
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is always a great day to go hiking! Iva planned out a trip on the Appalachian Trail up near Front Royal that connects to another hike many of us had taken earlier in the year with Bryce from Hiking Upward and described on Hiking Upward's site.
We were lucky to hike this section with the man who maintains part of it, former PATC President Tom Johnson. It was great walking and talking with Tom, who could tell us about the history of this part of the trail! One bit of history was the Jim and Molly Denton Shelter, which was one of the first upgraded shelters on the A.T. It still looks nice!
And we stopped at the site of an old shelter that burned a few decades ago. It is now a popular campsite, as there is a strong spring nearby. I found out later that this same spring is one of the headwaters of the Rappahannock River.
The Appalachian Trail here has a different feel than in the rest of Virginia where I have hiked. There are some relatively recent purchases for the A.T. corridor up here, and the trail in winter is never far from someone's backyard. It reminds me of trails in the Wintergreen Ski Area.