Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter of PATC
If you have a Facebook page, be sure to look for and like our page, PATC Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter. On there, we will try to post updates as we have them. If you don't already receive them, you can also subscribe to our email blast by using the link on our home page: SSVC PATC
Would you like to help take care of part of the Appalachian Trail? There's a couple great sections in the Southern District of Shenandoah National Park.
The available sections are:
- Smith Roach Gap to Powell Gap - 1.6 miles
- Horsehead Mountain Overlook to Riprap Trail Parking Area - 1.2 miles
- Summit of Calf Mountain to Beagle Gap - 1.5 miles
Special shout out to Heather Denny for completing her hike leader training by co-leading two hikes: Reeds Gap to Hanging Rock along the AT and Overall Run/Beecher Ridge Loop in the North District of Shenandoah National Park.
Heather and her husband, Brian live in Harrisonburg and are very active members of our chapter. They have joined us for work trips and hikes of all types. Heather also enjoys backpacking. Over the summer, Heather and Brian took a trip to New Hampshire and Maine, which included a hike to summit Mt. Katahdin.
We are so glad that Heather decided to become one of our hike leaders. Be sure to look for her planned adventures in our hike schedule page.
As the Tuscarora Trail leaves Shenandoah National Park and crosses Rt. 340, it follows Rt 628 and Rt 613 until it enters the George Washington National Forest.
You will begin your hike on the Tuscarora Trail as it climbs steadily to the ridges of Massanutten Mountain. This part of the trail dates back to the Revolutionary War as it follows the route of a historic road. Originally known as Morgan's Road, it was built as a potential route to retreat in case the Continental Army had been defeated at the battle of Yorktown. George Washington had Daniel Morgan construct the road over the eastern ridge into the valley.
After 1.7 miles, the Tuscarora Trail intersects with the Massanutten Trail. Turn right at this intersection. During its route in this area, the Tuscarora shares the trail with the Massanutten. In another, 0.9 miles, you will reach Little Crease Shelter. Little Crease Shelter is the southern most shelter on the Tuscarora Trail. This is a great spot for snack or lunch. It could serve as your turn-around if you wish to do an out/back hike for the day.
The Tuscarora Trail continues to head north from Little Crease Shelter and in 0.1 miles, it intersects with Veach Gap Trail. Look for future Tuscarora hikes for a description of the trail beyond this area.
To reach the trailhead, travel on Rt 340 north from Luray for approximately 14 miles, turn left on Rt 628 (Rocky Hollow Rd), take Rt 628 to its intersection with Rt 613 (Indian Hollow Rd), and turn left to stay on Rt 613 to parking for the trailhead.
If you are looking for a hike in the North River Ranger District to work off some of the 90 miles of the NRRD 90 Challenge, Braley Pond is a great place to start. There are several short, easy hikes near the pond and a longer hike up the Bald Ridge Trail. The trail that circles Braley Pond is about 3/4 of a mile and is fairly level and an easy hike. Braley Branch Trail is a 1 mile loop that starts at the parking area, goes through the camping area and loops back to the entrance road to the pond. There is an elevation gain of a little over 200 ft., but overall the trail is easy. If you follow the Forest Service Road on the far side of the pond, you will come to Johnson Draft Trail. This is a level trail, but has several stream crossings. The total loop back to Braley Pond parking is about 3 miles.
For a longer, moderate trail, follow the Forest Service road past the Johnson Draft Trail to the Bald Ridge Trail on the right. This trail has a moderate elevation gain all the way up, but is not steep. There is an overlook at the top. The good news is that it is all downhill going back to the parking lot. This in and out trail is about 7 miles. There are a couple trails at the top that give options for longer shuttle hikes which you can find on the National Geographic Staunton - Shenandoah Mountain map if interested.
By: Lynn Cameron,
SSVC Conservation Chair and Co-Chair of Friends of Shenandoah Mountain
March 23 is a day for SSVC to remember! Senator Tim Kaine introduced The Shenandoah Mountain Act of 2022 (S. 3911), to establish the Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area in the State of Virginia. The bill was cosponsored by Senator Mark Warner. Now this monumental bill has to work its way through the legislative process to become law. We don’t know how long this will take.
A few days later, on March 26, Senator Kaine went on a hike on Shenandoah Mountain Trail to promote protection of the area. I had the honor of hiking with him from the Breastworks to Jerrys Run and back. The weather was cold and windy with snow squalls, but that didn’t deter him from wanting to hike almost 5 miles. Senator Kaine was already familiar with the area, dating back to his honeymoon, when he and Anne hiked in Ramseys Draft. I gave him a copy of the PATC Shenandoah Mountain Trails guidebook in case he wants to explore the area.
I want to thank all those in SSVC who helped with this campaign over a span of two decades. You really made a difference.
Here are links to some of the media coverage of the bill introduction and Senator Kaine’s hike.
The bill: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/BILLS-117s3911is
The map: https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/uploads/1/7/4/4/17446555/smnsamapwebpage.pdf
Senator Kaine’s press release: https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/news/kaine-warner-introduce-legislation-to-form-national-scenic-area-in-rockingham-augusta-and-highland-counties
FOSM’s press release: https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/news/bill-to-establish-shenandoah-mountain-national-scenic-area-introduced-in-the-us-senate
News Virginian article by Nancy Sorrells: https://newsvirginian.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/sen-tim-kaine-hikes-near-staunton-in-support-of-proposed-shenandoah-mountain-bill/
Most people who dream of hiking the entire 2,194 miles of the Appalachian Trail think of the hike as a "NoBo" (northbound) path leading from Georgia to Maine. It can be, but that's not the only way to complete a thru hike. Others approach the Trail as a "SoBo" hike from Maine to Georgia.
And, then, there's a third approach to a thru-hike: the Flip-Flop. Hike half the Trail in one direction, and hike the second section in the other direction. Having hikers tackle the Trail from different starting points, at different times, is good for hikers—and for the Trail itself.
The Flip Flop Festival, held in Harper's Ferry and Bolivar, WV, encourages this approach, as it sees off a group of "Flip-Floppers" and celebrates the A.T. in general.
On April 23rd, a series of free workshops will be held that appeal to thru-hikers and hikers of all distances. Want to stay healthy on the Trail? Keep your feet happy? Treat the Trail with respect? Workshops held at the Harpers Ferry Center Outdoor Plaza have all this and more covered. Then, stay in town for talks and tunes at the Barns of Harper's Ferry.
Sunday, April 24, features the traditional Flip-Flop send-off pancake breakfast and a family hike.
For more information on the Flip Flop Festival, click this link:
Flip Flop Festival
For over 40 years, Earth Day has been celebrated around the world to foster enthusiasm for conservation and remind us that we are all responsible for our Planet's health.
Earth Day Staunton began in 2007 with a group of exhibits about wildlife, nature, and environment, while also focusing on the Lewis Creek Watershed issues. In 2011, we expanded our celebrations to an Earth Week.
This year Earth Day Staunton will feature displays, informational demonstrations, and interactive learning opportunities from many local environmental organizations. The Wildlife Center of Virginia will present educational programs featuring live, native wildlife. Other activities include a live bee hive, nature crafts, various games, nature touchables, sapling giveaways, and face painting. More than 30 organizations plan to participate, including PATC.
Earth Day Staunton is sure to be a fun and educational experience for everyone in the family. Make sure to check out their Facebook page and website for more information.
By the mid-90’s, many residents saw the South River as not much more than a polluted, flood-prone nuisance; a proposal to modify the river was under consideration. While the proposal was meant to alleviate flooding concerns, the plan had serious ecological consequences.
Riverfest was founded in 1997 to educate the community about the recreational, educational, and esthetic value of the South River. Throughout the years, the downtown event has grown to be one of the largest festivals in Waynesboro as more programs, activities, exhibits are added — all of which challenge people of all ages to protect the environment and our own South River.
The South River has seen many exciting changes and developments since that first year: the City of Waynesboro built a greenway along the river, Trout Unlimited and the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries have established a destination trout fishery (with signs of natural reproduction occurring), and DuPont is actively remediating legacy contamination along the river.
The residents of Waynesboro and the surrounding area have fully embraced the importance and value of this wonderful natural resource.
Riverfest is a FREE annual event that takes place river-side at Constitution Park South. 2022 is the Year of the Monarch Butterfly at Riverfest! Programs and activities start at 10am and continue throughout the day.
For more information of the Riverfest event, click this link: