Ask kids what they love about our festival, and plenty of them will mention "the big slide." That big slide shows up courtesy of Big Country Amusements (BCA). We asked Joshua Fuchs, generous owner of BCA, why he supports our event.
We understand you're an active member of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), and that's why you got involved with our A.T. Festival. What does PATC mean to you?
I started with PATC in 2017. I continue to stay involved with the club because it's my way of giving back to the hiking community and helping others to fall in love with the Trail like I have.
How have you been involved with PATC over the years?
I’m involved several different ways. I’m a trail maintainer. My section of the A.T. is the Pocosin Trail fire road to Dean Mountain Road. And I maintain the Catlett Spur Trail in the Shenandoah Wilderness. I'm also district manager for the North Central blue blaze trails in Shenandoah National Park, and I'm a sawyer and sawyer instructor for Shenandoah NP and PATC.
Are you an A.T. day hiker, long-distance hiker or both?
I have only day hiked the A.T. with a few backpacking trips; one day after I retire from the amusement business my plan is to thru hike the Trail.
Do you have a favorite section of the trail?
Of course, the section I maintain is my favorite! Three Ridges is my favorite section; the loop is challenging and extremely rewarding.
Can you tell us a little about some of your other favorite local hikes?
My favorite day hikes are up to Bear Church Rock or Robertson Mountain. Robertson has a similar view as Old Rag without the crowds or the hassle of getting a day pass. Truthfully, no trail is bad or good; each one has its own personality.
We're happy to announce that local guy Justin Trawick (and his band) will perform again at the fest.
These days, Justin Trawick and The Common Good (www.justintrawick.com) is based in DC and tours around the Mid Atlantic. But Loudoun is home to Justin, who grew up in Leesburg and played with his church's acoustic folk group and the Loudoun Bluegrass Association before moving away for college.
We asked Justin what it means to him to return and perform at our A.T. celebration. Here's what he had to say:
I'm an Eagle Scout and grew up in Leesburg hiking and camping with my Boy Scout Troop, Troop 982. I really loved Boy Scouts and outdoor activities, which is partly why I like being a part of A.T. Fest.
In the digital, fast-paced world we live now it's important not to forget the natural world around us. The long tradition of the Appalachian Trail and what it means to the communities it passes through up and down the East Coast is something to be celebrated. It would be easy for people one day to forget about these important nature preserves, but the A.T. Fest is doing its part in keeping it in the forefront of people's minds.
Welcome back to our celebration of the A.T. (and all the Great Outdoors), Justin.
Round Hill AT: Join us in bringing together local friends and family to get outside. Let’s discover our amazing backyards — from national treasures like the Appalachian Trail to new local and regional parks.