10 ways to have fun at the A.T. Festival in the Gap:
"Trail angels" ease the way for thru hikers all along the A.T., from Georgia to Maine. You can become one of these angels by sharing some "trail magic" with hikers finishing up the long Virginia stretch of the trail. What is “trail magic”? It’s any act of generosity that helps an A.T. thru hiker keep going.
By the time they reach our neck of the woods (Keys Gap, where we’ll offer them a shuttle to the festival), hikers who started at Springer Mountain in Georgia, will have walked 1012 miles. We’d like to “make some magic” for them.
If you'd like to donate something (see the list below for suggestions) to this year's thru hikers, we have collection boxes at the Round Hill Town Office and the Old Stone School in Hillsboro. You can also bring donations for thru hikers on June 10th to the Festival Welcome Tent.
Here's a list of things hikers have told us they'd appreciate:
We’ll be sharing some of this trail magic with hikers who join us at the festival (for a free lunch and great music); the rest will go to the Bears Den and Blackburn trail centers for other thru hikers as they make their way north.
Today's guest post comes from Carol Lenhart of Birch Hollow Yoga in Hillsboro. Carol will be leading sessions of Yoga for Hikers at 11:45 and 4:15 during the festival.
Six Reasons Hikers Should Do Yoga
We love hiking and being in the woods. Especially the challenge of a long and arduous trek through tough terrain. Or maybe a gentle stroll along a nice, flat scenic trail. Whatever style of hiking you do, yoga can be a great addition to your fitness habits.
Here are some reasons why:
Carol Lenhart is a yoga teacher in Hillsboro, Virginia. She has been practicing yoga for over 35 years, and has been sharing the practice with others for 10 years. She loves all styles of yoga, and her favorite pose is “feet on the wall.” Carol lives on a farm with her husband Ben, their children, and an assortment of animals. She enjoys hiking, cycling and paddling around the beautiful Virginia countryside and waterways. She can be found on Facebook and Instagram through @birchhollowyoga.
We have Virginia's newest state park, Sweet Run State Park, set to open May 26th. You may have already been there, if you've ever traveled down Harpers Ferry Road to visit the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, which will become the new state park.
How does beautiful rural land like this, much of it a former farm, get protected in perpetuity? That's where our festival's newest sponsor, Old Dominion Land Conservancy (ODLC), plays a part. ODLC assisted arranging the donation of the land to the state, helping protect Potomac River tributaries and the Chesapeake Bay watershed, preserving Appalachian Trail views and conserving the natural habitat for hundreds of animal species in the process.
Under the leadership and guidance of ODLC, more than 18,000 acres of land have been successfully designated and preserved in conservancy. Here's why the ODLC folks do what they do:
"For us at ODLC, it’s more than just preserving open countryside, habitats and waterways we all love; it’s providing options for landowners and purchasers to maintain family legacies for generations to come."
It takes a village (actually two towns this year) to put on our free, fun-for-all celebration of the A.T. and all the Great Outdoors. If you can give us a couple hours on June 10th, you'll be a most welcome member of our team.
Click here to find our day-of volunteer sign up.
Have a couple hours to help us out? We are stilllooking for day-of volunteers! https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0848a4a728a1fa7-appalachian#/
Can you help us spread the word? We're reaching out to any northbound A.T. thru-hikers who will be in the Round Hill/Hillsboro area June 10th, and who would like a break from our infamous "Roller Coaster" stretch of the Trail. We also invite section hikers headed in either direction to join us at the festival.
Here's what we have in store for them:
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.