Before 1994, hikers and climbers in Winchester, VA, had to drive miles and miles to find something as basic as a Nalgene water bottle or a carabiner. Thus, Mountain Trails was born. Over its 25-year history, Mountain Trails has established itself as a one-stop shop for all things backpacking, day hiking, rock climbing and travel. Mountain Trails' mission is to help create a safer, more enjoyable wilderness experience.
Garry Green took over the store in 2015, and he opened a second location in downtown Front Royal, VA on Main Street. Next to this shop, Garry helped establish a unique backpacker facility called Basecamp. Thru- and section- hikers can catch a shuttle from the Hwy. 522 A.T. trailhead to the Visitor's Center downtown. From there, it's just two blocks to Basecamp, where they find free laundry facilities, lockers, clean towels and a shower, boot dryer, message board, hikers' box and small lounge dedicated to long-distance hikers. Free laundry detergent is provided, and hikers can borrow loaner clothes while theirs are in the wash.
Though it opened late last year, this year's thru-hikers are the first to take advantage of its amenities. Basecamp is supported by the Front Royal Brewing Company, Mountain Trails Outfitters and the Down Home Comfort Bakery. To get into Basecamp, hikers enter the outer door of the Front Royal Brewery building (122 Main St.) and then go to one of the participating businesses to get a door code.
An entire wall is provided as a "Basecamp Journal." Here, hikers leave messages, trail updates, inspirational quotes and original artwork.
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