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.
When one of our vendors mentioned he wanted to bring "products with a purpose" to the festival, we wanted to know more. Here, we'll let Daniel Daymude of PERIL tell you what that means:
"We are a group of outdoor enthusiasts who have hiked and traveled throughout the country. We've noticed small things like people leaving trash, cutting through trails in between switchbacks, forgetting safety steps when climbing and practicing other potentially harmful habits we believe could be replaced with safe, conservation-minded habits.
"PERIL shirts serve as a reminder of the dangers and responsibilities we all have when venturing into nature. We promote positive outdoor practices on high-quality, synthetic hiking shirts. Whether it be 'pack in, pack out' or something as simple as 'follow the trail blazes,' we want to be there motivating people to do the right things when they’re outside in nature.
"Having high-quality hiking shirts with important messages for safety and conservationism will hopefully enable people to be outside in comfortable clothing while making a positive impact in places like the A.T., bodies of water, the crag or anywhere in nature. We want to reinforce the concept of 'think global, act local.'"
—Daniel Daymude II, PERIL Adventure Wear
When Thaddeus Lamar graduated from college, he decided to put one foot in front of the other—for 2,185 miles. Lamar set out to thru-hike the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and he brought along his camera. More than 100 fellow hikers shared their stories of adventure, hardship and camaraderie with Thad "No Pants" Lamar. What emerged was a cinematic portrait of a priceless American resource and its dedicated community.
The Round Hill Appalachian Trail Festival and B Chord Brewing are proud to present a screening of Lamar's 2019 documentary, "Barbarian Utopia: Encounters on the Appalachian Trail." Lamar's production company, Campfire Productions LLC, has previously screened the film at the Rehobeth Beach Regional Showcase and at Trail Days in Damascus, VA, to great acclaim. The documentary is currently being submitted to film festivals.
Stay after the official hours of the festival to see "Barbarian Utopia." B Chord Brewing will be screening the film at 5:30 p.m. Learn more on the documentary's Facebook page, and view the trailer on YouTube.
Before he became CEO of the one of the largest independently owned nursery and garden centers in the country, Bill "Farmer" Meadows was a PE teacher and coach employing students to sell tomatoes door-to-door over the summer. The tomato business evolved into a series of roadside markets in Northern Virginia and, eventually, a permanent produce stand in Sterling, VA. That stand expanded with the addition of nursery stock, which eventually replaced the produce altogether. Before long, Bill's wife Betty left her library job to join the full-time nursery business. With son Jay joining the business in time, this family affair has grown to have 20 nurseries, expanding into the landscape business and employing more than 750 people.
Today, Meadows Farm Nurseries & Landscape is known not just for selling plants, but for supporting the community. The Round Hill Appalachian Trail Festival thanks Meadows Farms for making our event possible.
Heather Sloan earned her trail name, "Brave," backpacking on the Appalachian Trail. Even "braver," she's taken her children backpacking and hiking across the country at national parks including Glacier National Park, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Mt. Ranier.
At the festival, Heather will share what she's learned in the field and in the classroom, sharing tips for "Health and Wellness on the Trail." With a degree in Community Health Education and multiple certifications in CPR/First Aid, she has helped hundreds of hikers along the A.T. as a volunteer since 2012. These days her focus is on combining her love of hiking with her medical training to educate hikers about health promotion and disease prevention on the trail.
We've booked the bands. Scheduled the speakers. Found the food trucks.
But to pull this off, we're going to need some helping hands. Can you volunteer for a couple hours at the festival? If so, please head over to our sign-up page.
We need people to set up, direct traffic, greet our guests, sell our merch, and more. So, we hope to see you at the festival and hope you'll share this message with your friends.
And, if you volunteer the day of the festival, you get a free fest T-shirt featuring the design on our poster!
Ever wondered what it would be like to go the distance on the Appalachian Trail? To spend six months in the woods, hauling all your gear? We'll have a panel of A.T. hikers (past, present and future) talking about what inspired them, what challenged them and what kept them going.
The panel will be moderated by thru-hiker Kathryn Herndon Powell of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Based in Roanoke, VA, Kathryn works with Trail Clubs and Appalachian Trail Communities in Virginia to support programs such as Leave No Trace workshops, the Konnarock Volunteer Trail Crew, and Ridgerunners along 400 miles of the Trail in the Central and Southwest Virginia Region.
In addition to thru-hiking the A.T. in 2006 and the PCT in 2010, Kathryn "Dinosaur" Herndon spent five years working seasonally on the A.T. in the summers and working with youth as an after-school teacher in the winters. In her current position, Kathryn is thrilled to combine her love of the Trail and her passion for education and community engagement to introduce new audiences to the rewards of A.T. stewardship.
Come hungry! We'll have three food trucks at the festival serving wood-fired pizza, BBQ and down-home meals.
Wood Fired Foods prepares artisan-style pizzas in an old-world, wood-fired brick oven. Cooking at about 800 degrees has a transformative effect on a pizza, lending it a slightly smoky flavor, a char around the edge, and a crust that’s perfectly crisp. You'll find a full range of pizzas for everyone’s tastes. http://woodfiredfoods.com
Hog-It-Up BBQ is a professional competition BBQ team located in Bluemont, Virginia. Grand Champions in their field, Hog-It-Up smokes in different BBQ styles—with the most popular being their Texas Brisket (available four ways) and BBQ Bowls. Bowls start with corn pudding and sweoke beans topped by your choice of meat and tropical coleslaw. http://www.hogitup.com
Main Streatery Scratch Kitchen focuses on celebrating Appalachian-American style food created with the freshest ingredients available in the Shenandoah Valley. At the festival, a seasonal menu will feature Grilled Beef Tips w/ Sweet Onions, Seared Herb Pork Tenderloin, Fire Mountain Spiced Apples and Sautéed Brussel Sprouts and Rustic Taters. https://www.facebook.com/MainStreatery/
Bring your fiddle to the fest. A Celtic jam session starts at 12:15 pm, with an Old-Time session beginning at 2:30. We'll supply the tent and some chairs; you supply the tunes!
It's only appropriate that a Round Hill festival host jam sessions, as Round Hill made a name for itself with a long history of popular jam sessions. The longest running: the Bluegrass Jam the last Friday of every month at the Old Furniture Factory in town. Started in 2003, these jams have attracted musicians from across the region.
When the Old Furniture Factory building went on the market, the future of the Round Hill Bluegrass Jams was in doubt. Step in B Chord Brewing (host of our AT Festival). These days, the brewery hosts regular jam sessions for both Celtic and Old-Time players.
The festival is pleased to celebrate this tuneful town tradition.
Yes, we want to bring people together for a good time at the festival. But we have another mission in mind, as well: To spread the word about the work of some amazing organizations who protect and support the beautiful mountains beside us. These partner organizations will be on hand at the festival, and we hope you'll stop by to speak with their representatives.
Click on the logo below to learn a little about these organizations.
Round Hill Outdoors: Join us in bringing together local friends and family to unplug and get outside. Let’s discover our amazing backyards — from national treasures like the Appalachian Trail to new local and regional parks.