Two buddies and I took on the stretch of the Appalachian Trail from north of Fox Creek, VA, south into Damascus, VA. This is the second trip for us three on this same route. This time, we were much lighter, and knew a little better where and when to camp. Lots of rock climbs, lots of deep wooded hiking, many forms of wildlife along the way. Also, there were several great overlooks throughout the 45 mile stretch.
This is a great hike for those looking to spend 3-5 days on the trail. We started in Damascus, VA, and hired a shuttle to drop us off near Fox Creek for about $45, all-in. This shuttle runs out of Mt. Rogers Outfitters in Damascus, and allows free parking for you to hike back to your car. The Appalachian Trail back in Damascus goes straight through town.
The hike itself has some fairly technical parts near Thomas Knob and Mt. Rogers. There is also a good day’s worth of climbing rock and boulder trails. The Nat Geo. topographical map is very helpful to plan the trip and break up your mileage. You don’t want to have to camp on a bald, or end up in a pony field at sundown. (true story) There are plenty of water sources as long as you pack iodine and enough extra storage. We only encountered one stretch of more than a few miles without water late in our trip.
If you want to try this route and need pointers or more detail, please let me know, I’m happy to share our experiences in detail from both times we’ve completed this route.