Section 13 (AT in a Day)

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Va.55 in Linden, VA to US 250/I-64 in Waynesboro, VA - 115.3 miles

Section Chief: John Ceremsak '13

VA-55 to US-522 - 8.2 miles

Hiker: Sarah Bayldon '78

We set off at 9:15 in the morning and finished at 1:15 in the afternoon. The weather was excellent for hiking. During the only light rain we were protected by the leaves and did not get wet at all. Then it dried upAt times it was pretty windy. Fortunately the limb which fell from a high tree during a strong gust of wind missed my husband’s head by a foot. It was alarming, but no harm done. It was great to get out into the woods and away from cars as we walked along. We passed about 10 hikers going the other way throughout, so we had plenty of solitude. A group was removing invasive plants at the Denton Shelter area. We borrowed one of them to photograph us together. I loved hiking at Dartmouth and still enjoy it when I get a chance. This was a fantastic idea!


US-522 to Compton Gap/Skyline Drive - 5.6 miles

Hiker: Jonathan Mann '94

Compton Gap/Skyline Drive to Little Hogback Overlook/Skyline Drive - 9.5 miles

Hikers: Rob Vogel & Bonnie Malkin P'11

Today we hiked a stretch of the AT in the Shenandoah National Park near Front Royal, Virginia. First, we parked our car at the intersection of Compton Gap and Skyline Drive and hitched a ride to the intersection of Little Hogback Overlook and Skyline Drive, our starting point for the hike. We started out from the AT trailhead at Little Hogback Overlook at 9:55 am. After hiking 9.5 miles on the AT, we arrived at Compton Gap at 2:55 pm, four hours after we started.

Throughout the hike it was cool, breezy, and overcast. The conditions were perfect for walking and enjoying the immediate surroundings, although the overcast skies obscured the views in the distance. The route included several mild ascents and descents, including climbs of South Marshall (3212 ft) and North Marshall (3368 ft). Attached are two pictures that we took (with our AT-in-a-day logos) at an overlook on South Marshall.



Little Hogback Overlook/Skyline Drive to Thornton Gap/US-211 - 12.6 miles

Hiker: Dianna Griffen P'10

My husband and I are the parents of Jessica Griffen '10. We each hiked with a friend so that we could split up the miles that we committed to cover. We drove from our home in PA, for about four hours, to the central part of Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park, VA. We hiked from Thorton Gap at Rt. 211, mile marker 31.5 on Skyline Drive to mile marker 17.7 at Browntown Harris Hollow Road, by the Gravel Springs Gap Trailhead (we hiked a slightly longer section than we were asked to hike-for a total of 13.9 miles on the trail). The weather in VA was perfect for hiking-60's and partly sunny. It was quite windy along some of the exposed ridges, and the foliage was just beginning to turn. The elevation on each half of the trail rose about 1.000 feet. It was mostly rocky, but there were some flat, pine needle covered areas, which were a welcome break from the typical rocky AT we know and love.

We have been hiking various parts of the AT in VA, MD, PA and NH for the last six years, and are members of the AT Conservancy. We have backpacked and stayed in the shelters along the trail. We have especially enjoyed meeting people along the trail and hearing the stories that the "Through Hikers" tell.

The DOC has held a special place in my heart ever since we had to make a change to Jessie's first year trip date to allow her to attend her grandfather's funeral. When the student who answered the phone immediately accommodated our request, I knew this had to be a special organization. We have stayed at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, as well as other DOC cabins with Jessie, have attended Woodsman's Weekend, and have met some of the MOST AMAZING students at Dartmouth through our DOC experiences as parents these last four years!

The attached photos show Charlie Griffen P'10 in the Dartmouth shirt, with friend Park Messikomer at the start of their hike in Thornton Gap. I am pictured in the Dartmouth sweatshirt, with my friend Pam Johnson, where we finished at the Gravel Springs Gap trailhead.

Thank you all for undertaking this extravaganza and for inviting us to take part!



Thornton Gap/US-211 to Stony Man Mountain Overlook/Skyline Drive - 7.5 miles

Hiker: Wilson Choy

Stony Man Mountain Overlook/Skyline Drive to Big Meadows Wayside/Visitor Center - 11 miles

Hiker: Kathy Dubishar '82

What started out a gloomy day for the trail, turned out to be a day full of color.

Lila and Benjin and I hiked and here are some photos for your documentation, though limited of the camera-shy ones.

One of the highlights was a shuttle trip back to our car by a Mr Jenkins, who remembered first-hand some of the mountain folk who lived atop these mountains, before it became a park in 1935.

Another highlight was seeing a 10-point buck near Big Meadow. The beast was so large that we didn't even think that it was a deer at first.



Big Meadows Wayside/Visitor Center to Lewis Mountain Campground - 7.8 miles

Hiker: Henry Clarke '62

This segment of the Appalachian Trail is in the center of the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, running over the summits of Hazeltop and Bearfence Mountain and dropping below several gaps. I left Big Meadows at about 3:15 pm and reached Lewis Mountain campground at dark, 6:45 pm, practically without stopping. It was a beautiful hike, with lots of white-tailed deer, and ending with a brilliant red sunset.


Lewis Mountain Campground to Swift Run Gap/US-33 - 8.3 miles

Hiker: Stan Willenbring '95


Swift Run Gap/US-33 to Simmons Gap/Skyline Drive - 9.5 miles

Hiker: Michael Sloan '82

We completed the 9.5 mile section of the AT in Shenandoah National Park starting at Swift Run Gap/US-33 and ending at Simmons Gap/Skyline Drive. The day started cold and misty with a brisk breeze, but ended bright and clear with the Shenandoah fall colors nearing peak brilliance. The attached pictures show my wife Susan near the top of Hightop Mountain, after a climb of about 1,200 feet in the first couple of miles of the hike, and the two of us along the trail a bit further on.

Total time on the trail of about 4.5 hours. I seem to have slowed down somewhat since leaving Dartmouth 27 years ago. I was also quite a bit stiffer in the days following the hike than I remember. Hopefully, the wonderful time that we had on the hike will provide the incentive I need to get out more and get back into better shape.

We car pooled from Washington, DC with Madison Li and her friend Katie who hiked the following section of the trail from Simmons Gap to Browns Gap. The carpool made for an easy shuttle, and also gave us an opportunity to share the experience with two delightful women from the next generation.


Simmons Gap/Skyline Drive to Browns Gap/Skyline Drive - 12.2 miles

Hikers: Madison Li & Katie Daniel

The hike went well; at first, the weather was a bit unpleasant (cold and rainy), but once the weather cleared up (about an hour into the hike), everything went smoothly. The fall colors of the foliage were incredible, and the views over outlooks were amazing.


Browns Gap/Skyline Drive to Turk Gap/Skyline Drive - 11.7 miles

Hiker: Addie Smith '07

Turk Gap/Skyline Drive to US 250/I-64 - 11.4 miles

Hiker: Harrison Marks '75