Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitor Center Hosts Hiking Season Kickoff

Date Published: Apr 20, 2012

On Saturday, May 5th, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) will host an event to celebrate the arrival of the spring hiking season at the ATC’s Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry, WV. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.

The beginning of May marks the arrival of northbound thru-hikers in Harpers Ferry, the psychological half-way point of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Day-hikers and overnight hikers are also taking advantage of the warmer temperatures.

To kick off the season, experienced hikers will give presentations on long distance hiking, kids will have the opportunity to get temporary A.T. tattoos, and gear displays will illustrate day-hiking and backpacking basics, including “the Ten Essentials.”

The ATC staff will also be available throughout the day to answer questions, give day-hike and backpacking suggestions, and provide maps and guides.


When: May 5, 2012 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitor Center
799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry, WV


11:00 a.m. – 2011 Thru-hike Presentation: Justin & Patrice Lavigne “Deal” and “Steadee,” managers of Bears Den Trail Center, will give a talk about their 2011 southbound thru-hike. They will also offer gear tips and advice for long distance backpacking.

1:00 p.m. - Thru-hiker Q&A: Current 2012 thru-hikers will be available to answer questions and tell stories about their experiences on the Appalachian Trail in their first thousand miles from Georgia to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

2:00 p.m. - Women and the Trail: Lauralee Bliss “Blissful”, who has recently completed both an A.T. thru-hike and an A.T. section-hike and is an avid day-hiker, will provide tactics and advice for women hikers, including how to face mental, physical, and emotional challenges.

These presentations will be held at the Curtis Freewill Baptist Church, which is part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The church is located off of Storer College Place, which is adjacent to the ATC’s Visitor Center. The parking lot behind this church is available for event attendees.

Directions to the visitor center can be found at or contacting (304) 535-6331.    

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information please visit

Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.6331
Email: [email protected]

1 comment

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  1. Billie | Jul 10, 2012
    This is to Kaye who has left comments on this blog sereval times so far. Why are you so scolding? You are the one that is generalizing about Emily. You don't know her personally. Emily's post, which obviously got your knickers in a twist, was clearly between Emily and sereval very specific men, and one in particular, that she felt was not very welcoming. This had nothing to do with you or were you there? In my experience, it is certainly within the realm of possibility that Emily detected a frat boy mentality from those guys. As a woman, I know I have many times in my lifetime. Besides, it's her call, as she is the person who experienced it and she has the human right to perceive and respond to things in any way she chooses. I'm glad she put them in their place by showing them that she is strong, competent, and capable of hiking on that trail. Also, Emily doesn't need constructive criticism from me, you or anybody else about hiking the trail. This is her hike and she can feel or say or do anything she likes. She can hike with or without a tent, she can hike fast or slow, she can hike in her bare feet or on her hands or backwards even. I don't understand why you care. Don't read her blog if her hiking decisions are so out of line .

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