Appalachian Trail Long-Distance Hiking Workshop

Date Published: Oct 19, 2012

Bluemont, VA (October 18, 2012) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), in partnership with the Bears Den Trail Center, invites the public to attend a long-distance hiking workshop on Saturday, November 10, 2012 from 7:30a.m. – 4:30p.m. at the Bears Den Trail Center, located at 18393 Blueridge Mountain Road, Bluemont, Virginia. The workshop is free and open to all ages. Advance registration is required.

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. An estimated 2-3 million people visit the Trail every year, and about 2-3 thousand of those people attempt a “thru-hike”, completing the entire long-distance Trail in one journey. This one-day workshop will provide information and tips to hikers of all experience levels who are considering hiking the A.T.

"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy looks forward to providing information to hikers who are interested in getting outdoors and exploring the A.T. with a backpack, whether for a week-long trip or a six-month thru-hike of the entire A.T.”, said Laurie Potteiger, information services manager of the ATC. “Part of our mission is to educate the public on how to successfully and safely hike the Appalachian Trail while minimizing impacts on the environment."

Participants will check-in between 7:30a.m. and 8:30a.m. Coffee, tea and donuts will be provided for breakfast, but participants will need to bring their own lunch.

Workshops will run from 9:00a.m to 4:30p.m. Topics will include planning and preparation, nutrition and cooking, health and safety, Leave No Trace™ and much more. A portion of the day will be spent outdoors, where participants will learn how to pitch a tent, hang a bear bag and other outdoor skills.

Instructors include Lauralee “Blissful” Bliss, 2007 A.T. thru-hiker and 2008-2011 A.T. section-hiker, as well as Justin and Patrice La Vigne, 2011 A.T. thru-hikers.

"We are excited to host our first-ever long-distance hiking workshop at Bears Den,” said Justin La Vigne, manager of Bears Den Trail Center. “It is the ideal location to provide hands-on experiences and learn the basic principles and techniques needed for backpacking."

An optional dinner, catered by Apple House, will be available for $10.00 a person, consisting of pulled pork, side dishes, chips and drinks. Participants are also welcome to stay for a casual campfire gathering after dinner from 7:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.

Overnight accommodations will be available at the Bears Den Trail Center. Camping is $8.00 a person and indoor lodging is $15.00 a person. Anyone under 18 years of age will need to be accompanied by an adult. Checkout is on Sunday at 9:00a.m. Complimentary coffee and tea will be available, as well as pancake mix to make your own pancakes.

To register, e-mail Justin LaVigne at [email protected] by Thursday November 1, 2012.

Long-Distance Hiking Workshop
November 10, 2012
7:30a.m. – 4:30p.m.
Bears Den Trail Center, 18393 Blueridge Mountain Rd, Bluemont, VA 20135

Optional Dinner: $10.00/person
Optional Overnight Indoor Stay: $15.00/person
Optional Overnight Camping: $8.00/person (includes inside privileges)

7:30a.m. – 8:30a.m.:
8:30a.m. – 9:00a.m.: Introduction/Welcome
9:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.: Planning and Preparation, Nutrition and Cooking, Health and Safety and Leave No Trace™ Workshop
12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m.: Lunch
1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m.: Gear Essentials and Packing a Backpack Workshop
2:00p.m. – 4:00p.m.: Setting Up Camp/Outdoor Demonstration
4:00p.m. – 4:30p.m.: Wrap-up
5:30p.m. – 7:00p.m.: Optional Dinner
7:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.: Optional Campfire Gathering

For more information or to register, visit or contact Justin at[email protected].

About Bears Den Trail Center
Located 150 yards from the Appalachian Trail, Bears Den Trail Center offers an array of services, including a hiker hostel with full services, accommodations for group or private party rentals and retreats, a primitive campground and a rustic cottage for rent. Bears Den Trail Center is owned by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and is managed by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. For more information, visit

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s 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, visit

Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
Fax: 304.535.2667
Email: [email protected]

1 comment

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  1. Ismael | Oct 27, 2012
    Race entry fees are expensive you're lucky to have a low-cost sieres convenient to your house. Our local runs are rarely less that $25 which isn't a lot, but it does add up!

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