A while back, I subscribed to the ATC Southern Regional Office Newsletter to keep up on activities along the Appalachian Trail in the South. In the March 2012 issue, it said …
With spring lurking around the corner, it’s an exciting time of year! We hope you’ll join us for some of the many activities that ATC and our partners are involved with this month.
The activities have been timed with the northbound migration of the 2012 thru-hiker pack, and there is no shortage of events:
March16-18: “Spring on Springer” AT Trail Fest in Dahlonega, Ga. (www.Dahlonegatrailfest.org)
March 30-31: Franklin’s April Fools Trail Days in Franklin, N.C. (www.aprilfoolstraildays.com)
April 6-7: NOC’s A.T. Founder’s Bridge Festival in Wesser, NC (www.noc.com/noccom/festivals-a-events/noc-founders-bridge-festival/)
April 21: Trailfest, Hot Springs, N.C. (www.hsclc.org/newsevents/trailfest.html)
May 18-20: Trail Days, Damascus, Va. (www.traildays.us/)
Any event that brings awareness and generates support within the community for the A.T. is a good thing, and with the 2012 thru-hiker season underway some backpackers will certainly partake.
When I hiked in the mid-90’s, Trail Days in Damascus was the “go-to” event. Thru-hikers and enthusiasts hitched from North and South along the A.T. to get there – and many traveled significant distances for the festival. Yet two well known backpacker blogs – Whiteblaze.net and Trailspace.com – have recently debated the longevity of Trail Days.
Has Trail Days lost it’s dominace as the premiere event on the A.T.? The hiking community will decide with their feet (and/or thumbs) this Spring – and they’ll have plenty of festivals from which to choose.