Weekend Pick: Trail Days Festival
One of the most beautiful places in the Southeast, if not the U.S., just happens to be where three of the core states of the Blue Ridge come together. The intersection of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee on the edge of National Forest land encompasses those traits we hold dear at Blue Ridge Outdoors, and we’re sure you do too. Small towns, open spaces, mountains, and rivers dot the landscape around this trifecta of states bisected by the Southern Appalachians. If it is adventure you are after in the Blue Ridge, this is the place to get it with the Virginia Creeper Trail, Mt. Rogers and Grayson Highlands, the South Holston and New rivers, and much more all within striking distance. Plus, the Appalachian Trail runs right through the region, and right through downtown Damascus, on it’s way into the mountains of Virginia. Indeed, Damascus touts itself as “Trail Town USA” due to the A.T., Creeper, Iron Mountain, Daniel Boone Heritage, and Crooked Road Musical Heritage trails all running through town or right by it.
With this distance trail lineage, it is no wonder Damascus plays host to one of the biggest trail festivals along the A.T. Trail Days is a weekend long celebration of everything A.T. and distance hiking related, scheduled to coordinate with thru-hikers passing through town. This small hamlet becomes flooded with thru-hikers, former thru-hikers, campers, bikers, and plain old hiking enthusiasts. Vendors have the latest camping and backpacking gear on hand to demo or purchase and there are hiking workshops, clinics, and lectures from legends like Warren Doyle, Bill Walker and Jennifer Pharr Davis. Plus, free gear repair, gear auction, and of course the hiker parade. There is live music played by the pros throughout the day, and played by the amateurs at the campgrounds during the evening.
This is the biggest and most robust hiking festival in the area, so if you are an A.T. enthusiast, it is not to be missed. Even if you are just getting into the distance or ultralight scene, or want to start, this is the place to be, where old and young, thru-hikers and A.T. alumni share their experiences, stories, and good will from the trail and beyond. Plus, the BRO Roadshow will be there so swing by the tent, say hey to Martha and the newest member of the BRO team Jess, and sign up to win some great prizes in our raffles being held throughout the weekend.