National Trails Day draws hikers from around world

On June 1, the Front Royal/Warren County Appalachian Trail Community and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club celebrated National Trails Day, a program of American Hiking Society with a guided hike along the Appalachian Trail in the G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area and “trail magic” at the trail crossing three miles south of Front Royal on U.S. 522.

A.T. ambassador Alyson Browett and PATC member Tom Johnson led the 6-mile hike, while PATC member Katherine Rindt and owners of the future Mountain Home B&B, Lisa and Scott Jenkins, treated hikers to snacks and drinks throughout the day. They also offered sunscreen, bug spray and topical first aid materials, and Scott Jenkins provided rides into town and cooked up hot dogs.

Most people who came through the “trail magic” stop were thru-hikers. All shared their trail names, place of origin, and motivations for hiking. One hiker said he was walking the trail on behalf of his brother, who loved the woods, and indicated that his hike was supporting research to help those with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Two sets of hikers were from Germany and one couple was visiting from Australia.

Front Royal/Warren County was designated an official Appalachian Trail Community by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in April 2012. A five-year renewable designation, the program is intended to

• Engage community residents, trail visitors, and stewards
• Thank communities for their decades of service to hikers and trail visitors
• Catalyze sustainable economic development around outdoor recreation and tourism
• Aid municipalities and regions with conservation asset mapping and planning
• Promote the Trail as a community resource and asset

For more information about the Front Royal/Warren County Appalachian Trail Community, visit frontroyalatcommunity.wordpress.com/ or Facebook.