UPDATE FOR 2018
Trail Magic for 2018 is a thing of the past... a lot dryer this year, but a lot more people - the additional stuff we brought this year still only lasted til Thursday at Noon.
WHAT IS TRAIL MAGIC?
In the realm of long-distance Thru-Hiking, on trails like the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Pacific Coast Trail, etc., where hikers can be on the trail for many months, a tradition has arisen where people would leave coolers or boxes with food, drink or supplies at spots along the trail or at Trailheads, free of charge, for the hikers to enjoy.
WHY DO WE DO IT?
Generally, those who are interested in being a "Trail Angel" - people who do the Trail Magic - are hiker's themselves, who either have benefited by other peoples' Trail Magic over the years, or can imagine the relief and joy in being days away from re-supply and finding someone giving out simple things like drinks, energy bars, fresh fruit, or just fresh water without having to filter it in a creek.
Only after you experience sitting at a trailhead offering supplies, food and drink to hikers who have, for the most part, dedicated an entire 6 months of their lives to the hike, and watch their reaction when they come across Magic unexpectedly, can you answer that... both of you benefit. The stories you hear are priceless; the people you meet are memorable; and their appreciation is palpable... it's just a good feeling to 'pay back' past kindnesses.
WHAT WILL WE BE DOING SPECIFICALLY??
Between May 21st and May 25th, I set up a large tarp over a picnic table with chairs and folding tables at the Virginia Highway 603 trailhead for the AT, west of Troutdale, VA. There is a small clearing in the woods adjacent to the trail, with a stone firepit, and room for tent or hammock camping. I bring a cooler full of drinks, 5 gal containers of fresh water, and an assortment of basic snacks and fruit. I will also have an assortment of supplies that are often needed 500 miles into a trip of this nature, like medical supplies, ointments, duct tape, shoelaces, deodorant - a wide variety of 'stuff' you'd like weeks into a backpacking trip. The amount of supplies provided, in addition to my own donated supplies, corresponds with the GoFundMe donations I ask you to help with.
This basic Trail Magic setup will be manned the entire time, either by myself alone, or in conjunction with people who will come up with resupplies and their own goodies to hand out. When others are available, I may take a break to go resupply the water and remove the trash to the campground nearby. There are no trashcans within many miles of this trailhead, and almost ALL hikers adhere to a Leave No Trace policy in the woods.
I will be rustic camping at the trailhead as well, enjoying the company of hikers for early morning coffee or late night hot chocolate around the firepit. I expect some of my help will get a site at the nearby campground and come join me during the day.
I've found that nearly 100% of thru-hikers will stop and take advantage of the offerings, and most often stop for at least an hour - and in some cases they will camp right there, enjoying the company, and the Magic. I've had some people stay for several days!
Check the Navigation Menu above for other information, and ways you can either join us, or help with donated supplies or funds. THANK YOU for your help!
ver. 7.2 ~ © 2012-