Three scouts and three leaders started the 50 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail (AT) in the Shenandoah National Forest on July 3rd, setting out from the Loft Mountain wayside parking area in the early evening.
The first evening's hike was a good warm-up for what was ahead. The first half-mile was a steep climb from 2,800 feet at the parking area to the AT at the peak of the 3,300 feet Rocky Top Mountain.
|Troop 466 hikers atop Rocky Top Mountain, July 3rd, 2012|
The first day's hike was rugged, with several climbs and descents. But due to the late start, the total distance hiked the first day was relatively short, a little over five miles. Despite the short distance, there was plenty of bear scat on the trail.
There was also some human refuse at a construction site at the Ivy Creek parking area. The picture below shows the scouts pitching in to clean up the refuse from the construction site.
Troop 466 leaving no trace at Ivy Creek Overlook construction site.
The first night camp was at Pinefield shelter, shown below. Three other hikers - hiking from Tennessee - joined the troop at the shelter soon after the troop's arrival. These Tennessee hikers had seen a black bear on the trail just before reaching the shelter. The scouts were surprised, and a little relieved, that they had not seen the bear. They could not have been far from it.
|"Did you see that bear?"|
This hike can be viewed on Google Maps via this link