View Full Version : Pearisburg to Catawba--Critique our Itinerary and Other Questions

2009-06-28, 22:55
Hello, All,

A while back, I posted a poll on which long section of the AT we should do first. The winner ended up being Pearisburg to Catawba, VA, and on further reflection, I think that is about the easiest of the stretches I listed. So we will be doing that. The one problem is, it's going to be in mid-August (8th through 16th). So here's my questions:

1.) First, please critique our itinerary. We're planning to drive down on Saturday the 8th and hopefully stay at the Rendezvous in Pearisburg. The actual hiking would go like this:
Sunday 9th: Rendezvous to Rice Field Shelter (6.8 miles).
Monday 10th: Rice Field to Pine Swamp Branch Shelter (12.5 miles).
Tuesday 11th: Pine Swamp to campsite near the Potts Mountain Trail (9 miles).
Wednesday 12th: PMT to Laurel Creek Shelter (9.5 miles).
Thursday 13th: Laurel Creek to Niday Shelter (12.4 miles).
Friday 14th: Niday to Pickle Branch Shelter (10.1 miles).
Saturday 15th: Pickle Branch to VA 311/Catawba (12.6 miles).

Then drive home Saturday night and Sunday morning. The object is to try to avoid more than one major uphill per day. I am a bit concerned about whether the final day is too rough or not, so I'm open to suggestions on that.
2.) Will it be insufferably hot?
3.) Will it be insufferable buggy?
4.) How hard will it be to find water?
5.) How safe is it to park for a week at VA 311? I seem to remember once upon a time seeing a warning about vandalism there, but I can't find it on either the Rohland or ATC sites, so perhaps I had that confused with something else.

Any other information would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help!

2009-06-29, 09:01
2) YES.... Be sure to keep hydrated, also you may want to start early, find a shady spot for a nap during the heat of the day, then continue on (which may include night hiking)

3) I have memories of pine swamp and laurel creek being really buggy, don't remember the others