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96 Guide & Harpers Ferry
Wingfoot's 96 Guide is now out, and if you look at the beginning of
the section on Central Virginia, you'll find the following:
"Several private facilities listed in older guidebooks have welcomed thru-
hikers passing through this section in recent years. This year, management
of some heavily used facilities requested that no printed information be
provided for thru-hikers, to limit availability somewhat, so your author
is honoring these requests. Keep in mind that any information appearing in
older guidebooks may not be up-to-date or reliable for this year's hiking
purposes. Word-of-mouth information will no doubt be available along the
There is no mention of Rusty's in his book this year.
I decided to go out to Harpers Ferry today and see what that section of
the C & O canal looks like. Basically, on the Maryland side, the towpath
has been scoured away for several hundred yards, it appears. The Park service
has closed and locked the gate on the crossing across the trestle; I was
able to get a glimpse of the area from the road on the Maryland side. I
hiked about 3/4 mile from under the 340 bridge on the towpath, and encountered
one major break. Just past milepost 60, the Park service has put up a fence
and closed the area. The trestle seemed to look ok from what I could see,
and trains are using it.
I did some mileage calculations on what I think the relo is going to be.
>From where the AT comes down to the 340 bridge over the Shenandoah to the
Amoco station before the eastern 340 bridge over the Potomac is 1.5 miles.
(The Amoco station is pretty well stocked with sodas and simple snack foods).
>From the Amoco station across the bridge, right on Maryland 180 (sign says
Valley Road/Keep Tryst Road) down Keep Tryst road, past the AYH Harpers Ferry
Hostel, to where the AT rejoins Keep Tryst road at the railroad tracks is
2.2 miles. Total distance from 340 Shenandoah bridge to railroad tracks is
However, if you decide to take the Loudoun Heights Trail down to the 340
bridge, that section of trail is 3.2 miles long till 340, and it is 0.3 miles
from the Amoco station. Thus, the roadwalk would be 2.5 miles, plus 3.2 miles
of side trail.
Hope this info might be of use for hikers this year.