Appalachian Ice Cream: The Top 10 Ice Cream Stops on My Trek of the AT
OK folks, let’s get serious about something. ICE CREAM.
If you know anything about me and most long-distance hikers that I’ve met along my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail this year (2019), you know that WE LOVE ICE CREAM. We usually come floating on fumes into town and are looking for sweet, sweet calories. What better way to fill our tanks than with something delicious?!
As I continued along my journey north, I found myself enjoying ice cream every chance that I could. This became somewhat of a trend for friends and family watching along on social media. Friends couldn’t wait to see my next “sweet” photo (pun intended). I even received messages from friends, making sure I was alright, if I hadn’t posted one in a while. I enjoyed a lot of ice cream during the five and a half months I spent enjoying the trail. As many people have requested, I have decided to make a ranking of some of my favorite ice cream stops.
Disclaimer: there are many more ice creams not pictured. Also this ranking is only my opinion.
So let’s get right to it. My TOP 10 ice cream treats of the Appalachian Trail!
Scoggins Cool Shack
This was the last ice cream I had on trail, so it gets a spot on the list for that. Also, who doesn’t like a classic twist soft serve with jimmies/sprinkles?
Billy T’s Northside Dairy Bar
This dairy bar had some really unique treats, and I was really happy with one of my favorites: hot fudge sundae with peanut butter sauce and peanuts. One of their unique treats had rainbow ice cream with cotton candy and candy bits. I didn’t dare try it, but a friend did and she was all for it!
Zoe’s Ice Cream Emporium
Delaware Water Gap, PA
All I have to say, is homemade chocolate ice cream and a homemade waffle cone to celebrate finishing the torturous state of PA!
Top 10 Ice Cream Stops on the Appalachian Trail
#10 Diane’s Twist Ice Cream
Diane’s was right on trail and offered hikers a place to stop for lunch, a treat, and a cold soda. We stopped to take a rest and have a sandwich, and you know I couldn’t say no to a cone. I opted for the brownie ice cream, and it was good. Vanilla ice cream with brownie chunks was definitely a little different. Normally brownie pieces would be in chocolate ice cream, but honestly, I felt it new and cool. Not to mention, Diane was a sweetheart!
#9 C&C Frozen Treats
Front Royal, VA
Flavor: Chocolate Brownie
Finishing the SNP section of the trail calls for a celebration! We spent half a day in Front Royal and debated on stopping in for ice cream. C&C was right on the main drag near the hiker base camp (definitely check it out). Chocolate brownie ice cream on a homemade waffle cone was exactly what I needed. Super rich and creamy! The ice cream shop also had a funny carnival mirror that we laughed while enjoying our cones!
#8 Tacos & Cones
After getting into town, resupplying, and enjoying a hot meal at the pub, we were on the search for a good treat. We stumbled into this place and loved the art on the wall. I settled for a s’mores waffle cone (noticing a trend on cone choice?) and was not disappointed! I remember the flavor of the actual ice cream being really flavorful and oh-so-good!
#7 Sweet Peas Ice Cream
Flavor: Camo Hero
As a veteran, I really appreciated this sweet treat. Camo Hero is a green-colored toasted marshmallow and graham-flavored ice cream with peanut butter frosting and chunks of chocolate cookies. It was super rich and exactly what I needed on that day!
#6 Bellvale Farms Creamery
Flavor: Blueberry Swirl
After a hot and waterless day on the trail, I knew this creamery was only a few extra steps off trail. After chugging a liter of spigot water from the side of the building, I was greeted with a long line to get my sweet treat. I found out why the line was so long soon. Homemade batches of ice cream and friendly staff; I was very satisfied with my waffle cone. It was creamy and not too rich. Some members of our group went back for a second cone!
#5 Shenandoah National Park Waysides
Shenandoah National Park, VA
Haven’t we all heard about the MAGICAL BLACKBERRY MILKSHAKES at the waysides in SNP? We were so excited to get to try the trail-famous milkshakes, but were super sad when every single wayside claimed their milkshake machine was broken. Sure SNP, they are all broken… smh. Luckily they had a deliciously redeeming treat. Their hard scoop blackberry ice cream was a great alternative.
It may have not been the legendary milkshake, but the blackberry ice cream was a close second.
#4 Moose Scoops Ice Cream
My tramily and I found ourselves in Warren, NH, needing a resupply and a hot breakfast. Warren was a blip on the map, but we struck gold while we were there. Aside from the actual missile and the bomb.com breakfast we had, we found Moose Scoops Ice Cream.
They offered free Wi-Fi, a place for us to hang out, inside and out, and delicious ice cream. They had homemade waffle cones, which is always a bonus! They had a large assortment of flavors to choose from, and I chose well with s’mores!
#3 Kline’s Dairy Bar
Flavor: Hot Fudge Sundae w/ Peanut Butter Sauce and Whipped Cream
One of my absolute favorite ice cream treats is a hot fudge sundae with peanut butter sauce. Kline’s really knew how to hit the spot! This place is located off trail in the town of Waynesboro. The soft serve was so creamy and the peanut butter sauce was PERFECT! The only downside to this treat was I had to pay 50 cents for whipped cream. You’re killin’ me, Kline’s!
#2 Brushy Mountain Outpost
Flavor: Blueberry Cheesecake
THE RUNNER-UP! For some reason, Brushy Mountain Outpost sticks out in my mind! After hanging out and enjoying lunch at this little gem of a place I decided I needed a sweet treat.
This flavor was so rich and delicious. There were chunks of cheesecake that were creamy and amazing. I remember thinking I had hit the jackpot with how many pieces of cheesecake were in this cone. The waffle cone was crunchy to boot!
#1 Heaven Hill Farm
Flavor: Graham Central
This was MY FAVORITE ICE CREAM ON TRAIL. Let’s set the scene…
It was a super hot day in sunny New Jersey and I was sweaty! I knew that there was a roadside market and hot dog stand coming up. As I made it to the road, I turned left and found myself standing out front of Heaven Hill. I entered and found the ice cream and decided to try a flavor I’ve never tried before: Graham Central. It was a graham cracker-flavored ice cream with chocolate-covered pretzel pieces.
It was such a dreamy flavor and the waffle cone was crispy, just the way I love it! Perhaps it was the hot day, the good mood I was in, or the flavor of ice cream, but here you have it folks. My number one ice cream of the entire AT!
PS: This flavor was also in the dining facility at Dartmouth where we were swiped in for a free hot meal. I was so happy to be reunited with this ice cream.
Well folks, there you have it. The most important blog post of my entire thru-hike. Now go out into the world and eat your heart out.
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