Appalachian Trail Town Spotlight: Waynesboro, VA

Featured Image Photo Via Hannah Comer (Instagram: @hmabryy)

The Trail Town Spotlight series continues with Waynesboro, Virginia! This very hiker-friendly town sits off of Mile 862 going northbound, at the south doorstep to Shenandoah National Park.

Greetings from Waynesboro, Virginia

Photo by Boston Public Library

Approximate NOBO mileages:

785: Glasgow, VA

806: Buena Vista, VA

862: Waynesboro, VA

969: Front Royal, VA

1,023: Harpers Ferry, WV


Waynesboro is about four miles off the AT and is an essential resupply point before entering Shenandoah. Look for a trail angel list when you get to Rockfish Gap. These kind people will pick you up and drop you off in town (the first of many signs of Waynesboro being friendly to hikers). A good drop-off point is Ming Garden Buffet (more on this food-topia in a bit).

Many hikers spend at least a night or even a zero day here. Food, lodging, and supplies overflow in abundance. So head into town, fill your stomach at Ming’s, do a resupply at the Kroger grocery store, and then head over to whatever place you choose to stay and kick your feet up.

Places to stay

The most popular hiker lodging in town is probably the pet-friendly Quality Inn with its hiker rates and free breakfast in the morning (but no laundry machines). The Waynesboro YMCA generously offers free camping and showers to hikers. Stanimal’s 328 Hostel is hiker-run and has everything, including laundry and pick-up/return to the trail, but is a bit northwest of town. His location is easy walking distance from another Kroger and Dunkin’ Donuts though. He offers a variety of slack packing.


Rockfish Gap Outfitters is top notch and located between town and Rockfish Gap. Rocking R Ace Hardware is right next to the Quality Inn and I personally had an excellent experience there when I stopped in. The Kroger in Waynesboro is among the best of all grocery stores along the AT. You may not need to resupply as much as you normally would if you stop at waypoints along the trail through Shenandoah. After resupplying at Kroger, it’s an easy walk to the Quality Inn or the YMCA.


Whisperings of Ming Garden Buffet begin as soon as you get on the Appalachian Trail. Hikers like a good Chinese buffet restaurant, and this is widely regarded as the best one on the AT (by far). It’s basically a requirement that you go here when you are in Waynesboro.

Aside from Ming’s, Waynesboro has a true downtown with local options like Green Leaf Grill, Stella, Bella, and Lucy’s, and Heritage on Main. This is in addition to every kind of fast food there is. The Quality Inn is a short walk to all these options.

Things to do

You could easily walk from place to place in Waynesboro, resupplying and eating yourself silly. After you get enough of that though, check out the Zeus Movie Theater. The residents of Waynesboro are very friendly and stop quickly hitchhiking hikers. The movie theater’s owner gave us a ride back to Waynesboro as soon as he found out we might need a ride.

Micah’s Coffee and The French Press are two coffeeshops/stands to check out. If you want some ice cream, head to Kline’s Dairy Bar.

The people of Waynesboro have created a great experience for hikers. This town is a treasure along the AT.

Photo by Gronkca

I only covered a fraction of what Waynesboro has to offer. For a more comprehensive listing, click here.

Previous Appalachian Trail Town Spotlights:

Mile 543: Atkins, VA

Mile 1651: Manchester Center, VT

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Comments 5

  • Christine Anderson : May 22nd

    Basic City Brewing Company needs a shoutout on your Waynesboro page. They’re new for 2017, but when we visited them back in March they had a lot of hiker friendly amenities on deck. They have a shower for hikers with the deal ‘Buy a Beer, Get a Shower’ and the owner told me they’re working on permission to let hikers tent on their property.

  • 3rd Wheel : May 25th

    Stanimal’s deserves more than a mention. They will pick you up at the trailhead, and shuttle you to the Hostel. Adam Stanley will do what it takes to help hikers.

  • Putt-Putt : May 26th

    Hey Autodraft. I also hiked the AT in 2015. Also in Denver right now. Great area for outdoor activities especially hiking. Have to get used to the change in elevation though.

  • AT 2016 : May 26th

    Waynesboro has a great library, too.

    And don’t forget about ALDHA’s free hiker pavilion and large town grassy tenting area next to it, plus Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church hostel (free, too!).

    All three of these places are clustered near each other, including the already-mentioned YMCA and its free showers for hikers.

    Ming Garden Buffet and Kroger are near each other and also within walking distance of all of the above. Make a pig out of yourself at Ming and then saunter over to Kroger for a food resupply, if you can still walk.

    Ahh, Waynesboro. Loved it.

  • FatCat : May 30th

    I am glad to have discovered this site, which I’d never heard of until a chance meeting with a friendly thru-hiker at the ATC HQ over Memorial Day week-end! Best wishes to all of the hikers I met that week-end as you continue your ways to Maine (everyone I met was NOBO). Stay cool


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