Putting Up Bigger Miles in Virginia

I have now hiked over 1,300 miles and I’ve made it through PA, MD, WV, and I’m well into Virginia.

I’ve lost track of how many bears I’ve seen, but thankfully no scary encounters. I’ve been able to increase my daily mileage and I’m feeling good. I did my first 20-mile day last week, and if there was more daylight I would be ready to try for 25. It’s a blast to push myself physically and I’m amazed how my body recovers overnight.

Doyle Hotel

One of my favorite town stops so far was in Duncannon, PA. I stayed at the Doyle Hotel, which was built in 1903. It was one of over 100 hotels built by Anheuser Busch and was a grand hotel back in the day. It’s now a total dive and rooms are only $25 a night, but it’s full of funky charm and history. It’s been a hiker hotel for about 20 years and has a great bar, plus an amazing porch to hang out in.

Boiling Springs, PA

My next stop was Boiling Springs, PA, which is very hiker friendly and even has a campsite in town. I met a couple at the Boiling Springs Tavern and had a great chat over dinner at the bar. When they got up to leave they insisted on paying my bill. Thank you, RL Simons.

Harpers Ferry

I spent two nights in Harpers Ferry, WV, and really enjoyed my stay. So much history and such a cool town. The hike into town includes about three miles on the C&O Canal Path, which was used to tow barges into Washington, DC, with mules back in the day. Dave and Jacquie Mercer drove over and took me out for a steak dinner. I’ve known Dave since grade school and it was great to catch up. Thanks, Dave and Jacquie.

Shenandoah National Park

I’m currently in Shenandoah National Park and really enjoying this stretch. The trail covers over 100 miles in the park and the scenery is spectacular.


Mr Maps

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Comments 5

  • TicTac : Nov 5th

    Thanks for the updates. I especially loved the photo at Harper’s Ferry which showed the impressive cliff on the North side of the Potomac. Most people’s photos at this spot highlight the rivers converging, but you chose to highlight the prominent cliff. Great eye.
    As long as you have a good headlamp, night hiking will be the secret to continuing to make good miles as days are shorter. Just develop confidence in your night eyes and go for longer days.

    • Paul Monsen : Nov 5th

      Thanks for the suggestion
      I haven’t done any night hiking yet but maybe it’s time I give it a try!

  • Eddy Grunenwald : Nov 9th

    Great stuff, Paul. Enjoying your vivid descriptions while planning my own through.

  • Chris Lamb : Nov 12th

    Stay with you at Garvey shelter. My friend and I. Someone saw you and had a picture on the AT section hikers page and it was cool to see you getting it. Best wishes as you hammer out Virginia!


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