True Trail Magic

One of the most anticipated unscripted events on the Trail is “trail magic”. We all are eager to sit down for a few minutes and eat- often something fresh or hot. The real trail magic, however, is the people who bring the treats. Two weeks ago, an excited young hiker strode by me, shouting, “trail magic at Reid’s Gap”.

He was hurrying to meet up with his mom and girlfriend who had a car load of fresh fruit and homemade goodies to share.All of us, friends and fellow hikers, benefitted from this overflow of love. 

Another time, a troop of middle school Boy Scouts set up awnings and a grill in a rather remote part of Shenandoah NP where there was no water source for more than 7 miles. In the midst of cold, rainy woods freshly grilled hotdogs and dry seats out of the rain greeted us.I was especially warmed by the friendly conversation with the scout leaders. One of the leaders had brought along ponchos for those of us that didn’t have proper rain gear.

I gained not only a warm meal but a more effective rain covering from those Boy Scouts. Thank you!

My friend, Weatherman, tells of being approached in Walmart shopping for resupply by a man asking to give him a ride back to trail. He had his wife wait outside to pick him up and drive him.

Yesterday, a wonderful older couple set up at a road crossing waving all hikers over. They entreated us to sit down and rest and eat up. They had thought of everything- even toilet paper for resupply and wrapped mints for our pockets. Their only request was to sign their book and tell them about ourselves. We walked away feeling very blessed by these two.

My favorite and best trail magic has been half of my family meeting me in Big Meadows to celebrate birthdays and Mothers Day with me and experience some of the AT. Mygranddaughters had been “practicing” hiking so they could try the Appalachian Trail. (In truth, they’re already good hikers.) 

My husband surprised me with a couple nights in the lodge at Big Meadows for my birthday. And in God’s providence, they were the worst weather days I have had yet. I was able to sleep in a dry,warm bed each night!

My daughter, son, their spouses, and 4 of my grandkids came to camp and hike some of the trail with me.


Being able to share the views, flowers, wildlife, and even some of the difficulties along the trail brought me more joy than I had anticipated. To top it off, my son orchestrated a Mother’s Day waffle breakfast before we all departed. Happy, full, and loved.

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Comments 3

  • Laura Damizno : May 19th

    You go girl!!! Blessings on this amazing journey!

    • Lisa Thompson : May 20th

      You’ve got this!! Just keep hiking. Show your body, who’s Boss! Praying for you as you journey along!

  • Donna : May 20th

    Love the Trail Magic by all the lovely magicians out there. Thankyou for sharing your appreciation and love for all this goodness! What an inspiration you are and so glad you could meet up with your family and hiking clan for those days! Hike on inspirational hiker! 🥾💖


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