Hike / 23 miles / 4,160 ft. ascent / 11 hours 21 minutes
Twelve of us met in Harpers Ferry at 8 am Sunday morning for a long hike south on the Appalachian Trail to Bear Chase brewery.
Lexi backtracked into town to retrieve one of the group who missed the start, so we formed a sub-group at the back.
We were all keen as mustard setting off and set a good pace up Loudoun Heights (1 hour to the junction, including all the backtracking). From there we continued south along the A.T. past the Harpers Ferry park boundary, past the power line break, and onto Keys Gap.
We stopped for lunch at the David Lesser shelter, probably an hour behind the lead group by now. We had hoped to catch up over the day, but we’d lost another half hour before Keys Gap searching for Mike’s phone (in his bag! 🤣).
The big milestone in the second half of the walk was Raven Rocks, around the 18 mile mark. The trail starts to undulate again in the couple of miles before and I think everyone was starting to feel the effects of the previous 15 miles. I lent my poles to Lexi to help her manage a niggle in her knee.
Lexi opted to finish at Raven Rocks trailhead at mile 20, where she met our support crew and headed over to Bear Chase brewery in the car. I’ve stopped here twice before too, once on my own and once with Pete.
Jacob and I wanted to walk the last few miles to a final lookout at Bear’s Den, before walking to the finish line at the brewery.
The evening light was beautiful for the final climb up to Bear’s Den. There was no one on the trail, but quite a lot of people at the lookout, since you can drive in from the other side.
It was cold and windy at the lookout so we didn’t hang around. We were both pretty tired and eager to get to Bear Chase brewery for some food.
What a day! This is a wonderful hike and it was fun to experience it with Lexi and friends.