• Appalachian Trail-Roan Mountain to Damascus, TN/VA, October 2-11, 2020

Appalachian Trail-Roan Mountain to Damascus, TN/VA, October 2-11, 2020

  • 02 Oct 2020
  • 11 Oct 2020
  • Appalachian Trail, TN/VA


  • Wait List Payment is due at sign up. This registration DOES NOT QUARANTEE a place on the trip. You will be notified when space becomes available.


Appalachian Trail

Roan Mountain to Damascus (NOBO) or

Damascus to Roan Mountain (SOBO)

Tennessee and Virginia

October 2-11, 2020

Co-Trip Leaders: North Bound (NOBO)/South Bound (SOBO)

NOBO: Leslie Green and Barb Shanks

SOBO: Nanette Eshelman and Shelly Burress

Type of Trip: Backpacking

Trip Cost/Deposit: $305/$155

Cancellation Date and full payment: July 3, 2020

Wilderness Level: 3

Trip Difficulty: Strenuous - 80 total miles; up to 11 miles per day; Elevation gains of up to 1000 feet per day

Policy on Fitness Self-Assessment 

Level 4: Denotes backpacking trips on established but rugged, unmaintained trail with multi-day backpacks (30-40 pounds). The hiking can e steep and sustained with long daily distances (up to 9 miles) and significant elevation change (up to 4000 feet). You should be comfortable running/biking/hiking for several hours without many breaks.

Group Size: 18/14 Maximum/Minimum

Adults Only

Note: Due to popular demand, we have expanded this trip from our original plan and will now have two groups of hikers that will hike from opposite ends of the section and cross in the middle. This will allow us to include an additional eight hikers.  Each group will have trip leaders, who will coordinate the activities of the group.

The iconic Appalachian Trail is beloved to many hikers and Damascus, aka Trail Town, is one of the quintessential locations on the trail.  This hike from Roan Mountain, TN to Damascus, VA is 76 miles in total and is designed for experienced backpackers that want to conquer a significant section of the trail over eight days of hiking. Those going on this trip should be serious backpackers who are willing and able to arise early, efficiently hit the trail, and cover an average of 10 miles per day. It will be a self-sufficient trip, meaning you will bring your own gear and trail meals. Still, we will hike, eat, and work together to create the companionship that is the hallmark of any CIWC trip.

NOBO (Northbound) will start the hike from at the Mountain Harbor Hostel in Roan Mountain, TN.  Features of the hike include Laurel Falls, Watugua Dam, and numerous high viewpoints. The elevation challenges in this section are moderate by AT standards, but still provide a challenge. The fall foliage may be starting to show, especially as we traverse the upper elevations.

SOBO (Southbound) will start from Woodchuck Hostel in Damascus and hike south, using all the stops and sites of the NOBO group, but in the opposite direction. Both NOBOs and SOBOs will stay together mid-trip at Boots-Off Hostel.  From here hikers can also go to a nearby town to resupply for the final four days of hiking.  

SOBOs will continue to Mountain Harbor Hostel where they will pick up the club van and bring it back to Damascus for a rendezvous with the NOBO Group who will be finishing the trip there.  NOBOs and SOBOs will all spend Saturday night back at the Woodchuck Hostel in Damascus.

Damascus, VA, which is steeped in trail culture as the home of Trail Days that draws 10,000 hikers every June. The Woodchuck Hostel, where we will be staying is rated by many hikers as one of the best on the AT. There are plenty of places around town to get a post-hike meal and pleasant places to stroll about.

The trip cost includes transportation in the club van (NOBO) or passenger cars (SOBO), all overnight accommodations, and breakfasts at three hostels. You are responsible for all other meals and snacks both on the road and on the trail. Recipes and suggestions will be provided as requested. Please note that we start the trip on a Friday and travel back the following Sunday. NOBOs and SOBOs will leave and return to the Indianapolis area from the same location.

There are pre-requisite training hikes prior to the trip for those on the active and waiting list. Participants must agree to a strong regimen of conditioning hiking in advance of the trip. Leaders will be in contact accordingly.

Questions may be submitted to ciwcinfo@gmail.com.

All trip participants must fill out and submit a CIWC Medical Form  and Long Waiver Form.  

Effective on all trips, there will be a $50 non refundable registration fee. This fee will be assessed to those who sign up for a trip, get on the roster and then later cancel. Even cancelling before the cancel date. Those who never make the active roster (i.e. those who stay on the waitlist) will NOT be charged the $50 cancellation fee. 

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