Front Royal, Virginia: An Appalachian Trail Community

Front Royal, VA, in magnificent Warren County, is the nation's 15th official Appalachian Trail Community(TM), as announced by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

The Designation Celebration on April 21, 2012 included a 5.5-mile guided hike along the Appalachian Trail with Tom Johnson, trail historian and former president of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club -- which maintains 240 miles of the trail.

Presentations on the town square were designed, according to steering committee member and thru-hiker Sonja Carlborg, "to teach a skill. For example, the Venture Crew will set up a model campsite with demonstrations on bear-proofing your food and other camping skills. They'll also set up an orienteering course and teach people how to use a compass. Front Royal Canoe Company will have a variety of boats on hand, showing people how to paddle a canoe or kayak - and there are lots of other activities."

Speakers included Front Royal Mayor Timothy Darr, Archie Fox, Chairman of the Warren County Supervisors, National Park Service Superintendents Pam Underhill (Appalachian National Scenic Trail), Martha Bogle (Shenandoah National Park), and Appalachian Trail Conservancy Executive Director Mark Wenger.

The Appalachian Trail Community(TM) program is designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the Appalachian Trail (AT). Towns, counties, and communities along the AT's corridor are considered assets by AT hikers and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the trail. The program serves to assist communities with sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting the AT.

Designation as an Appalachian Trail Community(TM) and participation in the program has these goals:

  • Engage community citizens, trail visitors and stewards
  • Recognize and thank communities for their service to the trail and hikers
  • Act as a catalyst for enhancing sustainable economic development
  • Aid local municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning
  • Help local community members see the trail as a resource and asset

Click Here for Information on Front Royal, VA: An Official AT Community

Click Here for Information on Appalachian Trail Communities

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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