Located along one of the main thoroughfares of America’s westward expansion and smack in the middle of some of the most spectacular mountain ranges and outdoor recreation spots in Virginia

Harrisonburg, Va.

Located only 18 miles to the west of the A.T., Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, Harrisonburg, Virginia is a gateway to some of our country’s true national treasures.  Harrisonburg is also just minutes from the famed Shenandoah River and is known as the sweet spot in the Valley for all levels of cycling. To the east you’ll find the North River Ranger District of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest that provides even more opportunities to get outside and play! Harrisonburg was ranked nationally by Backpacker Magazine as a top spot for families to “beat nature deficit disorder.”

It’s no wonder why A.T. hikers and visitors love to spend time in Harrisonburg. Nestled in the scenic Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg is a trendy city filled with locally-owned restaurants, museums, art galleries and shops that connect historic downtown Harrisonburg to James Madison University.

With so many great outdoor recreational assets surrounding this beautiful city, the idea of becoming an A.T. Community felt like a perfect fit. It didn’t take long for a committee to form and  to start working on their application, once they heard about this. The committee members include local government, small business, non-profit organizations, education and private citizens.

Thanks to involvement from Potomac Appalachian Trail Club members Mark and Betty Gatewood along with other volunteers, Harrisonburg​ works with local youth on various educational and service-learning programs. In addition to further opening the doors to welcome hikers of all kinds from the Trail into the community for a respite and to experience a unique taste of Virginia culture, Harrisonburg hopes to be a part of the complete experience that leads so many people to strike out for America’s wilderness. It is the goal of the Advisory Committee to better inform and inspire local residents to explore the A.T.

Plan your Appalachian Trail adventure and Harrisonburg stay today! Visit the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center or request a free Visitor Guide.


These businesses support the Trail by taking part in the A.T. Community Supporter program.


Get Involved

Potomac Appalachian Trail Club

Potomac Appalachian Trail Club

The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) has enhanced the mid-Atlantic outdoor experience since 1927, including 240 miles of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The PATC maintains trails, shelters and cabins, and they make maps and guidebooks for outdoor adventurers. Learn more and become a member today at patc.net.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

ATC Volunteer Program

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is always looking for dedicated volunteers to help maintain the A.T. and assist in our visitor center and headquarters. Opportunities range from greeting visitors and providing information about local hikes to joining a Trail crew for week-long maintenance trips, gaining first-hand experience in what it takes to keep the A.T. open and enjoyable for millions each year. Learn more at appalachiantrail.org/volunteer.