What You Need to Know About Appalachian Trail Days

May 9, 2024

Appalachian Trail Days, an annual festival celebrating all things A.T., is coming up May 17-19, 2024, in Damascus, Virginia. Curious about Trail Days or planning your trip? We’ve gathered the information about our programming and other can’t miss Trail Days happenings to help you make the most of your time at Appalachian Trail Days.

Appalachian Trail Days welcomes everyone to join in the festivities. Whether you’re a seasoned thru-hiker, a weekend warrior, or simply curious about the A.T., there’s something for everyone to enjoy. At the heart of the action lies the Damascus Trail Center, where the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will host engaging events and activities.

From educational workshops to gear raffles, there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the Trail and its vibrant community. Here’s a glimpse of what the ATC has in store for attendees: 

Friday, May 17 

Virginia Native Wildlife: Delve into the fascinating world of Virginia’s native wildlife and learn about responsible recreation practices. 

Outdoor Gear Raffles: Don’t miss your chance to win fantastic outdoor gear at multiple raffle sessions throughout the day. 

Meet & Greet with BearVault: Join in discussions on proper food storage techniques while backpacking and test your skills with BearVault canisters. 

I’ve Got a Trail to Tell: Explore the history and significance of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. 

Head Outside Award Acceptance: Celebrate outdoor enthusiasts and their contributions to the community at the inaugural Head Outside Awards Ceremony. 

Saturday, May 18 

Meet & Greet with BearVault: Engage in more discussions and games centered around bear canister usage and safety. 

Outdoor Gear Raffles: Another opportunity to win premium outdoor gear. 

Thru-Hiker Parade: Beginning at 2 p.m., A.T. thru-hikers will walk through Damascus, ending in Town Park. Water balloons are not allowed, but super soakers are very much encouraged!

Hardcore Reunion: Join the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoe Club for a nostalgic celebration of past HardCore work trips. HardCore volunteers gained notoriety for their work in Damascus during the busy thru-hiker season. 

Hiker Talent Show: Don’t miss the hiker talent show, beginning at 4 p.m. on the Town Park Stage.

Journey to Kings Mountain: Experience a dramatic retelling of a pivotal moment in American history. 

Also at 2 p.m. on Saturday, don’t miss the thru-hiker parade that passes right in front of the Damascus Trail Center!

 Sunday, May 19 

Book Signing and Lecture with Tim Kaine: Meet U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, author of “Walk, Ride, Paddle: A Life Outside,” and gain insights into his remarkable journey through the Virginia wilderness. 

Throughout the weekend, visitors can find the Appalachian Trail Conservancy booth at the Damascus Trail Center, serving as a hub of information, engagement, and celebration. Don’t miss your chance to connect with fellow outdoor enthusiasts and learn more about how you can support the ongoing and future efforts to protect  the A.T. and its landscape. For more information and a detailed schedule of events, please visit https://appalachiantrail.org/event/2024-appalachian-trail-days/.

To see more events, the live music lineup, and an event map, please see the Appalachian Trail Days Festival Guide.

Join us as we come together to honor the Appalachian Trail and the incredible community that surrounds it. See you there!