Newest Member of the Appalachian Trail Community
The Appalachian Trail, or the AT as it’s affectionately called, might as well run through the heart of Waynesboro. It doesn’t, of course.
But it is so loved by the community that it has been officially named as the newest Appalachian Trail Community member by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
It’s easy to see why!
Hikers who trudge into the Afton Mountain visitor’s center are treated like honored guests. Free rides to the Waynesboro YMCA for showers are offered, as well as a place to sleep, and a tour of the town.
Not to mention, a kind word from one of Waynesboro’s Trail Angels. Hikers are also offered a free ride back to Afton Mountain once they’ve showered at the YMCA.
According to Dwayne Jones, director of Waynesboro Parks and Recreation, “It’s one of the most storied trails in the country in our backyard.” It’s also a high honor that the city doesn’t take lightly.
What Waynesboro Offers as an Appalachian Trail Community
When you’re hiking any portion of the AT’s 2185 miles, at some point you need supplies. And that’s what Waynesboro offers easily and with great hospitality. The City is so close to the Appalachian Trail’s entrance (just two miles away), it is a resource for many hikers passing through.
Because of the large volume of hikers, community members, City departments, and organizations worked together to create tools to make hikers’ brief stay more comfortable as well as efficient.
AT hikers can find within a four block radius, a post office, full-service grocery store, library, and the YMCA for showers.
The Waynesboro Parks and Recreation has also designated land for overnight camping, which is equipped with a solar charging station and a pavilion.
The Waynesboro Area Learning Tree, located in downtown Waynesboro, allows hikers free use of the internet. Many local community members offer rides for hikers to various destinations.
Lastly, the City of Waynesboro produces the “Waynesboro Hikers Guide” for AT backpackers. It helps hikers acquaint themselves with the City’s resources. You can download a copy here. Or pick up a hard copy at the Waynesboro Tourism Office.
Rockfish Gap Visitors Center is just off of the Appalachian Trail, and it’s also a good source of information about the area, or to arrange a town shuttle.
It’s Waynesboro’s community commitment that encourages everyone to explore the great outdoors and to take pride in it!