The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine.
Known as the “A.T.,” it has been estimated that 2-3 million people visit the Trail every year and about 1,800–2,000 people attempt to “thru-hike” the Trail. People from across the globe are drawn to the A.T. for a variety of reasons: to reconnect with nature, to escape the stress of city life, to meet new people or deepen old friendships, or to experience a simpler life. Appalachian Trail Conservancy
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The year 1987 was the 50th anniversary of the Appalachian Trail, which passes right through Damascus. That year, members of the Town Council decided to celebrate the anniversary with an event for hikers. At that time, there was no town park in Damascus, so the small festival was held in the parking lot of the town hall and behind the bank. The festival was held again the following year, the year after that, and every year that’s followed, growing to the tens of thousands. In the early years of Trail Days, a street was sometimes roped off for a dance, but there were no vendors. There were only the hikers and the cyclists who followed, who inspired the town to rebuild its economy, which had been devastated by flooding and the loss of most of its industry. (more…)
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Osprey will once again be attending Trail Days from May 17-19 in gorgeous Damascus, VA and we’re stoked to see you there!
Throughout the event, Osprey and hikers will be celebrating the art of hiking with live music, a hiker parade and free meals to feed the thru-hikers that may be stopping on their way thru to Mt. Katahdin. Whether you are a thru-hiker yourself or just in town for the weekend, be sure to stop by the Osprey tent for free pack and gear repair all day, every day! We will have our warranty/repairs team on hand to provide your repair needs to get you back on the trail. We will also be a full display featuring all of our newest packs and a smokin’ 20 percent off retail sale through Mt. Roger’s Outfitters to kick-off hiking season! Don’t forget to swing by the booth to learn how you can win a free pack, happening daily throughout the weekend.
Last but not least, dont miss a live perfomance from Old North State at the Osprey’s Tent City Location! Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18 from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Check them out!
The hikers have begun to descend on Damascus. We find ourselves in a world of kilted bald men with unkempt beards. The women tend to be more, shall we say, varietal. Yes, it’s another Trail Days and to say Damascus will never be the same is a misnomer, because quite evidently, it never was. Crispy Critter, Buttercup, Blue Eyes, Dead Man Walking – just a few of the folks that have stopped by and said hello today.
This is the largest trail event (probably in the world) for one of the longest trails in the world. It represents a desire that we all hold somewhere – to unplug and escape for months, to be in a place (both mentally and physically) where time does not matter. It also represents the proverbial slice of Americana, the kind of thing that can only happen in – America.
Over the next few days we’ll repair dozens and dozens of packs – Osprey and any other brand. We’ll meet more folks by trail name only and yes, we’ll see more kilts and beards – none of them on women. This is our time to literally get in the trenches, to truly learn what our customers need our packs to do. Every success and failure of our product is amplified here. What better place than the AT to learn if that pack really does what it is supposed to do?
Written by Gareth Martins, Director of Marketing