Appalachian Trail: Roller Coasters Section

HARD 10 reviews

Appalachian Trail: Roller Coasters Section is a 12.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Paris, Virginia that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, birding, and backpacking and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,628 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

trail running

forest

river

views

wildlife

bugs

rocky

This is the southern 12.5 miles of the infamous "roller coaster" section of the Appalachian Trail (Ashby Gap @ Rt 50 to Snicker's Gap @ Rt 7) . It consists of over 3500 vertical feet of steep up and down hills, mostly 300-400 foot climbs and descents. Take your time and lots of water and bug spray in the summer. There are streams to stop and cool off in the hollows, but this is a tough section.

hiking
1 month ago

1st time hiking this trail. Only did partial, my new waterproof hiking shoes were killing my toes. Love this trail, fun, challenging, and all the stream crossing. Would definitely come back with different shoes.

3 months ago

Great hike!

3 months ago

We hiked from VA 601 to VA 605 today, and this was a great 7.5 mile hike. Didn’t seem hard to our group of 6, ranging in age from 48-60 something. We loved it! Never seen so many bloodroot. The bluebells were beautiful. Many creek crossings - super day on the AT.

hiking
3 months ago

Great and tough section of trail and the AT groups in the area have done a great job maintaining it, especially since the wind storm in early March blew over some of the big trees. Be extra cautious during or directly following rain as this is a rocky section with lots of dead leaves in some areas that could prove to be super slippery.

You can day-park your car at the Bear's Den hostel endpoint for $3 (or hitch a ride back to your car pretty easily)

hiking
4 months ago

13.6 miles from Bear's Den Parking Lot to Rt 50 parking lot. There were some blow down areas due to the wind storm on 3/3/18, but ATC was out there starting to clear the trail. Tough as always but worth the time and we had a beautiful day.

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago