Yesterday morning, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and its partners broke ground on the construction of a new Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Center in Damascus, Virginia. This Center will introduce visitors to a variety of helpful information about the A.T. and outdoor recreation in the area, including suggestions for planning hikes and ways to get involved in conservation.
“Damascus has long been a destination for outdoor recreation in southwest Virginia, with the Appalachian Trail bringing tens of thousands of people to Damascus alone every year,” said Andrew Downs, ATC senior regional director. “This new Trail center will help us prepare both new and experienced hikers to enjoy and protect the Trail and its surrounding lands for future generations of outdoor adventurers and nature lovers.”
“The center plays a key role in Damascus as the centerpoint for our downtown — a gravitational core,” noted Gavin Blevins, town manager of Damascus and senior planner for the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission. “It will build upon long-standing partnerships with the ATC, U.S. Forest Service and many other regional entities and partners who have either shown support already or with whom we are currently and continuing to work.”
A joint project of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Town of Damascus and the Friends of Southwest Virginia, the visitor center is currently scheduled to complete construction in late May or early June this year. For the latest updates on the progression of the Trail Center’s construction, keep an eye on www.appalachiantrail.org.
Damascus is also a gateway community for Grayson Highland State Park, which is famous for its wild ponies, as well as its access to Mount Rogers, the highest point in Virginia. This hike is arguably one of the best hikes in the eastern U.S.
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