The Appalachian Trail leads the thru-hiker through about 160 miles of paths in Shenandoah National Park in northern Virginia and the few miles of trail that touches in Almost Heaven, West Virginia (at Harpers Ferry). The trail in Shenandoah National Park has many beautiful sights and gorgeous paths to enjoy. One section in northern Virginia includes the notorious roller coaster, a very strenuous portion of the trail.
The Roller Coaster is a thirteen-mile stretch with six steep climbs and six wicked descents. There is no real level terrain and no restful spot for a nice break. The roller coaster is an aerobic work-out and a test of the hiker’s cardiovascular system. This description reminds me of Steven Curtis Chapman’s encouraging lyrics, “the valleys are deeper and the mountains are steeper than I ever would have dreamed…but I know we’re gonna make it, and I know we’re gonna get there soon, cause we’re just taking the long way home.”
Countdown 196 days!