Posts Tagged With: Recreation

New Book Information Available

We have recently made new information available regarding our upcoming book “Tales From The AT”.  The new section is titled, “About The Author“.  We hope you will check this out at your next opportunity.

As always, Happy Hiking!

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Books, Camping, Family, Hiking, Literature, Outdoors, Reading | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Experiences On The AT

Appalachian Services has temporarily suspended its hiker support services due to the death of an immediate family member who was integral to its proper operation.  In the interim we are attempting to complete a book we began compiling in 2014 chronicling hiker experiences on, and around, the Appalachian Trail.  For more information regarding this book, and/or to submit information regarding your own experiences on the AT, please go to

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Availability Updated

View our NEW 2016 availability info by clicking HERE or go to, #Shuttles, #Transportation, #Recreation

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Discounts – Update

Our “Discounts” page has been updated with two new discounts added.  Please click HERE for more information.

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Inside A Walk in the Woods

Another great articles from Mountain Crossings At Neel Gap. 🙂

Mountain Crossings at Neel Gap

As many fans of the Appalachian Trail are already aware, the release of Bill Bryson’s popular book A Walk in the Woods is just around the corner. Labor Day marks the premiere of the movie adaptation of one of the most well known books written about the AT. Though Bryson did not successfully thru hike the Appalachian Trail, in his book he excellently captured the spirit of the trail and the lives of thru hikers in a most hilarious way. In the making of the movie, the cast and crew went to great lengths to pay the proper homage and to bring to light those who keep the spirit of the AT bright and shining. Many iconic stops along the Appalachian Trail were used as filming locations including Amicaloa Lodge and Springer Mountain. Last summer, well over a year ago, the crew came up to Neel Gap to film the main…

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A Walk In The Woods Movie

The “A Walk In The Woods” movie is scheduled to be released Wednesday, September 02, 2015. This is the movie version of the famous, or perhaps I should say infamous, best-selling book of the same title written by Bill Bryson. The movie stars, among others, Robert Redford in the role of Bill Bryson, Nick Nolte as Katz, and Emma Thompson as Bill Bryson’s Wife.

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How to Eat Well on Trail

This is a subject I was going to address over the winter for new hikers starting next season, however as the saying goes, “Why re-invent the wheel?” I hope you enjoy this very informative and well written post by Mountain Crossings At Neel Gap. 🙂

Mountain Crossings at Neel Gap

When you are spending an entire day transporting everything you need to survive up and over mountains, food becomes amplified in importance. It is no longer just three meals a day;  it is the gasoline that fuels us forward; it is a currency; it is a reward as precious as a pot of gold for a long, hard day’s work! Thankfully for backpackers, you can’t over eat on the trail and, while some foods will take you farther than others, “unhealthy” foods hardly exist. If it has calories, you should eat it. The trick is maintaining enough creativity to keep you munching despite the limitations of a full kitchen. When on trail, there is no wrong way to eat. At the same time, it can be hard to get it right. The key is to simply keep eating!!


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day they say. This is even more true…

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Seasonal Perks

There’s one thing about my job that I like above all else.  That’s nature’s perks.  Each season holds its own wonders…

Spring floods my vision with limitless hues of green, from the fresh sprigs of grass to the vibrant leaves appearing on towering trees mixed with many colorful buds that seem to be shouting, “Come See!  I’m blooming!”.

Spring Dogwoods

Birds begin their chorus of chirps, animals such as bears and their cubs that had been in a state of *semi-hibernation during the winter begin exploring their surroundings, and freshly planted gardens hint at the bounty that will soon be found within.  Fresh and enticing scents are found everywhere. Flowers lining worn country lanes thick with mud from the spring rains emit their intoxicating scents, mountain valleys filled with new growth and lingering shadows beg to be explored, and deep, thick forests offer the promise of solitude far away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

*The Black Bears in the southern Appalachian Mountains do not hibernate like their relatives do in other areas.

Summer shares its expansive views of golden wheat fields, landscape dotted with tiny white clumps of Cotton down here in the South, and the shimmering blue waters of beckoning lakes and gurgling streams offer both refreshment and escape from the often times oppressive heat, not to mention the beauty of those elusive tropical getaways.

Road In Wheat Field

Cotton Field At Sunset

The days are long and the nights short, affording one the opportunity to spend hours exploring nature’s bounty.  Children, free from school for a time, enjoy running, playing, and making up their own adventures… adventures adults can only guess about or perhaps even reminisce about, recalling their own childhood dreams and fantasies.

Children Playing Outside

Autumn, Fall to many of us, holds a special place in my heart.  It’s the time of year I prefer to do my exploring, sometimes finding those hidden gems that make me wonder, “how did that get here?” or “what does that lead to?”.

Forest Doorway In Fall

It’s a time for sitting on the porch watching a new day being born, holding close a steaming hot cup of your favorite morning beverage. 

Sunrise From Porch

The mornings are brisk followed by warm afternoons that entice you to don the wind-breaker and taking a hike on remote trails partially obscured by fallen leaves, or drive along a quite waterway that reflects the beauty of the fall colors lining its banks.

Trail Footbridge

Fall Reflections

Chilly evenings are tailor-made for sitting beside the campfire or snuggled up in front of the fireplace, perhaps with that very special person in your life.

Blazing Campfire

Log Cabin Fireplace

It’s a time of celebrations and festivals; Halloween with excited children running about in their costumes all excited about trick-or-treating and the candy they’ll score, the fun perhaps tempered with a little fear of that “monster” between them and the neighbor’s front porch, their tiny hands clinching yours while their youthful voices are shakily pleading, “Come with me, I’m scared”. 

Halloween Decorations

Jack-O-Lanterns - Reduced

Fall festivals abound where strangers gather to play games, drink cider, and gaze at hand-made decorations, warming their hands over fires as they talk, joke, and become friends in the process.

Then there’s Thanksgiving.  It’s a time for families, a time of expressing thankfulness for those families (and friends) who are constantly there for us, a time to remember all the things we’ve been blessed with (especially for living in this great country, the U.S.A.), share enormous dinners with those closest to us, watch parades and children’s Thanksgiving specials on TV, and root for that favorite pro football team, hoping you’ll win a bet you really shouldn’t have made with your bud at the office or uncle Joe.

Thanksgiving Day Parade - Enlarged (1000 × 571)

Table At Thanksgiving

Charlie Brown - Snoopy

Dallas Cowboys Logo_Reduced (1000x562)

Go Cowboys!  Oh… sorry… I couldn’t help it.  😉

And that brings us to Winter, a season, for me, of mixed feelings.  I love that cold nip in the air as Fall changes to Winter, the chance of a beautiful snowfall that could come at any time, and the expectation of the joyful holiday season just weeks away.  I also feel the dread of frigid days that go on seemingly without end, ice storms that create havoc with the power system and rural roads, not to mention the salty brine used by the highway department that works its way into every nook and cranny of my vehicles.

Snowy Trees - Blue Sky

Roadway In Snow

I enjoy the thrill of coming home at the end of the day as I gaze upon the welcoming home, warm and bright with the glow of seasonal lights, the twinkling Christmas tree in the yard that only a few weeks before was “just another tree” to mow around, the beauty of a snowfall as it envelopes the house and the surrounding hillsides, sitting softly upon the branches and fence rails, its soft quietness muffling all sounds as if it was saying, “hush, it’s time to forget about your cares, time to be calm, quiet, and reflect upon the blessing of God’s wondrous creation laid out before you”.

Cabin In Winter

I love winter activities such as snowboarding, going on hay rides, and driving around looking at all the houses beautifully decorated for Christmas.  I enjoy shopping at the mall, looking for a “just right” gift for that oh-so-special someone, the glowing faces of children as they tell Santa what they would like for Christmas, or what they would like brother or sister to get for Christmas.  I enjoy spending time with family during the holidays, snuggling on the couch near the fireplace while enjoying a classic Christmas special on TV, and gazing out upon the snow-covered mountain sides while enjoying a steaming hot cup of chocolate as the sunset lights up the evening sky with golden hues.


Winter Sunset Over The River

I empathize with those who don’t have families or friends to enjoy the holidays with, the homeless, the veterans who have been shunned by people they thought were their friends because they did their patriotic duty and fought in an unpopular war…  the poor who are grateful to have just one hot meal a day, or a few sticks of firewood to heat their meager home… and especially those who have lost loved ones during the holiday season, or who have been diagnosed with a life threatening disease.

Help Homeless Veterans_Reduced (1000x500)

I empathize with all these people because at one time or another I have walked in all of these shoes.  It is but by the grace of God I have found my way through these situations.  I pray these people will find the same comfort, solace, and rescue I have, and I ask that you take a few moments to pray for them also.  Give to your local chapter of the Red Cross, a church benevolent ministry, or a humanitarian organization.  Volunteer to collect or hand out food for the needy.  Help build a house so a family can have a safe place to live away from the elements.  Don’t just feel sorry for these people, get out and do something to help.

Yes, this truly is a season of mixed emotions.  Thankfully Spring will roll around with its refreshing showers and beautiful sunrises causing all things to be refreshed and beautified once again.

Blue Ridge Mountains Sunrise

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Winter Hiking With Your Dog

Original Post By Hermits’s Hut on OCT282014

“Hey Honey, it’s SNOWING!” Seeing the white stuff coming down always seems to create the same exclamation from me….”

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Availability Change

There have been 2 changes in our Holiday Closings.  Please click HERE to review our availability.

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Happy Anniversary!

Originally Posted by Anna B. On 23MAR2015

Happy Anniversary!

Things have been busier than normal at work, I’ve been working more hours than normal, so I apologize for the lack of posts lately, but things are beginning to slow down for a little bit so I’ll be back in full force soon!

That being said, I’ve still been finding the time to get outside. This past weekend marked my one year anniversary of my first ever backpacking trip. Naturally, I had to celebrate, and what better way to celebrate than to go on my first solo backpacking trip.

Knowing that this was my first solo trip I wanted to go somewhere that I knew well and I wanted it to be fairly easy so that I wouldn’t hurt my knee again. So I picked my favorite spot: Black Balsam KnobRead More

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How The Appalachian Trail Changed Who I Am

Reblogged from AshliLauryn . Original Post 10MAR2015.

I have heard a lot of people say that there isn’t much time for reflection during a thru hike. While I can somewhat agree with that, there is an undeniable shift in perception that comes along with an adventure that pushes you to your absolute mental and physical limits. The short amount of time that you do have to reflect adds up, and you begin to see the world anew…

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