HARPERS FERRY, W. Va. (April 4, 2016) – Celebrate the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the Towns of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar during the second annual Flip Flop Festival Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17. The event will also recognize “flip flop thru-hikers,” or those who choose to hike the A.T. by beginning their 2,190-mile trek in Harpers Ferry. Anyone is invited to join the fun! A complete schedule of events is available at www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop.
“The Flip Flop Festival is a celebration of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar as a scenic and historic destination for day trippers, day hikers, section hikers and tourists from around the world,” said Laurie Potteiger, information services manager for the ATC. “We’re also excited to promote flip flop thru-hiking, or an alternative way to hike the Appalachian Trail. More and more thru-hikers have found there are advantages to starting or ending somewhere in the middle, with Harpers Ferry an ideal location.”
Beginning at 10 a.m. on April 16, participants will have the opportunity to interact with hikers during workshops that cover a variety of topics, including hiking for beginners, Trail magic and etiquette, and lessons learned while on the A.T. Food will be available for purchase, live music will be performed by local musicians, activities for kids will be available, and vendors will be on hand throughout the day. Participants are encouraged to stay for a special presentation of the film “Trail Magic” at 7 p.m., which tells the story of thru-hiking pioneer Grandma Gatewood.
On April 17, join the ATC and the surrounding community for a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. before an official flip flop thru-hiker send off at 8 a.m. Following the breakfast and hiker send off, the public is invited to attend ATC employee Leanna Joyner’s comprehensive workshop from 10 a.m. to noon covering all aspects of planning a long-distance hike on the A.T. Later in the day, she’ll be at the ATC Visitor Center from 1 to 3 p.m. to sign copies of her book “Hiking Through History: Civil War Sites on the Appalachian Trail,” which includes information about and maps of not only Civil War sites along the A.T., but sites along the Underground Railroad. Two guided hikes will also be offered throughout the day, including a hike that explores significant Civil War sites and Storer College, which was built to educate freed slaves after the Civil War. Specific details about these hikes, and sign up information, is available at www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop.
Flip Flop Festival weekend overview:
Date/Time: Saturday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, April 17, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: 799 Washington St., Harpers Ferry, WV
For more information about the Flip Flop Festival, including a complete schedule of events, visit www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,190 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Email: [email protected]