Join Mike and I for for a “Train to Trail” Winter Camping, Backpacking, Campfire cooking, & Hiking adventure in Harpers Ferry, WV.
We tried something a bit different for fun on this winter camping trip – instead of driving, we decided to take an Amtrak train directly to the trailhead. This is actually and idea that Mike and I had been kicking around for a while now. The first challenge was finding an interesting trail that was actually close to a train station, without a need for secondary transportation or an excessive walk. After a bit of research, we determined that Harpers Ferry, West Virginia fit the criteria quite well. The train practically dumps you right on the Appalachian Trail. We booked our tickets, packed our bags, and hit the trail, er, I mean, train station.
With 4 days and 3 nights off, we had a decent amount of time to play with on this trip. The challenge however, would be that we needed to plan an out and back trip that didn’t put us to far away from the train station on our final morning, rather than doing a loop like we normally prefer. Fortunately, we quickly realized that to be a perfect excuse to do a a laid back, more camping, less hiking kind of trip.
The plan? After leaving the train behind,we would hop on the Appalachian trail for a few miles – just long enough to feel the seclusion of the deep winter woods, and set up a base camp for the duration of the trip. Other than that, we really had no hard set plans, other than relaxing, having a good time, and brushing up on our campfire cooking skills. Did we succeed? I guess you’ll just have to watch and see…
Trailhead: Harpers Ferry Amtrak Train Station
GPS Data for this trip available on the Trip Data Page.
Harpers Ferry Winter Route Overview Sintax77
Leave Harpers Ferry via Appalachian Trail South
After around 3 miles, bushwack West to unofficial campsite.
Return via Appalachian Trail North
Notable Gear Used on this Trip by Mike
Gregory Palisade 80 backpack
EMS Down Parka
EMS Ascent Hard shell Jacket
MSR Whisperlite International stove
Dream Hammock Thunderbird Hammock
Hammock Gear Burrow 20 top quilt
Hammock Gear Incubator 20 underquilt
Hammock Gear Cuben Hex Tarp with doors
Portable bluetooth speaker with fancy lightshow
Notable Gear Used on this Trip by Sintax77
EMS Longtrail 70 backpack (2011 version)
Montbell UL down parka
EMS Ascent Hardshell
MSR Rapidfire stove (see my video on it here) *no longer manufactured – modern equivalent is the MSR Windpro.
MSR Flex Skillet
Dollar Store tongs and turner for cooking
Sea to Summit Alpha Cutlery Set
Fozzils Bowl / Plate
Dream Hammock Darien Hammock
Hammock Gear Burrow 0 top quilt
Hammock Gear Incubator 0 underquilt
Hammock Gear Cuben Hex Tarp (standard model, no doors)
SOG Flash I tanto blade pocket knife