Round Hill Appalachian Trail Committee
Round Hill is perfectly located between two Appalachian Trail visitor centers. Bears Den is located 5 miles to the west and the Blackburn Center is located five miles to the north. If a visitor wanted to visit both places on the same day, they would have to drive through Round Hill’s Central Commercial District. Bears Den provides a gateway connecting people to the infamous “roller coaster” section of the Appalachian Trail. Bears Den Lodge and Hostel is located in a historic stone mansion, on 66 acres of land, 150 yards from the Appalachian Trail. At 1,350 feet, the Bears Den Rocks provide a panoramic view of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The westward-looking view provides a prime spot for the sunset. In 2014, about 1,900 people visited Bears Den.
The Blackburn Center is primarily designed to support: long distance hikers, trail crews, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club planning meetings, and training seminars. It is also used as a venue for special events such as weddings. Located on 150-acres of land and backing up to the Appalachian Trail, the Blackburn Center can accommodate up to 80 plus people for a day event and has indoor lodging space for 30 people with at least 30 more using tent spaces and the adjoining campground. In 2014, about 1,000 people visited the Blackburn Center. Visitors include: day hikers, thru hikers, section hikers, boy scouts, girl scouts, and private groups.
Round Hill considers the Appalachian Trail as one of its most unique assets and views the trail as an excellent opportunity to boost the local economy. The 2017 Comprehensive Plan set forth the goal to promote environmental stewardship as a mechanism to increase community viability, economic health, and sense of place in Round Hill.
The Town Council wants to increase connections between Round Hill and the Appalachian Trail to promote community awareness and increase knowledge of the trail as a local asset. The following is the Town of Round Hill’s Strategy to become a member of the Appalachian Trail Community™ national designation network.
1. Establish a Round Hill Appalachian Trail Advisory Committee made up of local Appalachian Trail volunteers and supporters.
2. Include the Appalachian Trail in Town marketing and provide educational materials at the Town Office.
3. Increase dialogue with county officials about the importance of the Appalachian Trail to Round Hill.
4. Encourage local residents to volunteer at the Bears Den and Blackburn Trail Centers.
5. Educate residents on the benefits of membership in the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
6. Maintain a partnership with Round Hill Elementary School and other local schools to encourage teachers and students to take part in Trail to Every Classroom (TTEC)
7. Incorporate Outdoors & Nature Tourism as well as Environmental Stewardship into the Town Marketing & Economic Development Programs
The Appalachian Trail Community™ program is designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Towns along the A.T.’s corridor are considered assets by all that use the A.T., and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail. The program serves to assist communities with sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation while preserving and protecting the A.T.
The Town has held 7 meetings with the new Round Hill Appalachian Trail Committee. This Committee will work together to submit the application to become an Appalachian Trail Community and develop future A.T. programs/projects.
- July 20, 2017 – 9 am Kick-off Meeting
- July 27, 2017 – 6:30 pm Kick-off Meeting
- September 28, 2017 – 6:30 pm Appalachian Trail Committee Meeting
- October 26, 2017 – 6:30 pm Appalachian Trail Committee Meeting
- November 28, 2017 – 6:30 pm Appalachian Trail Committee Meeting
- December 19, 2017 – 6:30 pm Appalachian Trail Committee Meeting
- January 22, 2018 – 6:30 pm Appalachian Trail Committee Meeting
The application to become an Appalachian Trail Community is due August 30, 2018. The Round Hill Appalachian Trail Committee plans to submit their final draft of their application to the Town Council by June 1, 2018 for their approval and resolution of support.
The next Appalachian Trail Committee Meeting is Tuesday February 27, 2018 at 6:30 pm at 23 Main Street (Town Office).
“The Appalachian Trail: Art of the Adventure”
The Round Hill Appalachian Trail Committee and the Round Hill Arts Center invite artists to participate in a new art show entitled “The Appalachian Trail: Art of the Adventure”
The purpose of the show is to broaden public awareness and appreciation of the Appalachian Trail. Artists are welcome to submit their choice of artistic expression, including paintings, drawing, photography, fiber arts, stained glass, and sculpture. There is a separate category that welcomes submissions from young artists in grades K-12.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail was completed on August 14, 1937. This 2,189-mile trail crosses 14 states and hosts an estimated 3 million visitors a year. This call to artists to participate in this exhibit is to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the completion of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
Submit a piece of artwork that portrays the Appalachian Trail or a symbol of the Appalachian Trail. Examples of images or symbols include:
- Empowering Youth
- Volunteers & Civic Engagement
- Compass, Maps & Navigation
- Vast Natural Beauty
- Priceless Cultural Heritage
- Connect Human Spirit with Nature
- Protect the Night Skies
- Leave No Trace
- Family Bonding
- Endurance Challenge
The finished work can hang on the wall or from the ceiling, or sit on a pedestal or the floor.
Works will be judged by a group of Appalachian Trail and Art Enthusiasts carefully selected by the Round Hill Appalachian Trail Committee and the Round Hill Arts Center. Judges will be looking for artwork that features a combination of artistic skill and thoughtful representation of the Appalachian Trail. Students are also encouraged to enter for free!
“The Appalachian Trail: Art of the Adventure” will be on display at Round Hill Arts Center from February 1st through March 1st, 2018.
The public is invited to an Opening Reception with live music and refreshments on February 11, 2018 from 1 pm to 4 pm. The Arts Center is located in the Hill High Orchards complex on Route 7, west of Round Hill.