Free Music & Refreshments! First Fridays Downtown!

In partnership with the Arts Council of the Valley’s First Fridays series, we are proud to welcome back Simply Folk in our Harrisonburg store.

Simply Folk is made up of Becky Glick and Mike Simpson. They have been singing together since 2005. They offer a variety of music including folk, seasonal, and religious.

Stop by for great music and FREE refreshments from Heritage Bakery THIS FRIDAY from 5-8 pm!


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Support Your School Day is Quickly Approaching!

Earn Money for Your School of Choice When You Shop on September 10th

We truly believe in the importance of helping others by giving back to our community.

On Saturday, September 10, when you shop at any Walkabout Outfitter or Ladles and Linens location, 10% of your purchase will go back to the PTA of any local school that you choose.

Save the Date!
September 10th
10:00am — 7:00pm

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We’re Hiring in Roanoke!

Join the Walkabout Outfitter Family

Exciting news, we’re looking for an Assistant Manager at our Downtown Roanoke location!

We are a small, but fast-paced outfitter selling high quality products for camping, hiking, and travel with a focus on everyday lifestyle clothing. And we’re looking for a self-driven, highly organized individual to join our team in Roanoke.

Visit our Job Opportunities page to learn more.

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Store Manager, Richmond location

Are you …

  • Customer service driven?
  • Energetic? Enthusiastic and extremely proactive?
  • A self-starter? Must be able to figure things out on your own.
  • Computer Savvy?  We use excel, word, publisher, Intuit POS and more.
  • Goal oriented?  We set sales goals every month
  • Highly organized?  Retail management is a lot of work and includes scheduling & supervising staff, ordering supplies & merchandise, customer service, follow up and much more.
  • Hard Working? Doing what it takes to get the job done.

We are a small, but fast paced outfitter selling high quality products for camping hiking and travel with a focus on everyday lifestyle clothing.  We are in search for a self-driven, highly organized individual to manage our Valley View location.  Primary responsibilities include: sales, supervision, store operations, team building, and marketing. Must be willing to work weekends & some holidays.

We offer …

  • Opportunity to learn to run your own store
  • Paid vacation & holidays
  • Insurance cost sharing
  • Store discount
  • Competitive retail salary, $26,000-$32,000
  • Sales goal bonuses

Walkabout is a totally smoke-free workplace.

Please submit Resume, Cover Letter, and Salary Requirements to

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Win an ENO Hammock!

National Hammock Day is Friday, July 22nd!

Enter to win an Eagles Nest Outfitters Single Nest hammock.

From now through Friday, visit any of our locations and enter to win.  There will be a winner at each store for a total of 6 winners!

Don’t miss out! Stop by today!

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FREE Gift with Purchase if You Campout on Saturday!

Join us for Outdoors Month &
The Great American Campout!

Saturday, June 25

As part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout – a summer-long celebration of camping as a way to connect with nature and wildlife – we’ll be at Hillendale Park in Harrisonburg on Saturday, June 25 to celebrate!

Between now through June 25th, with any purchase you make for the Great American Backyard Campout, get a FREE gift with purchase!

Naturally caffeinated with Green Tea Extract, Strawberry Kiwi and Chocolate energy gels will keep you fueled for any athletic endeavor! Certified gluten free with organic tapioca syrup, organic honey, added electrolytes and all natural flavors.

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Save Up to 75% at the Carytown Sidewalk Sale!

Carytown Sidewalk Sale is This Saturday!

On Saturday, June 18th, our Richmond store will have GREAT goods and GREAT deals. Don’t miss out on the BEST savings of the year.

There will be lots of tables out all along the “mile of style” that is Carytown today!

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FREE Guided Family Hike!

Let’s Go for a Hike!

Sunday, June 26, 10 am – 1 pm

So join us for a fun, family-friendly guided hike for children aged 5-10, with an accompanying adult.

Space is limited, so reserve your space now by calling 540-464-4453 or email at

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Festival Giveaway #3 – What will THIS week’s prize be? Find out!

1 Red Wing Concert Poster

1 Walkabout OutfitterTrucker Hat

1 Walkabout Outfitter Gift Certificate

1 Thermarest Trail Pro Sleeping Pad

Want to win? Just come on by any of our locations and enter to win!

Chacos Men’s Z/2 Stitch Stone $105

Streamlined and dependable since 1989, our Classic series is comprised of only 8 component parts. Now featuring ChacoGrip™ rubber for the very best performing Classic outsole to date. Experience the Classic Sandal like never before.

Chacos Women’s ZX/2 Dagger $105

A simple, timeless sandal design. Every pair comes standard with adjustable double-straps that custom-fits to your foot, a toe-loop for additional forefoot control, plus our podiatrist-certified LUVSEAT™ PU footbed for all-day comfort and support.

Strapless Bridesmaid Dresses






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Great Gifts (Under $50) for Dad

Father’s Day
is Sunday, June 19th …
so don’t delay!

Great gift ideas under $50:

ExOfficio Boxer Briefs
Made with stretchy, moisture-wicking, quick-drying and anti-odor fabric, ExOfficio’s boxer brief underwear provides ultrabreathable, long-lasting comfort that’s perfect for adventure travel.

Eagles Nest Outfitters Hi-Fi Speaker Case
Never feel obligated to share your ear-buds with a needy travel companion again. The Hi-Fi Speaker Case carries and protects your music player wherever you go. When it’s time to rock out, the Hi-Fi delivers excellent sound for hours.

Outdoor Tech BuckShot

The Buckshot is a super-portable, multifunctional, rugged and water-resistant wireless speaker.  It’s loaded with features like an included bike mount, a microphone for calls and a shock-resistant body.

Patagonia Tech Web Belt
This burly polyester 1½” webbing belt with an aluminum buckle can be used as a lash strap or bottle opener in a pinch. Fabric is bluesign® approved.

Suncloud Optics Voucher Polarized Sunglasses
This stylish midsize wrap shape has megol temple tip inserts for comfort and performance. Fight glare and the elements with the Voucher’s polarized polycarbonate lenses and lightweight TR90 grilamid frame.

Klean Kanteen 16oz Wide Insulated Bottle

The popular vacuum insulated version of this line just got even better! Our Insulated Wide bottles now ship with our new leak-proof Café Cap 2.0 to keep hot and cold drinks safely contained—and completely spill free. Like all our Wide bottles (and unlike most to-go mugs out there) this simple, elegant bottle is very easy to clean.


Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Hiker w/Fire Starter
The Hiker Firestarter Combination Knife by Victorinox Swiss Army provides you with two convenient tools in one set! The Hiker Knife is combined with a Firestarter to give you all you need for a backcountry adventure or mountain hike. The Hiker includes 13 stainless steel implements and like all Swiss Army Knives, it carries a lifetime warranty and unsurpassed Swiss-made quality and durability.

Goal Zero Flip 10 Portable Battery
Harnessing a single charge for your phone, fitness tracker or other small device, this compact USB-rechargeable battery livens up your off-grid adventures and slips easily into your pocket or pack.


Need more ideas? Ask us! We’re here to help!




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Try Chacos For a Chance to Win a FREE Pair!

simple wedding dresses nz

Try Chacos For a Chance to Win a Pair!

Valley View Mall location

Friday, June 10
10 am – 6 pm

Try on Chacos for a chance to win a pair!

Chacos have developed a loyal following among river guides, kayakers, and anyone who spends time around the water. Why? Extreme comfort, durability, and river-ready performance!


Celebrate National Get Outdoors Day

Saturday, June 11

FREE guided activities, provided by RIMBA, Blue Ridge Bicycle
, and Walkabout Outfitter.

All activities begin at 9 am … choose your own adventure!

– Mountain Biking
Meet at Mill Mountain Discovery Center at 9 am sharp
2000 J P Fishburn Pkwy, Roanoke, VA 24013

– Road Biking –
Meet at Soaring Ridge Brewery at 9 am sharp
523 Shenandoah Ave NW, Roanoke, VA 24016

-Trail Hike –
Meet at Mill Mountain Discovery Center at 9 am sharp
2000 J P Fishburn Pkwy, Roanoke, VA 24013


Chaco Z The World Tour

Soaring Ridge Brewery

Saturday, June 11
12 pm – 5:30 pm

After your hike or bike ride, come celebrate with the Chaco Z The World Tour at Soaring Ridge Brewery.

There will be games, giveaways, and immersive 360° virtual reality adventures.



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Festival Giveaway #2 – See what this week’s prizes are!

  • Walkabout Camelbak Water Bottle
  • $10 Gift Certificate
  • Red Wing Roots Concert Poster
  • The Walking Roots CD

Want to win?

Just come on by any of our locations and enter to win!

Upcoming Events

Free Yoga Class with Shannon
Thursday, June 9th, 6:30-7:30 pm

Chaco Z The World Tour
Friday, June 10, 10 am-6 pm
Valley View

National Get Outdoors Day with Chaco Footwear
Saturday, June 11th, 12-5 pm
FREE guided activities, provided by RIMBA, Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, and Walkabout Outfitter

Carytown Sidewalk Sale
Saturday, June 18th, 10 am-5 pm
Save up to 75%!

Free Guided Family Hike
Sunday, June 26th, 10 am-1 pm

Crazy Legs Quad Beach/Festival Chair in Tie-Dye ($49)

Sit low and comfy at the beach, park, concert or festival. Perfect for low seating off the ground. Also works great as a middle seat in a canoe. Convenient carry case for easy transport and storage.

Crazy Creek Original Chair in Forest Green ($50.50)

The Original Chair started the revolution in outdoor seating comfort over 25 years ago.  And ever since, Crazy Creek has been the choice of professional adventurers all over the globe, from the North to the South Pole – and everywhere in between.









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FREE Music & Lots of Giveaways for Festival Season!

As you gear up for Festival Season enter for your chance to win FREE prizes throughout the month of June!

We are raffling off cool prizes each week leading up to Red Wing Roots Festival — July 8-10 in Mount Solon, VA, near Harrisonburg.

Prizes include Walkabout Gift Certificates, Thermarest Sleeping Pads, Walkabout Outfitter Gear – Water Bottles, T-shirts, Trucker Hats, Chapstick, Red Wing Concert Posters, and more!

Each week, we’ll announce that week’s giveaway and all YOU have to do is stop by any location and enter to win. You only have to enter once to be eligible all month long.

Winners will be called and announced on our Facebook page, so be sure to connect with us there!

spaghetti straps prom dresses

  • A Red Wing Concert Poster
  • $10 Walkabout Outfitter Gift Certificate
  • And a Walkabout Outfitter T-Shirt

Want to win?

Just come on by any of our locations and enter to win!

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Walkabout Outfitter Supports Active Lifestyles in Virginia

Walkabout Outfitter Supports Active Lifestyles in Virginia


According to store lore, it was no less than the pursuit of romance and adventure that led Kirk and Tina Miller to open the first of five Walkabout Outfitter in Virginia. Kirk, an Eagle Scout-cum-civil engineer, completed a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 1999. That experience had him testing intimately the very gear he would eventually sell.

However, it wasn’t until after he moved to Lexington, VA in 2003 that he met his cohort, Tina, in her kitchen supplies store, Ladles & Linens. As their relationship progressed, Kirk hit on the idea of opening a small, friendly outfitter like the ones he had encountered on the AT. Relying heavily on Tina’s 18 years of experience in retail, the couple opened the first Walkabout Outfitters downtown.

They married soon thereafter, and now have two young sons, Alex and Finn.

Eleven years after opening that first store, the couple now has Walkabout Outfitter outposts in old buildings in downtown Lexington, Roanoke (and a second at the mall), Harrisonburg, and the Carytown area of Richmond. Another store is slated to open in a newer structure in Blacksburg in July 2016. (Ladles & Linens still has three locations of its on in Lexington, Carytown-Richmond and next door to Walkabout Outfitter in Roanoke.)

Locating in the old downtowns of these communities was deliberate, Kirk said. It gets them involved in important revitalization efforts. “We’re definitely community based. It differentiates us,” he said.

The stores tend to be small, 4,000 to 6,000 square feet. “Originally that was out of necessity. But by our sixth year we realized that you can lose a lot in a store that’s too large.”

He isn’t referring to inventory going missing when he says this. He means that service can suffer when a store becomes too big and impersonal. That philosophy also explains why Walkabout Outfitter sells nothing online, aside from gift certificates, but sponsors “every community event we possibly can.”

“We’re focused on lifestyle rather than gear,” Kirk explains. “You really need to come to one of our stores and try things on and get fitted for backpacks. And products than can save your life—camping stoves, water filters—you really need to talk to someone in person who knows how well it works and can put it in your hand.”

Naturally, Walkabout Outfitter is interested in outfitting participants in the local events it sponsors—from 5Ks to the Blue Ridge Marathon in Roanoke, to a couple roots music festivals a year. “Any event related to the outdoors we’ll sponsor,” Kirk said.

The stores also host speakers and workshops that are free to attend. How to select a backpack and introductory yoga sessions are examples. A popular and repeat presenter is Jennifer Pharr Davis, who in 2011 set the record for the fastest thru-hike of the AT, averaging 47 miles a day for nearly 46 ½ days. (Only ultrarunning legend Scott Jurek has done it faster by 3 hours and 12 minutes in July 2015.)

Just as Kirk was inspired by his own AT thru hike, he hopes his stores, sponsorships and community boosterism inspires others.

“This is our passion, seven days a week,” he said.


This content was produced for your enjoyment, thanks to a partnership among Walkabout Outfitter, Osprey Packs, Chaco, and RootsRated.


Photo Credits:

Tina and Kirk: Credit: Courtesy of Walkabout Outfitter- Tina and Kirk Miller found each other and founded Walkabout Outfitter in Lexington, VA, in the early 2000s.

Roanoke Outside This One: Credit: Courtesy of Walkabout Outfitter- In 2009, the Millers moved their Roanoke store three doors down into the century-old Agnew Seed building.

Inside Richmond Store: Credit: Courtesy of Walkabout Outfitter- The Walkabout Outfitter in Richmond caters to outdoor enthusiasts.

Admin-ajax: Credit: Courtesy of Walkabout Outfitter- The Harrisonburg store is downtown where the action is.

Sleeveless Celebrity Dresses

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How to Fit a Pack

How to Fit a Pack


Backpacks are one of those integral pieces of gear that can make or break an adventure. Whether you’re looking to spend a few hours on the trail or even a few months on an epic thru-hike, your pack needs to be comfortable. In order for it to be comfortable, it needs to fit right. That’s why taking the necessary time before your trip to ensure that you have the pack that is right for you is imperative. Otherwise your weekend backpacking trip might just turn into an experience you’ll remember for all the wrong reasons.

Whether you’re in the market for your first pack or just in need of a serious upgrade after 10 years, here are some things to think about next time you head towards the pack wall of your local retailer.

First things first, why do you need a pack? It’s important to identify what activities you’ll be using the pack for. Are you looking to hold water while training for your first half-marathon? Need something to carry your kiddos to help introduce them to the trails? Skiing? Climbing? Or are you looking to use this for some serious, long distance hiking?

Packs come in all shapes and sizes and range from less than 5-liter hydration systems to 105-liter heavy-duty mountaineering packs—so it really depends on how much you need to carry that will determine what size pack you should be searching for.

Choices for smaller packs (under 50 liters) are usually based more on the features you are looking for—lightweight material, pockets, hydration, etc. While features are still an important part of narrowing down your choice of a larger pack, larger packs also require more technical fitting to ensure comfort.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to less than a handful, it’s now time to try on pack after pack until you find the one that feels most comfortable. One thing to remember when doing so is that it’s important to try the pack on with weight in it. An empty pack feels very different on your hips, shoulders, and back than a full pack, and you need to have an idea as what it will feel like with all of your gear stuffed inside. Most gear shops will have weights or bean bags for you to add before you try it on.

Once your pack is loaded up, it’s time to get it on your back. When putting a new pack on for the first time, remember, there is a whole order as to how you should tighten the straps for a better fit (just another reason why having an expert show you the ropes, er, straps can be very helpful). After all, adjusting the straps out of order can completely change the way the pack sits on your hips, shoulders, and back.

First, you want to find the right spot on your hip to rest the hip belt. A good starting point is drawing a line from your belly button over to your hip bone. You’ll want to put the hip belt right over this part of your hip. Tighten for comfort. The majority of the pack weight should be carried by your hips. Next, tighten the shoulder straps. While you don’t want to carry much of the weight here, these help keep the pack close to your body. Then, adjust the load lifters (which help pull the weight off of your shoulders), and finally adjust the chest strap. There are a lot of different tips, tricks, and measurements that are used for each strap, so be sure you have a knowledgeable staff member there to help identify what these might be.

Once you are fully strapped in, take a walk. Walk around the store, bend up and down, do some squats and see how it feels. Take a few minutes with the pack and tweak the straps where necessary. If it doesn’t feel right in the store, it’s not going to feel right on the trail. Be honest with yourself, and try something else on if even the smallest thing feels wrong.

And remember, the staff at specialty outdoor stores is trained and most likely has a ton of personal experience on the trail, so they can normally help answer all of your questions about anything pack-related. So don’t feel intimidated, just head in and start trying packs on until you find the right one!


This content was produced for your enjoyment, thanks to a partnership among Osprey Packs, Chaco, and RootsRated.


Photo Credits:

KnoxvilleTN_Osprey-Hen-Wallow-Falls: Credit: Cody Hen Wallow Falls is a fantastic 4.4-mile round-trip hike to a beautiful 90-foot waterfall in the Smokies.

RamseyCascadesTN_SnowHikerOsprey: Credit: Cody Meyers- Summer, winter, rain, or shine, make getting outside a priority. Having the right gear can make all the difference!

Hen-Wallow-Falls 2: Credit: Cody Meyers- Having a well-fitted pack makes heading off trail, climbing, scrambling and jumping much less cumbersome

Pack Feature: Credit: Jonathan Morua Choosing a new pack can be overwhelming, let Osprey help you out.

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How to Clean Your Chaco Sandals

How to Clean Your Chaco Sandals


It’s common knowledge that people who love their Chacos really love their Chacos. They’ll wear them anywhere while doing just about anything—from rock hopping, to running errands, to participating in life events as traditionally ‘non-Chaco’ as they come (like getting married, for instance). The original Chaco sandals were designed for river guides, and to this day they still perform exceptionally well in water. But true “Chaconians” love to wear them across all disciplines (hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, kayaking, to name a few) and in all seasons.

Yes, Chaco now makes closed-toe shoes and hiking boots constructed of high-quality leather and suede that offer additional protection for adventures you’re not willing to risk losing a toe for… but let’s talk about the sandals.

See, Chaco sandals have earned a reputation for exceptional durability, and it’s not uncommon that a pair can go 10 years without the footbeds or straps needing to be replaced. But as any Chaco fan can tell you, all that relentless use over a long period of time can leave them with a pretty distinct and funky smell. Don’t act surprised—we know you know what we’re talking about, and we’re trying to keep your friends from having to host an intervention.

Here are some insider tips for cleaning your Chacos. Your feet will be happier for it, and your tent-mates will be happier too.

Don’t be afraid to throw them in the laundry (but not the dishwasher).

Chaco recommends occasionally throwing your sandals—provided they’re not the leather kind—in with a load of laundry for a gentle cycle in cold water with a mild detergent (read: nothing that contains chemicals that might eat at the straps). Do not bleach! After letting them air dry, they’ll be good to go on your next outdoor adventure.

Between washings, you can try wearing them in the shower now and then to keep skin cells from building up in the grooves of the footbed. Yeah, ew. This sounds like the lazy-man’s version of actually washing them, but it works surprisingly well.

Whatever you do, do not put your Chaco sandals in the dishwasher or in the dryer, as the heat can cause the adhesive in the outsoles to break down. You can’t un-melt glue, and your sandals won’t be as fun to wear if the soles fall off (or halfway off), so heed our warning on this one. Just let them sit in a nice, sunny spot for a while and they’ll dry off pretty fast.

“Floss” the straps.

Flossing isn’t just for teeth: This handy technique can also remove dirt that gets stuck where the shoe’s webbing and straps thread through the midsole, which can trap odor and cause the adjustable straps to stick. If that happens, the company suggests “flossing” the straps—squirting fabric softener into the strap slots and pulling the straps in and out to remove the offending grit. This is actually one of the primary reasons for smelly Chacos, and why some sandals still retain an unpleasant aroma even after washing.

If you’ve never done it, or if the sandals are old, it can be pretty tough to move the straps, but just be patient and make sure the straps are thoroughly wet first. The Z-series sandals feature one (or more) continuous straps that pass through the sole multiple times, which is what allowed you to adjust the fit of the straps to your feet when you first bought your sandals. All you’re doing here is moving the straps in and out of the sole so you can clean whatever is building up down there.

Flossing the sandals also keeps sand and grit trapped in the footbed from slowly sawing their way through your straps. Some people do this every time they wash a pair of Chacos, but if you keep them generally clean we’ve found that you’ll only need to do it periodically.

Make an easy at-home solution for cleaning.

If your Chacos do come to elicit a persistent smell (because they’re comfortable enough to wear for 12-hour-stretches, which you do), don’t fret. Instead, scrub the footbed with a firm brush and a mix of water and baking soda. Many Chacos are sold with an antimicrobial-treated footbeds, but there are special sandal washes that can be applied after purchase as necessary.

Treat the leather extra-special.

The leather in some Chaco models needs to be cleaned by hand. To get rid of any accumulated grime, use a damp cloth and a cleaning solution specially designed for leather goods.

That’s it! Like any other piece of essential outdoor gear, if you take care of your Chacos, they will take care of you as you hit the trail (or river or mountain) for countless miles full of adventure. That’s why you bought them in the first place, right?


This content was produced for your enjoyment, thanks to a partnership among Osprey Packs, Chaco, and RootsRated.

Photo Credits:

Chaco Feature: Credit: Cody Meyers: A Handy Guide to Keeping Your Chacos Clean

Roadside Chacos: Credit: Jake Wheeler- On or off road, Chacos will keep your feet comfortable.

Ocoee Chacos: Credit: Jonathan Morua- If you keep your Chacos clean they are guaranteed to take care your feet on all of life’s adventures.

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Destination: McAfee Knob

Hiking McAfee Knob

Mcafee Knob

Considered one of the most scenic spots on the Appalachian Trail, McAfee Knob offers incredible 270-degree panoramic views of the valley below and mountains in the distance. The signature ledge is one of the great hiking spots in the country.



You will have to climb 1,700 feet to get to McAfee Knob, so this hike is moderately difficult, but there are no technical challenges


Approximately four to five hours for a round-trip.

DISTANCE: 8.8 miles round-trip

SEASONALITY: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

LAND WEBSITE: McAfee Knob Info




Looking for postcard-worthy shots of the Appalachian Trail? It’s tough to find any better than at McAfee Knob, Virginia’s signature ledge that juts out over the Catawba Valley and offers an incredible hero images for those hikers brave enough to venture out. The trail is moderately challenging, in that there’s a lot of climbing. But even relatively inexperienced hikers should be able to reach the summit and enjoy the views.

What Makes It Great

This is one of those hikes that are all about the views. On a clear day, you’ll get an impressive view of the southern Shenandoah Valley from this trail on the Catawba Mountain. Along the way you’ll encounter rocky ridgelines, dense forest, and creeks, and then you finish with that ledge that has become almost synonymous with the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

From your start at the trailhead just off of Virginia Route 311 (see directions), you’ll take the white-blazed trail up some wooden steps to a more gentle climb up the mountain, crossing wooden bridges along the way. You’ll eventually reach the 3,197-foot summit of McAfee Knob.

On the way back to the trailhead, you can take a fire road (about 1.4 miles from the knob) back to save a bit of time. It makes for a little easier descent as well.

There is no camping on McAfee Knob, but you can continue on the Appalachian Trail, where you’ll reach the John Spring Shelter, Catawba Mountain Shelter, Pig Farm Campsite, and Campbell Shelter if you want to make this a multiday trip.

If you’re looking for a place to refuel, the Homeplace Restaurant at the bottom of Catawba Mountain has been a popular destination for AT hikers for years. The all-you-can-eat family style restaurant specializes in southern comfort food like fried chicken, green beans, and cobbler in a farmhouse setting. Once you’re off the trail, you can also explore the nearby small town of Salem, which is becoming known as a Mecca for antiques, art, and other shopping.

Who is Going to Love It

People come from all over the country for this hike—and that’s not including the thru-hikers on the AT. On a nice day you’ll get drool-worthy pictures, and the moderately difficult hike is a nice challenge—but one that most moderately in-shape hikers should be able to tackle. If you’re in the area, this is the must-do hike on the trip.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From Roanoke, take Interstate 81 to exit 141, which will put you on Virginia 419/311. After about a quarter mile, turn right on Route 311. Continue about 5.5 miles north to Catawba Mountain. You’ll find a gravel parking lot where the Appalachian Trail crosses the road. You’ll have to cross over Route 311 to reach the trailhead. Note that on nice days, this parking lot can fill up. Arrive early to ensure a spot.

Photo Credit:

McAfee Knob: Credit- Patrick Yagow-

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Rock On: 5 Best Southeast Music Festivals

Rock On: 5 Best Southeast Music Festivals


A sure sign of spring and summer in the southeast U.S. are masses of music lovers in sandals and sunscreen staking out their territory on festival grounds. These long weekends—under a blazing sun or in relentless rain, hours spent in long lines for food and port-a-potties—are as exhausting as they are exhilarating. Most concert venues open the grounds up to camping and RVs, adding another element to the convivial atmosphere of round-the-clock partying in the great outdoors.

So grab your towels, cut-0ffs, and flasks: Here’s a look at what’s in store (and on stage) for five of the best music festivals you can still make it to in the Southeast this summer.

1. Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN

It’s no wonder that more than 90,000 people stream in to soak up the heat and tunes all day and well into the night for the four-day duration of the festival in early June. Since the first Bonnaroo in 2002, the massive music festival has brought many of the world’s biggest names in music (Elton John, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Kanye West, Mumford and Sons, and The Flaming Lips, just to name a few) and comedy (Mike Birbiglia and Flight of the Conchords) to the 700-acre Great Stage Park, also known as The Farm, in Manchester, TN.

In 2015, Bonaroo featured Kendrick Lamar, three-time guest Robert Plant, Tears for Fears, Kacey Musgraves, Gary Clark Jr., Sylvan Esso, Spoon, and Alabama Shakes. And in the cinema tent, drummer Antonio Sánchez played live his jazzy original score to Birdman while the Academy Award-winning film was screened.

The lineup for 2016 was especially solid, including the likes of Pearl Jam, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Ellie Goulding, Death Cab For Cutie, Lucius, and Ween.

2. CMA Music Festival, Nashville, TN

If country music is in your blood, then the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, TN on June 9-12 is not to be missed. Hosted by the Country Music Association, this three-day festival is one of the biggest celebrations of country music you’ll find this summer with more than 150 acts on five stages. Sing along with beloved stars and find new favorites as many bands make their debuts under the Nashville sun.

The lineup boasts a variety of singers including Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and Keith Urban. If you want bands instead then check out the likes of the Charlie Daniels Band, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, and Rascal Flats to name just a few.

The festival started in 1972 with 5,000 fans in attendance. It has since grown to include sell-out crowds of 80,000 people each day and has won a place on prime-time TV with its three-hour special, CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock. The festival benefits music education.

3. Forecastle Festival, Louisville, KY

Just as old as Bonnaroo and attracting some 75,000 music fans, the Forecastle Festival, held in Louisville’s Waterfront Park in mid-July, is steeped in genres from rock to hip-hop, bluegrass to electronica. The likes of Jack White, Sam Smith, Outkast, Sleater-Kinney, Wilco, and Nico Case have played Forecastle. Slated to appear in 2016 were The Avett Brothers, Brandi Carlile, Femi Kuti, and Ben Harper.

But the beloved festival also revels in sustainable art and environmental recreational activism. A unique feature of Forecastle is to serve up samples of craft Kentucky bourbon to festival-goers: a perfect excuse to make a toast to the distillers and musicians sharing their art with the fans.

4. Sloss Music & Arts Festival, Birmingham, AL

The inaugural two-day Sloss Fest took place on three stages at Sloss Furnaces, a National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, in July 2015. Despite long lines for beverages and food, the first-year festival drew plenty of enthusiastic kudos.

Modest Mouse, Primus, Cage the Elephant, and Band of Horses all played the first year.

For the festival’s sophomore showing, set for mid-July 2016, Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, The Joy Formidable, The Flaming Lips, and Grouplove were among the 30-some acts booked. In addition, award-winning, Virginia-base craft brewery Starr Hill and the Piggly Wiggly Craftly Beer Garden (a worthy reason to raise a glass to one of the most beloved and longstanding brands in the South, if we’ve ever heard one) will both be on site serving thirsty festival-goers.

5. FloydFest, Floyd, VA

Not to be confused with the band Pink Floyd, the FloydFest world music and arts festival is a five-day event in Floyd, Virginia that runs from July 27 – 31. From humble roots in 2002, the festival has grown into one of the marquee summertime happenings. Each year has a theme that reflects the collection of musicians and styles that will be performing. 2016’s is Dreamweavin’ and it is a fitting description of the threads of rock, reggae, bluegrass, and other genres taking the stage. The Gregg Allman Band is the headlining act and there are plenty of other solid performers in the mix: Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Leftover Salmon, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Railroad Earth, Keller Williams, and Shakey Graves are some of most accomplished. There are more than 50 bands performing over the course of FloydFest.

Beyond the music, FloydFest’s peace, love, and good-times spirit extends to yoga sessions, meditations, several workshops, expert panel discussions, and healing arts. The combination of foot stomping tunes and chilled-out ambiance make this one of the best places to loose yourself in the music.


This content was produced for your enjoyment, thanks to a partnership among Osprey Packs, Chaco, and RootsRated.



Photo Credits:

Bonnaroo Feature: Credit Tom Tompkinson:

Bonnaroo 2- Credit: Adam Macchia:

Forescastle Fest– Credit: Courtesy of Forecastle Festival:

Sloss Fest: Credit- Alex Colee:

FloydFest: Credit: Daniel Lin-

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Spring Newsletter

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Leonard M. Adkins is Coming to Our Roanoke Stores!

Two Free Events with Leonard M. Adkins, a.k.a. “The Habitual Hiker”

“Pulaskis, Relos, and Hobnailed Boots: A Pictorial History of Virginia’s Appalachian Trail”

Thursday, June 2nd, 6-7 pm:

Valley View location

The presentation (accompanied by authentic Appalachian folk music and live narration), features heretofore unpublished photographs, such as scenes from McAfee Knob (and other places close to Roanoke) in the early 20th century, the trail’s original route through the state, the contributions of the area’s own Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, the creation of Shenandoah National Park, the efforts it takes to protect the pathway, and more.

Space is limited, so RSVP is required. Please call (540) 777-0990 or email

Book Signing
Friday, June 3rd, 12-3 pm:

Downtown Roanoke location

The book signing features two of his newer books, “Images of America: Along Virginia’s Appalachian Trail” and “Along the Appalachian Trail: West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania”.

Hope you can come out to join us! Bring your friends and family!

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