Fall 2007 Newsletter

It may not feel like it, but summer is coming to an end, and cooler weather is right around the corner (thank goodness!). Make the most of these last hot days with some cool deals from Outdoor Trails. Most of our summer clothing and footwear has just been marked down to 40% off!! So hurry in while the selection is still good and the weather is still warm.  

This just in…

Just in time for the back-to-school rush, Outdoor Trails has a great selection of backpacks and messenger bags. We have back packs from The North Face, always a favorite back-to-school item. And we also have a wide assortment of bags by Eagle Creek, Mountain Hardwear, and Kelty. For the environmentally conscious student, our Lynchburg store carries a great line of Osprey packs made of 100% recycled materials. And both stores now carry the Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack in 100% recycled fabric made from plastic bottles, combining the best in high performance with environmental awareness.

Cooler weather will be here soon, and to get you ready for it we have fall and winter outerwear arriving daily. Back by popular demand are Denali Fleece jackets from The North Face in a variety of new colors for this season. Offering moderate warmth and a comfortable fit, the Denali is a favorite of both men and women and a great choice for just about any cold-weather activity. This is a definite must-have for anyone heading off to college or the trail.

You may have been spending a lot of time indoors the last couple of months to avoid the summer heat, but as the weather cools down, it’s a great time of year to get back out there and start hiking again. And that makes it a great time of year for a new pair of hiking shoes! We recently added Asolo and Scarpa to our already wide selection of footwear lines. And if you haven’t tried some of the oldies-but-goodies like the Montrail Hardrock and the Vasque Velocity, now is a great time to come on in and see why these classic styles have been around for years. And don’t forget to use the coupon in this newsletter to get 20% off any pair of hiking shoes!

Did you wear out any of your favorite t-shirts in this summer? Need a couple new ones to freshen up your warm-weather wardrobe before the cool fall weather arrives? You’re in luck! We just received in a large shipment of Life is Good tees at our Daleville store. These ultra-comfy shirts will quickly become the “go-to” t-shirt. Come in and check out the new fall colors and designs. Also, for the “green” consumer, Green Label Organic tees are just in. We have new colors and designs from this local company based in Floyd, VA. All of their shirts are made from 100% organic cotton. Green Label Organic tees will make you feel just as good on the inside as they do on the outside.

Planning a road trip and need a little extra cargo room? Outdoor Trails has recently expanded its selection of rental equipment by adding a Yakima luggage box! The Skybox 18 fits round, square, and most factory-installed crossbars and has 18 cubic feet of space (92” x 36” x 16”). The lid on the Skybox 18 is stiffer than those used on some other Yakima cargo boxes so that it vibrates less and is easier to handle. It’s easy to install on most vehicles even if you’ve never used a luggage box before. So if you’re taking a trip and need more storage space, come check it out. Rental rates are $30 per day, $75 for a weekend, or $120 for an entire week.

News & Events

The entire month of September is Equipment Sale Month! Stop by during the month of September to check out our great selection of outdoor equipment, with every sleeping back, backpack, and tent at least 15% off. And if you find a yellow sale tag on an equipment item that’s already on sale, you can take an extra 20% off!

Mark your calendars for our 6th annual fall Demo Day and Storewide Sale coming up Saturday, October 13. Representatives from some of our most popular tent lines will be at the Daleville store, where there will be demonstrations and displays to let you see our products in action. Both stores will host an Annual Storewide Sale with markdowns taken throughout the store and yellow stickers on select items for savings up to 75% off the regular retail price! 

Also, please note that our Saturday hours have changed. We are now open from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays. We’re still open from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed Sundays.

Get out there!

Okay, okay, we know. If you’re reading this newsletter, chances are you’re no stranger to hiking. And as an outdoor enthusiast living in Southwest Virginia, you’ve probably hiked up to McAfee Knob before—perhaps many times. But there’s a reason why this hike is so popular and so well-known—it’s a great hike. This gorgeous and exceptionally well-maintained stretch of the Appalachian Trail is one that should not be missed. If you’ve done this hike before, we encourage you to do it again and rediscover everything that it has to offer. Fall is our favorite time of year for this hike because it’s especially enjoyable in cooler weather and really showcases the fall foliage. And it’s a great family hike, too. So as the kids head back to school and everyone starts running a thousand miles an hour in different directions, bring everyone together one Saturday afternoon to enjoy one of the most breathtaking views in this area. And bring along some friends and visitors to the area, too. This hike is one that everyone should try!!


Take I-81 S to exit 141 or I-81 N to exit 140, and follow the signs to Route 311 N and Catawba. Turn on to Route 311, and follow the road for a few miles until you get to the top of the mountain and see signs for the AT and a parking area on your left. Park here. The trailhead will be across the road to your right. The old fire road will be across the road to your left. Take your pick, but be very careful crossing the road!!

About the Trail

It’s about 3.5 miles from the parking area to the summit (maybe a little more now with trail relocations). You have two options for getting to the top. The more traditional option is to take the AT the whole way. To follow this route, take the trailhead on your right after crossing Route 311 from the parking area. The trail has variable terrain with moderate inclines throughout. After about 2.5 miles, you’ll come to an intersection where the fire road crosses the AT. Continue along the AT to the summit.

If you prefer to take the fire road, which is just a bit shorter and has more gradual inclines, look to your left after crossing Route 311 from the parking area. After about 2.5 miles, the fire road will intersect with the AT. You’ll need to take the trail to the left to reach the summit. Another option for this hike is to go up the fire road and come down the AT, or visa versa. 

At about 7 miles round-trip, this hike will take you about 3 or 4 hours walking time, depending on your pace. But you’ll want to factor in some additional time for stopping to rest and to enjoy the view when you reach the top.        

What You’ll Need

Make sure that you wear thick-soled, comfortable shoes, as the terrain is pretty rocky in some areas (especially if you plan on using the fire road). Regular tennis shoes will work, but your feet may be sore by the end.

If you plan to spend a lot of time at the summit, you’ll want to bring an extra layer of clothing since it’s usually bit cooler at the top than it is when you start out. A lightweight fleece or windbreaker should be good for early fall hikes. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you leave on any hike, especially in the fall. A cold fall rain can dampen anyone’s spirits, so bring a rain jacket if the weather looks questionable.

As with any day hike, make sure you take plenty of water (at least one liter per person) and a snack for everyone in your group. If you want to make a day of it, pack lunch. There are large, flat rocks at the summit where you can spread out and enjoy a picnic. Or if you prefer a more shaded spot, stop for lunch at either of the two shelters that you’ll pass along the way—both have picnic tables. There are no trash cans, so remember to pack out what you take in!

And don’t forget your camera! Once you make it to the top, you’ll definitely want a picture of yourself standing on the famous McAfee Knob ledge.

Skill Level

This hike is a little on the long side for something that we’d typically recommend for a beginner. But because the fire road offers the option of an easier route and because the view at the top is so breathtaking, we’d recommend this hike for anyone. Just remember to go at your own pace, stop to rest along the way if needed, and drink plenty of water. Also, keep in mind that long hikes are easier in cooler weather. So if you’re a novice hiker who wants to give this a try, you might want to wait until the fall weather sets in. You might also want to wait for fall even if you’re not a beginner. A mid-October hike when the leaves are changing colors is one of the most remarkable events that the Blue Ridge Mountains has to offer!

Fall Special

Hiking season is about to begin, and who couldn’t use a new pair of shoes? And as the weather cools down and you head back into the great outdoors, make sure you don’t get caught in the rain unprepared. Use this coupon to get 20% off any one pair of footwear or rainwear. Shoes? Check. Rain jacket? Check. Let’s go hiking!