Our 8th Annual Washington To Washington trip takes us to the pristine wilderness of the Blue Ridge Mountains in stunning Southwest Virginia, near Shenandoah National Park. While there are some similarities to areas we’ve visited on our previous trips, this portion of the state is also known for its lush forests, fresh-water lakes, inquisitive wildlife, and majestic peaks. During this year’s trip we will have plenty of stuff to explore. From taking in the glorious views atop Dobie Mountain to swimming in the beautiful Sherando Lake and exploring the serpentine Appalachian Trail, we’ll be pretty busy! And, like the skunks in Pennsylvania and the deer in West Virginia, we hope the campers will be surprised by some brand-new wildlife: wild turkeys, beavers, muskrats (and, at a very safe distance, foxes and black bears!) Hopefully the peace and quiet of the wilderness won’t be drowned out by the frogs, cicadas, and rich variety of birds!

This trip is a chance for these kids to see animals out in the open rather than at a zoo; to swim in refreshing, crisp, natural water in ponds rather than the local chlorinated, public swimming pool; to help build campfires and cook dinners (and make S’mores!) over the fire rather than making a quick stop at the drive-thru. This is a chance for these kids to hike for hours without ever hearing a honking horn or touching a paved street. We want to offer them a special experience that is altogether new to them, one that just isn’t available where they live.

Want to help these kids explore the Great Outdoors? Visit our fundraising page!

Here’s a look at our 2017 itinerary:

Tuesday, August 8

  • 6:00 – 9:00 pm — Pre-trip Bar-B-Q in D.C.

Wednesday, August 9

  • Leave D.C. around 9:00 a.m., driving vans toward the Blue Ridge Mountains in SW Virginia.
  • Arrive at Sherando Lake Campground.
  • Evening Activity — Set up camp, get settled, and cook dinner.

Thursday, August 10

  • Morning Activity — Art Projects
  • Hike to Chimney Rock. Swim in Sherando Lake.
  • Evening Activity — Games, cooking dinner, and ghost stories!

Friday, August 11

  • Visit local farms.
  • Day hike to waterfalls and swimming hole.

Saturday, August 12

  • Hike the Appalachian Trail to the top of Dobie Mountain, one of Virginia’s highest peaks!
  • Hang out, take pictures, enjoy the view, and swim.
  • Closing Ceremony around the campfire, and present Hiker Awards.

Sunday, August 13

  • Drive back to Washington, D.C., New Orleans, and Detroit, with a couple of group stops along the way.

Help this trip become an ongoing reality! Even $1, $5, or $10 makes a difference.