VHTRC Guide to Local Trails

The Death Run

This point-to-point run on the Appalachian Trail (AT) starts at Snickers Gap (Route 7) and finishes in Harpers Ferry. While none is larger than 400 feet, the climbs are numerous, and the 1.5 miles after Key’s Gap are especially rocky. This run is a favorite of the “Leesburg Mafia,” who named it because invariably someone “dies” whenever they run it.

The run starts at the trailhead on the north side of Route 7 at Snickers Gap, and finishes in Harpers Ferry at the Route 340 bridge over the Shenandoah River. Aid can be dropped at Key’s Gap/Charles Town Pike (Route 9) about 14 miles into the run. There is also a convenience store 0.2 miles to the east on Route 9.


What you do is up to you, but you shouldn't rely on these directions alone; they are often not specific enough to navigate by, and may be incorrect or out of date. Review a map beforehand and carry it with you. Tell a friend where you are going and when you plan to return. Do not count on having cell phone service while on the run. The VHTRC is not responsible for your welfare on any of these runs. If you go on one of these runs and get lost, run out of water, get injured, mauled by a bear, or die, or if anything else goes wrong, it's your fault; not ours. You assume all risks here and the VHTRC assumes none at all. Legal issues aside, some of these runs are more remote than others and the VHTRC is not suggesting that you do any of these runs, unless you are prepared to accept full responsibility for yourself.