Logistics For Hikers – Getting Back Home
The ODH provides a shuttle for hikers to use to get to the 50K start, and to return from the end point, the Bolivar Community Center (BCC), to Shady Grove or Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro stations.
The return shuttle leaves BCC at scheduled times of high demand. There is a fee for the shuttle, and hikers must pre-register. Download the registration form and mail it along with payment to the address on the form.
For additional question, contact the Transportation Coordinator, Rob Anderson.
Click here for information about the shuttle reservation (PDF)
Other Return Options
Most hikers arrange to be picked up by friends or family shortly after they arrive to the hike’s end point, the Bolivar Community Center (BCC). (See driving directions to BCC.) A volunteer at BCC will also assist in coordinating ad-hoc carpooling with a sign-up sheet for hikers needing a ride and friends/family or hike volunteers, able to provide a ride.
We strongly discourage hikers from driving back on their own; you will be extremely tired, and may be in pain from blisters or other problems. You cannot know in advance the shape you will be in, or be sure that you finish.
Moreover, dropping off a car in Harpers Ferry and returning requires a lot of effort, and is a waste of energy. If you do leave a car in Harpers Ferry or Bolivar, make sure you abide by parking regulations. You can park on Washington Street (the main street) near BCC. Do not park in side (residential) streets near BCC, adjacent to it, or in its parking lot, which is needed for hiker and equipment drop off/pick up, and for the shuttle bus. Cars there may be towed at owner expense.
Some hikers spend the night after the ODH in a local hotel, B&B, or hostel. Greeting a ride to one of these should be no problem. Staying the night allows another option of taking an Amtrak train, or a MARC train on weekdays, back to the Washington area. The MARC train does not run on Sundays. (See schedule & cost information)
If you drop out of the ODH, you may need a ride from that support station. Depending on the location, the time, and your end-point transportation plans, it is usually best to go to go to BCC. See Dropping Out for more information.