May 28 2019

Pearis Cemetery-A Short Stroll on the Appalachian Trail

Pearis Cemetery-A Short Stroll on the AT

Written by Teresa Fletcher


I’ve had a few people tell me that they’d love to go on a hike on the Appalachian Trail, but they just don’t think they can climb a mountain. I always reply to this that I know just the place for them to go. The Pearis Cemetery trailhead is located at the intersection of Route 100 and Thomas Drive, just outside the town of Pearisburg. There’s a large sign at the entrance to the parking lot and room for several cars.


The path to the cemetery is a half mile section of the Appalachian Trail. It’s a fairly level walk along a mostly gravel path with a couple of benches if you need a rest. You may find a thru hiker taking a nap on one of the benches from time to time or share the trail with a rabbit or two. There are lots of plants and trees beside the trail, such as wild strawberries and sweet-smelling honeysuckle.


The AT takes a turn left as you pass the entrance to the cemetery and as you continue up the path it begins to feel as if you are strolling back in time. The Pearis Cemetery is very old and is the final resting place of Revolutionary War Captain George Pearis, a  founding father of the town of Pearisburg. Old Glory flies high above his grave while huge majestic trees stand guard over the other gravesites. Head stones so old that the writing can no longer be read mingle with newer more legible stones, sadly many of them belonging children. Beautiful stone benches serve as both decoration and resting places. If your brave enough to follow the animal trail to the top of the knoll you can catch a glimpse of the New River.


So,  if you’ve always wanted to do a hike on the AT, or are just a fan of history, this short stroll is well worth the effort. Round trip is an hour or less unless you get caught up in the history, and then you might want to spend the afternoon. Happy hiking!


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