The Trail as Muse

The Trail as Muse

Is nature your inspiration? It is for the artists of all ages who submitted work to the 5th Annual Round Hill Appalachian Trail Art Show.

Why does Round Hill have an A.T. art show? Since being designated as an official A.T. Community by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Round Hill is committed to promoting and protecting the A.T. and all the other beautiful green spaces that surround our town. Helping people see the beauty of this nature is part of our mission.

“I’m always inspired by the wealth of talent and creativity among our local artists of all ages,” says art show Director Susan Stowe. “They really captured the beauty of the A.T. and the wild nature all around us. Every year, the show keeps getting better.”

You can see this year’s art show in person or online:

The Round Hill A.T. Festival is sponsoring a “People’s Choice” competition. Visit the Arts Center or go online to select up to five works you think capture the spirit of the Appalachian Trail and the beauties of nature. What makes you want to “get outside”?

Send the name of the five works and the artists to our festival contact form. Winners will receive prizes from the festival, and the works will be featured in festival promotions.

Hike: Keyes Gap to David Lesser Shelter

Hike: Keyes Gap to David Lesser Shelter


6 Miles

Route Type

Out & Back




A simple walk in the woods along the Appalachian Trail starting from the Keyes Gap parking lot turning around point at the David Lesser shelter – an excellent example of an Appalachian Trail shelter used by thru-hikers walking from Georgia to Maine. It’s the perfect midway point to relax and eat your lunch, complete with a picnic table and swing. Just downhill from the shelter is a stream where you can collect water (filtration recommended).

A little local history on Keyes Gap from Wikipedia:

Keyes Gap or Keyes’ Gap is a wind gap in the Blue Ridge Mountain on the border of Loudoun County, Virginia and Jefferson County, West Virginia. The gap is traversed by Virginia State Route 9/West Virginia Route 9. The Appalachian Trail also crosses the gap.


Originally known as Vestal’s Gap, the 906 feet (276 m) gap is one of the lowest crossings of the Blue Ridge in Virginia. During the colonial period the main road between Alexandria and Winchester ran through the gap. As such, part of General Edward Braddock’s army under George Washington crossed through the gap on their way to Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War.


By 1820, the main route west became the newly completed Snickers Gap Turnpike which crossed the Blue Ridge to the south at Snickers Gap, and Keyes Gap lost its prominence. Despite this, Keyes Gap was still of strategic importance during the American Civil War, as it provided an alternate “back route” from Virginia to the key point of Harpers Ferry.



Coming from Round Hill, on the right side (north) of Route 9 right at the WV / VA border. Parking spaces are limited, so carpool when possible.