Trekking the Appalachian Mural Trail in Front Royal Virginia
An adventurous heart is the main ingredient found in through hikers on the Appalachian
Trail, combined with lots of stamina and a love of the natural world. This too is the
recipe for an Appalachian muralist able to paint tall buildings in a single bound!
Both hiker and mural art now come together in the small town of Front Royal in the
Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Front Royal is a favorite stopping off point for through hikers on the Appalachian
Trail. Garry Green, the owner of Mountain Trails, an outdoors specialty store in
Front Royal, decided to invest in the Appalachian Trail community of
Front Royal, hiring local artist Jacqui Ris to paint a mural on the wall next
to his Main Street store, depicting the trail. Now when through hikers come off
the trail for a free shower and pick up provisions, a beautiful mural awaits them.
Those adventurous hikers that take a 'selfie' in front of the 'Mountain Trails'
mural and upload their photo onto the Appalachian Mural Trail website will receive
a free "I Hiked the Appalachian Mural Trail" tee shirt, something they'll appreciate
greatly after their shower.
Felicia Hart of Front Royal says. "It's really cool to get people involved with this
kind of project. This mural comes at a good time for the town as it plans to seek
additional funding for more public art projects." In the end, the murals not only
add to the flavor and character of the town but they also help tell our story. That
story and history are all part of what makes Front Royal a destination. What the mural
trail is tying into is showing the local flavor, the local history, "which is what murals
do," Hart says. They help people understand, especially the newcomers into your
community, a little bit of the history "murals like this get people talking."