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  1. #1
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    Default Advice on great section hike for month of May

    Hello,

    I have the month of May off! I would love to hear what people think would be the best section hike option. I thru hiked the Colorado Trail in September, so I think I have a good idea of what I am getting into. On that trip I hiked and average of 17 mpd. I would prefer to not hike and camp with the crowds, and the best scenery with minimal snow hiking (e.g. I hate post-holing, and I know the white mountains are awesome, but they are are covered in snow).

    So based of the aforementioned preferences, I would appreciate if you can answer the following question:

    1) What is (in your opinion obviously) a great month of May section hike?

    Thanks! I am looking forward to your helpful advice!

  2. #2

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    I was going to suggest Virginia but at some point, you'll meet up with the thruhikers' "bubble" which apparently you wish to avoid. So start at the PA/NJ line at Delaware Water Gap and hike north to Hanover, NH - a distance of 443 miles. It's a bit less than a 17 mpd pace. NJ is quite scenic ( you'll likely see bears) and NY has some short but steep ups/downs, lakes, the Hudson River Crossing at the trail's lowest point. By the time you reach CT, you finally ascend to 2,000', then 3,000' in MA atop Mt. Greylock. You'll like Vermont with its firetowers on Glastonbury & Stratton mountains, its lakes & ponds, and the side trail up Killington.

    If you reach Hanover with time to spare, continue on to Glencliff and then play it by ear depending on weather.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    If you do what Cookerhiker suggests, perhaps I'll see you. I'm starting on May 4th, late afternoon, at Culver's gap in NJ. Heading to Great Barrington, MA. I'm not out for the entire month unfortunately.

    Good luck, hoping for pleasant weather.

  4. #4
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    CookerHiker, thanks so much for that advice. I did not know hiking would be feasible in the NE during May due to weather/snow, but that is good to know.

    I grew up in Connecticut, so I am really familiar with the beautiful northern states. I guess I should have mentioned I was looking for something that would highlight the southern mountains, since I have little experience with them. For example, I have never seen the Smokies or Shenandoah, so I am gravitating south. I would be willing to hike with the crowds if it meant experiencing some wonderful new terrain. So maybe your Virginia idea needs re-visiting. Thanks again!

  5. #5
    LT '79; AT from Springer-Rangeley in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    You might also consider starting at Springer and heading north. There will still be a few aspiring thru-hikers, but my May hikes down south have been lovely. A month on the trail would put you in Erwin I would think, which is fairly accessible by air (the Tri-Counties airport in Johnson City, TN, or TRI). By that time you'll have leaves on most trees, you should have lovely weather over the Smokies, Max Patch, and Bald Mountain. It's quite possible that, at least down south in good weather, you could match your CT daily mileage, which would get you all the way to Damascus over lovely Roan Highlands. Make it 18 mpd and you can get to Atkins, VA, which passes through Grayson Highlands. From Damascus or Atkins you can arrange a shuttle back to TRI.
    .
    I've hiked PA/NJ/NY/CT/MA in late March/early April back in the 70's. The trees should be just starting to leaf out in May. However, I think you'll encounter a lot of mud in many places (especially in Vermont) and significant black flies in late May on the northern stretch. Personally, I'd do the southern section and save the Whites and Maine for a September section hike.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2015?

  6. #6
    Registered User Tharwood's Avatar
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    I agree with Kerosene,, BTW...LOL its Tri -Citites airport.. You coud arrange a p/u shuttle from Uncle Johnnys Hostel, Which is 60ft off the AT in Erwin TN. They could take you right to Sams Gap .

  7. #7

    Default Advice on great section hike for month of May

    Southern Va can't be beat.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by I'reckon View Post
    I know the white mountains are awesome, but they are are covered in snow.
    Given this years weather, can someone who lives in NH confirm that this is a true statement?

  9. #9
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    I am in W. MA just north of Gt. Barrington at 1000 ft elevation. It is bone dry here. My apples and pear trees are blooming, the trillium is in bloom. There has not been any snow here since early March. We are expecting some much needed rain this weekend.

  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone for the great advice! I have settled on just starting at Springer mnt. and seeing how far I can get in a month. I am flying to Atlanta tomorrow. I just need to start hiking... I am getting itchy feet, and it is still mud/snow season here in CO. Sounds like this will set me up perfectly to hit VA for the next time I do a section of the AT, as some people recommended that also. Happy trails!

  11. #11

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    Dude, NY/NJ last May was incredible. Started at Delaware Water Gap on a brisk cloudy morning, then it rained the first 3 days and we slept in clouds. But then it was truly beautiful and just amazing weather. Im in NYC right now and the weather is only getting better. Not too bad terrain, amazing hiker towns, farm land, secluded areas. Plus the faster through hikers are just getting there but its not crowded. amazing life changing hike for me. thru hiking in 2014 bc of it.

  12. #12

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    How about another thru-hike - - the Benton MacKaye Trail!!

    Go to bmta.org -- this is a wonderful trail and it's just the right time of year for it - - it's more remote than the AT so you won't have quite the crowds - - a real wilderness experience - - I would suggest 20 days at 15 miles per day plus travel and re-supply days - easily done in less than a month.

    Running from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Davenport Gap on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (the Smokies), the BMT passes through some of the most remote backcountry in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, including eight federally designated Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas. For further information on the trail, visit the BMT Vital Info page.

  13. #13

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    Springer to Erwin-Damascus...behind most of the thru-hiker crowd, wonderful section

  14. #14
    Registered User Moose2001's Avatar
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    Not sure if you're commited to hiking the AT. If not, I'd suggest starting somewhere in southern CA and going north on the PCT. A month would get you into the high Sierra.
    GA - NJ 2001; GA - ME 2003; GA - ME 2005; GA - ME 2007; PCT 2006

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