View Full Version : UK Hikers seek advice

10-04-2005, 09:59
Hi all

We are a married couple who are thinking of doing some part of the AT. We have recently finished the pilgrim route from Pamplona to Saniago, Spain, Europe.
Our problem is that our knowledge of the geography of the States is not good so we do not know the terrain. We are looking for a section of the AT wthat is scenic, not too many steep climbs and has some accommodation (Food and Beds) along the way.

Any suggestions


10-04-2005, 10:13

I've only hiked a small section of the Appalachian Trail in the SMokies and Roans. The trail through the Smokies is one of the toughest and the highest, yet one of the most beautiful. The Roans are beautiful as well. These areas are on the NC/Tennessee border. If you like winter hiking, the Roans are great as well as the Grayson Highlands.

10-04-2005, 10:36
When you say food and beds, how often do you wish to stay in a bed and breakfast/hotel/motel/hostel? Nightly or less frequently?

10-04-2005, 21:20
I don't know if i'd say the Smokies are one of the toughest sections.. but they are some pretty big mountains.. Nice smooth terrain really, though. But to answer the question here.. The Shenandoahs in Virginia come to mind..and my personal favorite, Maryland.. Southern Va is also a nice stretch.. especially around McAfee Knob..actually, you know what.. I like all of Va.. it's relatively easy compared to other states.. and there are plenty of places to go into town.. and most of the towns are fairly large.. it's a good state to start out in.. As far as the best places for hiking are concerned though.. in my opinion anyway.. the Roan highlands are definitely included.. The priest and Three Ridges area in Va.. Maryland, because I don't know.. I just loved maryland.. Palmerton and northward in PA (the rocks add excitement).. Vermont is nice.. actually hey.. there ya go, Vermont and Virginia are my recommendations.. Vermont has some cool towns.. and the terrain is sort of similar to VA.. then of course the Whites are bad ass and excite me more than any of you would care to know.. and Maine.. especially the big K is in love with me.. and I it.

The Hog
10-05-2005, 06:41
Many of the most scenic parts of the Trail are also the most difficult. But I don't see that as a problem if you're in reasonable shape and not carrying a full load of gear and not doing high mileage.

Here's what I suggest: Hike the White Mountain Hut system in New Hampshire. Start at Franconia Notch, stay in Greenleaf, Galehead, Zealand, Mizpah, Lakes of the Clouds, Madison, and Pinkham Notch Huts. That's seven nights. You get a bed and meals, great above treeline scenery, relatively low mileage days, some steep climbs and descents. Pick your time of year (August), and make your reservations with the AMC early. You can even take a shuttle bus back to your rental car in Franconia Notch.

The General
10-05-2005, 07:43
Treesculptor, I live in North Yorkshire. and Thru Hiked the AT last year. I am away from home at present but will be back in the UK for most of November will gladly talk to you via phone or even face to face, when I get home. I can provide maps/guidebooks and trail data and a veritable plethera of trail tales. You can contact me by this site or just ask general questions via my e-mail.


The General

10-06-2005, 05:49
I hiked the Pyrenees about 5 years ago and saw that so many hikers in Spain and France use those bed & breakfast type places to spend the night. We had the mtns to ourselves most nights.
If that's what you're looking for, the whites in NH would probably be your best bet although the "huts" are expensive (but your pound is so strong so maybe that's not a concern)
I think you need advance reservations. Keep in mind, it's also the toughest part of the AT. (Very Steep climbs and downhills)
They are not really huts, more like huge hotels with bunks and great food. In beautiful locations too. Have fun

10-06-2005, 08:50
Views from the trail: GSMNP (The Smokies, TN & NC).
Food & lodging on / near the trail: SNP (Shenendoa National Park, VA.)

GSMNP is indeed a tough section, lots of ups & downs, but the views Ohmygod!!
SNP easier hiking, great views are to be had, but usually some distance from the AT along the road.


10-06-2005, 09:45
Its hard to respond to your question without knowing how long you want to be out for.

While the AT skirts many cities and towns, for the most part people camp and cook thier on food on the Trail-- either in thier own tent, or in three-sided shelters.

While there is a lot of talk about staying in towns on a site like this, it would be almost impossible to string your town stays together in such a way that you could sleep in different B&Bs or motels on consequtive nights. Basically, you would need to camp in the woods most nights.

Unless you get creative, that is.

There are a number of companies (typically hostel owners) that offer "slackpacking" shuttles. The idea is that you would stay at thier establishment, and then they would drop you off at the beginning of one section of trail in the AM, andthen pick you up at the end of the day. If that's something you want to investigate, others on this list can provide more details.

Another option for one wanting a bed is a stretch of the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains, where the Appalachian Mountain Club maintains a series of "Huts". At a price of close to $100 per person per night, you get a great breakfast and dinner and a bunk with a wool blanket. More information can be found at www.outdoors.org. One thing to consider here is that the stretch covered by these huts allows for less than a week of walking. They have a good infrastructure, however-- including shuttle busses looping around various trail heads. Steep? Relatively speaking for the AT the trail is steep. The trails will get your heart going, that's for sure. But only from the exersize-- there are no techical climbs on the AT-- or anything even close.

Then again, if you were willing to walk relatively long miles and hitchhike a lot, I suppose you could find those B&Bs. I guess I am thinking that wouldn't be all that attractive. Others in this thread probably have a differrent perspective on that.

Rick B