PDA

View Full Version : best hiking area for end of July



lovenature
07-14-2014, 07:11
Hello Everyone! Just wondering where on the AT people would recommend hiking the last week in August. We are pretty flexible in terms of where to go- just hoping there is a section we could do that the weather would be bearable. We are from MD and I wouldn't do it here in July, heat and humidity are horrible.
Thanks!

lovenature
07-14-2014, 07:13
oh my- too early in the am- I meant last week in July!

Cookerhiker
07-14-2014, 09:59
White Mountains in NH would be my first choice. By late July, the black flies should be gone.

Maine would be OK, especially when you reach the tops of the mountains. It can be hot & humid at the bottoms.

Just Bill
07-14-2014, 10:06
Anything North of you, but as CookerHiker mentioned- the higher the better if you want to beat the heat. Whites would be my choice too, or maybe even the north half of the Long Trail or Southern Maine. With all the storms lately sounds like the lowlands of Maine (most of 100 mile wilderness) are pretty swampy. Check trail conditions in the next week, but Northern Vermont may be a good alternative too. It's Vermud, but may have been far enough inland to dodge the worst of the storms.

HooKooDooKu
07-14-2014, 12:08
I would recommend GSMNP because of the elevation (disclaimer, I'm partial to the Smokies).

Once you get about 6 miles in from either end of the park, the elevation is already above 4,000', and there is nearly a 40 mile stretch where the trail never gets below 5,000'.
At those elevations, the day time high temperatures will only average about 70, with night time lows around 55. However, weather extreams can easily put those numbers +/-15.

For example, I was doing some hiking in GSMNP over the 4th of July weekend where I stayed at IceWater Spring shelter (elevation 6,000'). I'm not sure what the night time low was at the shelter, but at LeConte Lodge only 4 miles away and only 500' higher in elevation, the night time low was 38.

Namtrag
07-15-2014, 12:22
If you aren't strictly AT, you could hit Canaan Valley or Dolly Sods, which are both pretty close to Hagerstown. We were at Dolly Sods over July 4th weekend, and it got to 37 one night, and the highs felt to be in the mid 70's.

I would throw out the AT through Grayson Highlands as well, since no one else mentioned it. It's at about 5,000', so tends to be tolerable in the summer.

Cookerhiker
07-15-2014, 13:20
In the same vein, you could hike the Cranberry Wilderness (http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5090665.pdf) in West Virginia. Much cooler there.

lemon b
07-17-2014, 11:59
The Whites, and there are many non AT places in that area also. Another idea would be The Long Trail from Maine Junction head North instead of staying on the AT.
In both areas at my age I also take my time as in set no mileage goals. Mother nature gave us some beautiful places up in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Enjoy.

lovenature
07-25-2014, 06:54
thank you everyone!! I guess Dolly Sods it is!! I voted for Grayson Highlands (bc I always want to finish miles on the AT) but my son doesn't want the drive :)
Anyway, if anyone has suggestions for a 3 day loop somewhere in Dolly Sods, I'm all ears! I haven't found lots of detail online so far regarding trails/trailheads, facilities etc. Are there shelters of some sort along the trails? I wouldn't have expected it but I did see someone's photos of Dolly Sods and it had photos of AT style shelters.....

Studlintsean
07-25-2014, 07:58
Google "Mid Atlantic hikes Dolly Sods" and you will find a few routes. I might get the opportunity to head here in August. Any chance you can do a post trip follow up? Doesn't need to be detailed.

lovenature
07-25-2014, 11:03
Hi Studlintsean, I did google and got the Mid Atlantic hikes report... just a little uneasy about it since sounds like very little trail marking! Spoiled I guess by the AT signage/info out there... but yes, I'll definitely post a trip report and let you know what we find!!

Namtrag
07-25-2014, 16:26
Use this map.

http://files.meetup.com/1648248/dolly%20sods%20trail%20map%20brochure.pdf

Trails are signed with numbers pretty well. Most intersections have trail names. Whoever is in charge of maintaining the trails has put signage out very nicely, mostly those brown flexible pieces of vinyl siding with the trail number on it.

if you're lucky, the blueberries will be ripe! On July 4th, they were still not blue.

Cookerhiker
07-25-2014, 23:02
thank you everyone!! I guess Dolly Sods it is!! I voted for Grayson Highlands (bc I always want to finish miles on the AT) but my son doesn't want the drive :)
Anyway, if anyone has suggestions for a 3 day loop somewhere in Dolly Sods, I'm all ears! I haven't found lots of detail online so far regarding trails/trailheads, facilities etc. Are there shelters of some sort along the trails? I wouldn't have expected it but I did see someone's photos of Dolly Sods and it had photos of AT style shelters.....

Here's the link to the Forest Service description of Dolly Sods (http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mnf/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=12366&actid=51).

DavidNH
07-26-2014, 11:12
best advice for late July... avoid anything SOUTH of the White Mountains to avoid extreme heat. I'd go for the White Mountains.. Franconias or Presidential ranges. I'd consider also 100 mile wilderness in Maine.

lovenature
07-30-2014, 19:57
Hi Everyone! We're back! We ended up in Dolly Sods, the northern section. Loved it- the terrain was incredibly diverse and as everyone said, it was plenty cool. We only camped out one night (hiked 2 days) since it rained pretty steadily the first night. Ended up at a campsite on the Red Creek that was beautiful, quiet and yes, COLD!! Not sure what the temp was but we survived.... but boy, hot coffee and oatmeal never tasted so good in the morning! I will say that the trails are much harder to follow than the AT since there are no blazes. Periodically there are the above mentioned trail markers but few and far between. There are lots of "false" trails that in one area had us going in circles for so long we almost gave up and went back the way we came... but the last trail we tried was it so we were able to complete our circuit. It is easy to mistake deer trails or others stealth trails for the actual trail since the actual trails are so narrow in some places. The blueberries were ripe and plentiful. No bears sighted but I got the feeling there were plenty around.. scat etc. Since I was with two 15 year old boys, there was no danger of sneaking up on any. Well, thanks for the idea again and if anyone wants details, my email is cmpp1@juno.com. I don't know how to attach photos here but I've got plenty, including a photo of our trail map.

Studlintsean
07-30-2014, 21:35
Glad to hear you had an awesome trip and thanks for the information.