View Full Version : Planning an AT Section Hike

09-22-2014, 23:58
Hi guys!

I am graduating from college in late May and will have about a month and a half off until I start working. In that time, I want to spend about a month hiking a section of the Appalachian trail. I've been doing a lot of research, but I am struggling to find all the info that I'm looking for.

My question is: If I were to start hiking in early June, where would be the best place for me to start and what direction should I go? I want to try to get the full AT experience and meet as many other hikers as possible, so ideally I'd like to end up being in a section where a lot of the thru hikers would be. Also, I am definitely not the most experience hiker/backpacker. I have some experience and plan on spending the rest of the school year preparing, but I do not have much experience with long-term backpacking trips.

Any advice would be seriously appreciated! Thank you!!

Possum Bill
09-23-2014, 09:29
Since you're from Richmond, I would do something in Central Virginia in June. Maybe start in the Roanoke area and head north. I would think you'll be in the middle of a lot of thru-hikers at that point.

09-23-2014, 12:16
In June, most of the thru hikers are spread out through Virginia. If you want to meet as many hikers as possible, I'd go south. You'll meet a new group everyday. The same is probably true to some extent if you go north, because thru-hikers are starting to move right along by the time they get into VA and you'd have a hard time keeping up with any one group. That can be a little frustrating.

I'd start at Harper's Ferry and head south. You'll quickly be in the SNP where the trail is fairly easy and lots of food is available. By the time you get out of the park, you'll be in better condition and have some experience to do the more difficult sections of central and southern VA. In a month, you should be able to do most of Virginia.

09-23-2014, 17:26
There will be thruhikers that start in late-May at Springer, I'd just start there. The thruhikers in VA will have their trail legs, and you'll simply see them for 30 seconds as they blow by you on the trail and only see them for a single night if at the shelters. They will be hiking faster than you and doing more miles. Quality over quantity.