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stiffhand
01-09-2016, 23:22
I'm looking at first week of May start this year due to school. I'm hoping to avoid the crowds and party scene. I'm more interested in seeing the northern half of the trail so I would rather do that first in case I have to come off for some reason. The reason I don't want to do the southern half southbound is because I live close to Harpers Ferry and I'd rather finish at home.

What do you guys think about the start date? How would the weather be?

Anything else I should take into consideration?

Thanks

map man
01-10-2016, 11:34
A May start date will let you avoid freezing temperatures at night on the northern half of the trail. You will also be in northern New England during the height of the heat of summer so you will be a little cooler than you would be in the south or mid-Atlantic. The tail end of your hike could get cold, but if you truly are someone who avoids crowds and the party scene then you likely would need less time to complete the trail than most and could be done before October is over. If you arrive at Springer in August you will experience some weeks of hot, humid weather down south, but it's very difficult to avoid hot weather completely when hiking the whole trail in one hiking season.

Given your priorities of finishing the school year and wanting to be sure to experience the northern half of the trail and wanting to finish at Harpers Ferry I think your plan is a very sensible one. Good luck to you and :welcome to Whiteblaze.

Coffee
01-11-2016, 12:53
I hiked from Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs in the second half of April and conditions were very nice overall and the trail was uncrowded. The same is likely to be true for a May 1 start from Harpers Ferry although I can't comment on how conditions will be like further north.

rotorbrent
01-11-2016, 15:25
considering the same flip flop hike starting at Harpers ferry to Maine then Harpers ferry to Georgia hiking south with the fall

Captain Panda
01-11-2016, 23:08
Starting at Rockfish Gap northbound about March 31. Want to get my legs hiking to HF for the flip flop kickoff. After finishing in Maine, the plan is to hike southbound from Rockfish Gap to Springer; to avoid late summer heat in GA.

The Wanna Bs
01-20-2016, 17:42
Rotorbent....When are you starting your hike? We are attending the "Flip-Flop Kick-Off" in HF April 16-17 and leaving on the 18 North.

The Wanna Bs
01-20-2016, 17:53
Captain Panda...Perhaps we will meet at the HF Kick-Off.

4Days
01-20-2016, 18:58
I'm doing the same, starting in HF ~ April 8th. I have already done the Kent CT to Killington VT section late last year so that should could as part of my thru hike. Very pumped and fine tuned all my gear and food, finally!

Adagio123
01-26-2016, 11:19
I will be starting at HF around May 1. Plan on returning to Ga. and hike north to HF. maybe we shall see each other on the trail. Adagio

Azrial
02-14-2016, 19:22
Captain Panda...Perhaps we will meet at the HF Kick-Off.

I think I've finally decided on a game plan- I'll be at the HF kickoff going north. Either having hiked NOBO to HF starting earlier in April or just getting there as a greenhorn. I'm looking forward to meeting everybody! Now I've just gotta slog through this last month of work...

Slo-go'en
02-14-2016, 21:36
I think I've finally decided on a game plan- I'll be at the HF kickoff going north. Either having hiked NOBO to HF starting earlier in April or just getting there as a greenhorn. I'm looking forward to meeting everybody! Now I've just gotta slog through this last month of work...

If you want to start south of HF and end up at HF on or about the kick off on the 17th, I'd start about 14 days earlier at the south end of the Shenandoah NP (Waynesboro). That way you still start out reasonably easy, have most of the parks waysides open and only have one difficult section between Front Royal and Harpers Ferry. (The 18 mile "roller coaster". If it's got a nick name, you know that can't be good :) )

But as a greenhorn, I'd recommend you wait until the Kick off and start there with the rest of us. That way you'll be sure to have company, some support and possibly slightly warmer and less stormy weather to start out with. Plus Harpers Ferry is easier to get to then Waynesboro by public transportation unless you have someone driving you up there.

Azrial
02-15-2016, 18:30
But as a greenhorn, I'd recommend you wait until the Kick off and start there with the rest of us. That way you'll be sure to have company, some support and possibly slightly warmer and less stormy weather to start out with. Plus Harpers Ferry is easier to get to then Waynesboro by public transportation unless you have someone driving you up there.

Just talked to family in Lynchburg, VA who are willing to shuttle me around for a series of shakedown hikes in VA at the beginning of April, both on the AT and not, and maybe with some hiking company! So I think I'll use that to warm up and make adjustments without having to go whole-hog.

Gailhinsh
02-15-2016, 18:38
I'm starting in HF the morning of May 3. Going was far as New York\ CN line and will make a quick flight back to Missouri then return to head to Maine. Another quick trip home then back to HF and South.

The Roundabouts
02-15-2016, 19:04
Gailhinsh - you sound like me. After heading NOBO I hope to make it to somewhere in MA before heading home for visit with 5 grandkids, then back to where I left off to head NOBO and finish at Katahdin, which I've climbed before and swore I wouldn't do it again but I changed my mind.:) Then again another visit with grandkids in late August, then SOBO.

In SNP the Waysides at Loft and Elkwallow don't open until April 8th. Big Meadows campground and Wayside Open March 25th. I'll be camping there then with my husband but have a Casita to stay warm and dry at night. The weather can vary a lot in the park at that time of year and it 10 degrees cooler than the valley below.

squeezebox
02-15-2016, 21:38
Does that count as a " flip-flip" without the flop part.

Lauriep
02-15-2016, 22:22
Just looked up the temperatures for April 18 in Harpers Ferry:

Average high: 65
Average low: 39

Record high: 87 (1976)
Record low: 26 (1951)

On the ridges, temperatures will be a few degrees colder, but then climate change probably adds a few degrees to that average too.

Gailhinsh
02-16-2016, 02:06
Gailhinsh - you sound like me. After heading NOBO I hope to make it to somewhere in MA before heading home for visit with 5 grandkids, then back to where I left off to head NOBO and finish at Katahdin, which I've climbed before and swore I wouldn't do it again but I changed my mind.:) Then again another visit with grandkids in late August, then SOBO.

In SNP the Waysides at Loft and Elkwallow don't open until April 8th. Big Meadows campground and Wayside Open March 25th. I'll be camping there then with my husband but have a Casita to stay warm and dry at night. The weather can vary a lot in the park at that time of year and it 10 degrees cooler than the valley below.
I'm headed back for grandkids as well. I plan on taking commutter train to NY City and fly back to Branson, MO and then back to NY City, back on committer train to trail and on to Maine.

Sent from my VK810 4G using Tapatalk

twistwrist
02-16-2016, 22:20
This article may help.

http://appalachiantrailclarity.com/2016/02/17/why-a-flip-flop-is-more-comfortable/