View Full Version : Should I start at DWG or further north?

07-08-2016, 10:16
The plan all spring had been to start at DWG and hike north for the month of August. I'm not sure why I picked there, specifically, except that it seemed convenient and I thought it would be neat for my son to be able to cross a bunch of state borders (PA into NJ, NY, CT?).

I don't know how far we'd be able to get in a month... generally we hike 10 mile days, but we've only ever done shorter sections (4-7days) in the southern Virginia area so I'd like to think that we could do 12-15 (but maybe it'd average down to 10 with resupplies and zeros anyway).

Then, all of a sudden as I'm packing up a mail drop or two and trying to figure out our camping/resupply spots for the first week, I'm wondering if this is the best choice after all? Would it be more interesting to start at the end of NJ so we could get further into New England?

I'm worried about the heat, and water sources, and road walks in the sun. The heat was never really an issue down south because we'd be at higher elevation and walking in almost complete shade.

Thoughts? Maybe it's just pre-trip jitters?
Honestly though, if you only had 4-5 weeks would you start further north?

07-09-2016, 06:55
I have hiked all the stretch that you are discussing (as sections) (multiple times) and I'd highly recommend you stick with your original plan. New Jersey is surprisingly beautiful! The haul out of DWG isn't "the most" fun thing you'll ever ever do, but if you stay at Mohican Outdoor Center the first night you will have fun! All through these states, NJ through MA, there are ample opportunities to get off-trail or have a snack or visit cool stuff and it should really make the hike pretty enjoyable. Plus, at least in my experience the weather will be pretty similar the whole way. Have a great time with your son!


07-09-2016, 08:41
Thanks Jane! I'll look into the Mohican Outdoor Center. We were going to try and avoid paid stays for a few days, but the campsites with bear cables in that area seem to be awkwardly spaced for our probably-low-miles-per-day start.

I also keep hearing really conflicting things about resupply in this area... "You can resupply almost every day/such and such has a great store" vs "All you'll see is expensive gas stations". I'm using AWOL's book but it seems to conflict a lot with comments on the boards and trip report blogs. I should probably just stick with the book and hope for the best though. :)

07-09-2016, 15:51
It might not matter to you, especially this time of year, but NJ, and Ct. don't allow campfires. NJ has a long stretch with no shelters, and a few stretches with no camping allowed. NJ also has the most bears ( per mile ????) than any state on the AT. Towards the end of the NJ section is a Bear Hospital/Rehab, where you can see bears up close.

07-09-2016, 17:34
DWG north is everything the above have said. The people (like most mountain people) are very generous and helpful. I personally would prefer to be in the cool of Vermont then, but even if your hike goes sour, you will be happy with giving this part of the trail a try.

07-09-2016, 21:26
DWG is a good place to start. Ditto what gsingjane said.

07-10-2016, 17:28
Resupply along there can be very expensive at places. Opportunities to get to a chain supermarket are few. I spent a lot of money on food when I went through there earlier this year.

07-16-2016, 14:25
Resupply along there can be very expensive at places. Opportunities to get to a chain supermarket are few. I spent a lot of money on food when I went through there earlier this year.

I've been seeing this a lot in my research. I'm trying to figure out where to send some food drops instead (because I have to buy for two and don't relish the idea of doing it at expensive convenience stores), but I'm having a hard time figuring out the spacing when our MPD is bound to be low.