View Full Version : SNP question

08-29-2016, 15:45
I've been section hiking the AT since 2009, usually once per year for 7-10 days at a time. I started at Springer, picked up where I left off every year, and am now about 15 miles south of the entrance to SNP. My next trip will be in mid-October, and I'm trying to figure out where I want to leave my car. I've read that SNP is fairly "easy" compared to many other sections. Up to this point on the trail - about 850 miles - I've averaged about 16 miles per day, although most of that hiking has been done in warmer months with more hours of daylight. I'm slow going until the sun comes up, so I know I'll be losing some time in the mornings.

For those of you who have hiked it, and given my average pace on the trail south of there, is 18 miles per day realistic? I guess what I'm asking is if SNP is 2-3 miles per day easier than the southern half of the AT?

Gambit McCrae
08-29-2016, 16:20
I have hiked the park, in late spring as well as fall. IMO there is no difference in SNP then any other section of the southern trail EXCEPT that 99% of the trail thru the park is very well maintained. This means that most of the footpath is clear of rocks and the weeds are cut back nicely. The ups are still up, and the downs are still down. I averaged 16s thru the park, with two 20 mile days. 16-18 miles a day is very doable for someone with hiking experience. I would park my car in Front Royal, and see how far ya make it. It is always easy to hitch on up Skyline drive into front royal if you don't quite make it. Enjoy your hike and if the waysides are still open when you are there, get yourself a blackberry milkshake, they are amazing.

08-29-2016, 16:29
I sectioned SNP in the early 2000's in about 5 days. This was in the spring. Started in Waynesboro and made it to Linden. I think I even had a 22 mile day the last day. Like others have said, the trail is well maintained. We got to have a nice meal in a restaurant almost every night and even got to take a shower or 2. It's a shame that the Panorama restaurant at VA211 isn't there anymore. Have a good hike.

08-29-2016, 20:41
its the waysides that slow you down. Real food is hard to pass up.:) And days are starting to get shorter.

peak of the leaves should be about mid october, great time , but lots of leaf peepers

08-29-2016, 20:59
It's very doable. There are a couple of big hills, but generally a little easier than the trail you last completed south of the SNP.

08-29-2016, 22:29
Doing the same section a week after you starting at Humpback Back Gap to Paul Wolfe shelter the first night. We will leave one car there and park another either up in Front Royal at 511 or possibly the Front Royal Hostel; which is very near the northern entrance to the Park. If you get back before Oct. 22, PM me so I can get some current information about water, shelters, and especially campsites. Happy trails......... grunt

Don H
08-30-2016, 07:20
its the waysides that slow you down. Real food is hard to pass up.:)

But you make that lost time up by not having to carry as much food. I think started with 3 days food out of Waynesboro and still had some left over by Front Royal. Of course I spent more money buying meals along the way but money is lighter than food ;)

08-30-2016, 07:22
Front Royal at 522

08-30-2016, 11:18
Just another data point: I think 2-3 MPD better than south of there was about right for me, I went from an 18+ MPD up to that point to 21+ MPD in "the shennies". Easy peasy trail, lots of great food stops, I went and did it a second time this last spring because it is so hiker-friendly. As already said, for, say 5 days of hiking, take 3 days of food, etc.

jj dont play
08-30-2016, 13:00
You'll be fine planning based on 18+ MPD.

SNP is the easiest section of the AT IMO. Don't have to carry much food and its relatively flat and fast trail. I got in and out in 3.5 days. 20 mile day starting at Noon from rockfish on day one then the other days were 25-32, even had time to stop at the waysides and eat with that mileage. The "real food" daily is what helped me the most.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

08-30-2016, 13:17
Check the parks web site for when the camp stores and waysides close.

08-30-2016, 13:55
Thanks y'all, very helpful. I'm planning to finish at Snickers Gap, so I'll have a couple of days left after I get out of the park. My plan is to pack a couple of dinners for those nights, but wait to buy breakfast/lunch/snack items for those days before I leave the park. Are the resupply options at the waysides suitable for this? How about fuel canisters?