View Full Version : Best Way to get from Hot Springs, NC to Northern PA Appalachian Trail?

02-03-2019, 00:31
I am section hiking the AT in May 2019. What is the best way to get from Hot Springs, NC to AT near Palmerton, PA? Train?? Airplane?? I have thought of a one-way car rental from nearby Asheville, NC and driving to Allentown, PA. I do not know if any shuttle services in Allentown, PA. I would appreciate any suggestions or tips.

02-03-2019, 00:44
Getting from Hot Springs to civilization may be the difficult part.
The one way car rental is probably the most efficient use of your time. Look at a real map. Figure out the best Interstate route. Then figure out how to get from Hot Springs to a decent size town with rental cars. Irwin and Johnson City, TN come to mind. My maps are all in the car.
Crazy idea: can you hike a few more days to Irwin, TN. Or a shuttle from Hot Springs to Irwin?
Good luck!

02-04-2019, 00:22
I looked at a map. Asheville is about 50-60 miles further than Erwin, TN. Selection and price in Asheville might be better. Either way, you're going through Erwin.
As for flying, if you fly from Asheville to Allentown you will go through 1 or 2 airports before you get to Allentown. Anything can delay you. That's why I think that a one way rental for a 600 mile trip is more efficient than flying.

02-04-2019, 00:26
I lied! Pay no attention to me!
$145 Asheville-Allentown. 1 stop. 4 hours total.

02-04-2019, 12:33
Call the car rentals, they may deliver the car to HotSprings, a fee may be worth it...

02-04-2019, 13:45
Both of thsoe places are a goodly distance from any public transportation. A car rental is probably the best option, but you will still need to be shuttled from Hot Springs and Palmerton from a larger city.

02-05-2019, 12:43
Lots of good advise but I don't see where anyone named the BEST way. Hike it. Might be the slowest but it would surely be the most fun. :)

02-05-2019, 13:27
No idea why the OP wants to skip from Hot Springs to Palmerton. No idea if he plans to hike SOBO or NOBO from Palmerton. Maybe he already did that section he wants to skip over it.

Personally, instead of going to Palmerton, I'd go to the DWG. If going NOBO, you don't miss much between Palmerton and the water gap, except sore feet and twisted ankles. If going SOBO, starting at the water gap only adds a couple of days to the hike.

Getting a shuttle from Hot Springs to Asheville where you can get on a bus is not a problem. A bus to NYC, then a bus to the DWG. It's a long over night bus ride, but it is the most direct way of getting there.

Captain Panda
02-05-2019, 14:44
Hot Springs to Asheville Airport shouldn't be too difficult to arrange; and Allentown to Palmerton is only 19 mi. As was mentioned, it's $145 to fly AVL to Allentown; and with only two shuttles to line up; that seems like the best option. The cost of a car rental and gas will be about the same as your flight and shuttles; but it's a long drive.

02-05-2019, 22:24
I thank everyone above for their comments. I agree that "hiking it" from Hot Springs, NC to Northern PA would be beautiful because I have already done it. What I have left is Springer, GA to Hot Springs, NC and everything North of the AT near Palmerton, PA. I have also emailed some of the shuttle services in PA and awaiting their replies. Again, thank you all (including those that have sent private msgs).