View Full Version : what section of the AT would you hike if?

02-10-2007, 11:32
Ok here's a good question for AT enthusiasts?

You only have 4-8 weeks at your disposal. You can backpack any section of the Appalachian Trail duing this time. What section of the trail would you do? Also..what time of year would you go?

let's assume you are onlygoing to plan on 10-15 miles of hiking per day with at least one day off per week (so Squeeky that leaves off you.. you'd probably do the entire trail in this time period!).

For me its a tough one.

I would love to do New England again (hey I am biased I admit) but I would also love to do the smokies again. If the smokies, I would go outside of thruhiker season. Probably September thru October and do Neels Gap to Hotsprings, NC.

If New England (Kent, CT thru end) mid July to mid September.


02-10-2007, 11:37
For my money, Maine's the nicest part of the AT I've seen. It's as rugged as the Whites, but without the crowds and the AMC. I haven't done Shenandoah yet, though, and am looking forward to it.

With 8 weeks you should be able to make it from Katahdin through NH and even VT without too much trouble. 4 weeks will get you from K down into the Whites somewhere.

Best season for AT in New England is late summer/early fall.

02-10-2007, 12:01
Great question. As someone who is trying to do the whole thing with my kids, I would have to say the Southern beginning. I am trying for between 150-200 miles in my 2 weeks in June with my daughter.

02-10-2007, 12:19
I'll second terrapin too's vote, NE in late summer/early fall is pretty much as good as it gets, though the high end of that speed estimate (15 miles per day) through many parts in ME/NH would be overly optimistic in my book. Then again you thu'ed just last year and are probaly in better shape than most of us. Add some lightweight fishing tackle for the ME section and 10 to 15 is impossible - but who cares! My next trip will either be through the 100 mile wilderness with a fishin' pole(and fryin' pan) or a hike on Vermont's Long Trail, which in itself would make a very nice hike for the time you're considering. Smokies are a close runner-up either in spring or fall(corrected for elevation). Honorable mention for Vermont's Long Trail in summer/autumn. Hey, part of it is the AT. And since you've already thru-hiked the AT the LT would put another end-to-end'er notch on your hiking stick.

02-10-2007, 12:43
Pretty tough question to answer. But I do remember getting to sign on Mt Moosilauke and saying to myself ..."now THIS is what I came out here for".

That said, if I could (and actually I plan to) go back and hike a section of the trail again it would be Glencliff to Gorham ...and I would hike it slowly and really enjoy it (oh yeah, and I'd take a lot of pics).


02-10-2007, 18:29
I would start at Katahdin and hike south..

map man
02-10-2007, 18:40
I would do the same as DawnTreader -- I'd start at Katahdin and go south. I'd start around August first. I'd take my time. Definitely hit some side trails like Gulf Hagas and take some detours in the Whites at least a time or two.

02-10-2007, 19:51
I live in Maine, hike it year round but mostly dayhike in winter. If you have never hiked it Bigelow to Kathadin is a wonderful hike, the 100 mile wilderness is beautiful and it is such a wonderful experience to watch that giant, Katahdin, get closer each day. However if I were to do a three or four week section again I loved doing Springer to Hot Springs and I would do it in April pr May. Thats because it is a different part of the country where I hike all the time and extremly beautiful and challanging. I enjoyed the trail and the people in town I met on that section and it is fun to hike with all the hopeful prospective thru hikers just starting their long treck.

Spirit Walker
02-10-2007, 21:44
I think I would either hike from Katahdin south or from Front Royal south. I really enjoyed central Virginia, especially in late May early June when the azaleas and rhododendron were in bloom.

02-10-2007, 22:32
It's between 2 choices:

1. The Whites and Maine from mid-August to late September
2. Smokies up to Damascus from late April through May

Lots of other good options but I've both of the above around those dates and really enjoyed it.

TJ aka Teej
02-10-2007, 23:01
Starting Sept 1st, southbound from Baxter.

02-10-2007, 23:07
From Newfound Gap in the Smokies to Grayson Highlands in the dead of winter. Great stretch of trail to do in winter.