View Full Version : Skip NY/NJ/EPa?

steve hiker
07-28-2003, 21:47
Hello. My name is Jumble Jowls and I'm new here. I got a question for you experienced through hikers.

What do you think of yellor blazing New Yawk, New Joisey, and the rocks of eastern Pennsylvania. Just hitch from Dumcannon to the NY/CT state line. Any reason why not?

I mean, WHY do this section of trale? Nobody seems to enjoy it, they just plow right through with a goal of getting to New England or Shenandoah. This section is conspicuously out of place on the AT anyway, going through suburban NY and Rockville, PA at a whopping 270 feet above sea level.

Is it really worth the extra 306 miles just for:

--a view and a whiff (gagh!) of the Big Apple
--an opportunity to rough it up with "youse guyz"
--a chance of getting some sleazy Joisey tail at a trailside bar
--a scenic walk through a Superfund waste site (tasty water!)
--best chance of mangling your ankle on the whole AT
--certainty of slicing the soles of your boots to shreds on PA razors

07-28-2003, 22:44
Jumble Jowls,

I heard that suggestion a few times on my thru-hike, mostly while I was on that section of trail. I think you would miss out on some of the best food on the trail. There are lots of good eatin places near the road crossings. Oh yeah, you forgot to mention the 'skitters, they're a real popular attraction along that section of the AT.


Sleepy the Arab
07-28-2003, 23:43
As a former thru-hiker I am required to say these things to the uninitiated.

1. The rocks of Pennsylvania suck. They will rip up your boot soles, and twist your ankles. Then, they will probably kill you.

2. New York is a miserable little state not worth doing unless you really like delis.

3. Virginia is flat. 'Tis the promised land I tell ye!

Now really, aren't you the least bit curious about any of this? Wouldn't you like to see some of this for yourself. Is New York really miserable? Are you really walking through an urban blight in the 300 miles north from Duncannon? The AT isn't just the mountains you know (even though it might seem like it for most of the trek). The trail makes a concerted effort to stay in the woods, out of sight of the "other world."

And yes, a Superfund site can be beautiful!

Blue Jay
07-29-2003, 07:25
I happen to love that section of the Trail. I'll let you in on a little secret, don't tell anyone. PA rocks do not end. You walk on them (or worse) the rest of the way until the end.

07-29-2003, 08:22
I thought NJ was an awesome state! A nice ridge walk near High Point. The amazing swamp and bog bridges near the secret shelter, bird sanctuary. Very nice.

The rocks in PA didn't slow us down at all. Maybe because we had already done Maine and the Whites. Plus you get the Hawk migration. The Superfund site is pretty cool. I liked seeing nature take over again.

The people, delis, friary, and some sections on NY were nice too.

Why don't you keep an open mind and make your own decisions rather than listen to jaded thru-hikers.

07-29-2003, 08:56
While I'm not a thru-hiker, I have done everything from central VA to Glencliff, NH in sections over many years. I was surprised at the beauty of the forest in the NJ and NY sections, even with a greater than average number of road crossings.

Northern Pennsylvania is certainly rocky with long stretches of ridge walking punctuated by deep gaps. However, most thru-hikers are easily able to handle the rocks by that time, frequently punching out 20-mile days even though their ankles are turning every which way.

In my opinion, if you're giong to spend your summer hiking on the east coast, then I would cover the entire Trail. Otherwise, consider "cherry picking" the nicer spots and going out west for a different brand of hiking. Whatever you do, have fun!

Lone Wolf
07-29-2003, 09:38
Jowls is a troll. He's bustin y'alls balls.

07-29-2003, 10:14
It didn't seem to work. No one actually got pissed off about even suggesting that someone skip those states.

Funny how things can backfire.

07-29-2003, 11:00
When we got through Virginia we knew my wife's feet wouldn't hold up to the PA rocks. We also thought that we were running out of time (for what reason, I don't know. When I calculate when we would have finished given past performance we would have been done early to mid september). So we decided to skip PA. Really, it was just an attempt to continue on. However, now I really regert it. It broke up the hike, and totally lost our momentum. We should have just kept going until we were done, not tried this. I don't know how flip-floppers do it. I need the continuum. I really don't suggest trying to skip sections of trail. Take a few days off, hike 1 more week, and if you still want to quit, it's time.

We did some of NJ. It was BEAUTIFUL! The section from DWG to some sandwich shop somewhere in never-never land that has a pond and a beach near it. I never thought NJ could be that nice.

Gravity Man

07-29-2003, 12:12
The trail doesn't climb above 3000' from Shenandoah NP to Mt. Greylock, MA, so you might as well skip that section. Of course everone knows how difficult New Hampshire and Maine is, so best to skip that section. Vermont seems like it is always raining, no way I'm hiking there. Virginia goes on and on and on, its the longest state on the trail, I think I'll pass. Georgia has some butt kicking hills, that doesn't sound like fun to me. Tennessee has a reputation for some rowdy locals, safer to skip that state. North Carolina, thats where I'm from and its the only state on the trail worth hiking if you ask me. Of course if it gets any more crowded there, I'll have to skip that one too.

07-29-2003, 19:15
Hi Jumble Jowls, although the PA rocks chew you up for a few weeks there's no way I would want to have missed PA and the other sections you mentioned as there's some great hiking experiences in those sections.

Every part of the trail has something different and magical to offer, so don't be put off by some of the negative comments you hear experience it for yourself.

steve hiker
07-30-2003, 01:06
Okey sounds good, i just heard some bad things about that strech of trale. Like this one guy was hiking in pa and these kids from philadelphia were riding their bikes on the trale and flipped him off when he said hey. And this other guy was in a zoo and all these people were staring and pointing at him. And those joisey girls, i hear some got real bad clamp.

Blue Jay
07-31-2003, 07:37
Lone wolf is correct. Jumble Jowls and Chortling Brad have got to be Trolls.

07-31-2003, 11:07
But they are pretty trail-wise. Not your average trolls. 8-)

07-31-2003, 19:52
Hey Guys;

IMO, your boots must touch every foot of the AT if you want to say that you thru-hiked it.
If you skip sections, then you're section hiking, right?

I happen to live in NJ and frequent the AT in Harriman state park, NY. Believe me; you don't want to skip this part.

And what about the Delaware Water Gap?
Isn't it worth seeing?
And what about the great food? You will enjoy that after eating hundreds of pounds of GORP and freeze-dried chicken and pasta dinners!!

You can't skip the boring required courses for a degree in your choice subject, can you?


07-31-2003, 20:00
Ah, but watch out for the bears in NJ!
It seems that we have some pretty stupid people up here who think it's perfectly OK to feed them. What happens when you feed a black bear?
He says "thank you" and comes back for more!
That's what happened a couple of years ago in DWG. A 12 or so year old was mauled (but made it through OK) by a bear because they had fed the animal and it was looking for more, which they didn't have.
The people involved in that incident were charged by the state parks cops and fined heavily. I am in favor of putting people like those in jail, or maybe zoos, so all the bear can come and look at them <g>

A little common sense is all it takes to have a safe and enjoyable hike in NJ. And the comments about NJ having some really nice areas is absolutely true.
A real effort has been made over the years to relocate sections of the AT where it ran along roads.


07-31-2003, 21:29
I would recommend hiking PA, NJ and NY. Good easy miles with plenty of resupply points, the rocks in PA are very over-rated, southern PA is beautiful, Jersey is nice, Harriman State Park is awesome.

I would be more concerned with Maryland and some sections of Tennessee. Hike it all bro, if you want spectacular scenery with no boring parts your on the wrong trail.

Hike the John Muir Trail, learn to take compass bearings, deal with high alpine passes, chopping steps with an ice-axe, carrying 160 miles worth of food, no shelters, no bail out points and altitude sickness...then you will appreciate the mid-atlantic!

Lone Wolf
08-01-2003, 00:29
Why are y'all answering this fkn troll? He ain't no damn hiker. Your words of wisdom ain't so wise.

08-02-2003, 09:07
Hey Lone Wolf 1!
Sorry if you didn't like my "wisdom". I wasn't really trying to be wise, just giving a piece of info that I must admit is already very old news.

Maybe I am taking this board too seriously.
But it does seem that there is some pretty good info here.

Lone Wolf
08-02-2003, 09:15
Wasn't referring to you fwassner. And never take this or any other board seriously. Except for Wingfoot's board. No fun allowed on that one.