View Full Version : December hiking

10-22-2003, 20:20
Having completed a thru-hike, it is now assumed I know everything. I now know just how little I know but I least I know where to go. A friend has 3 weeks to hike in late November and early December. Where would be a good area to send him?
I really wouldn't want him to freeze.
Gimp :)

03-31-2004, 14:37
Alabama is great during the winter or the Florida trail.

11-05-2004, 11:47
I hear the bahamas are nice this time of year!

11-05-2004, 13:30
It's going to be tough to avoid freezing temperatures during those months, especially at the higher elevations. The earlier the better, especially since daylight hours keep shrinking through the end of the year.

Georgia might be okay, but it's only a week's worth of hiking before you get into the higher North Carolina mountains. Another alternative might be southern/central Virginia between Waynesboro and Pearisburg, since the mountains are generally lower. You've got to be prepared for some nippy mornings though. For the latter half of November, the record low in Roanoke is 9 degrees, record high is 77, and there is less than 10 hours of daylight (7 AM to 5 PM). The average low is just above freezing, so you've got to figure that it will be well below freezing in the mountains most mornings, only warming up to the low 40's perhaps. Click here (http://www.weather.com/activities/other/other/weather/climo-dly.html?locid=USVA0659&climoMonth=11) for Roanoke averages and records from Weather.com.

The Solemates
11-05-2004, 13:42
Fly to Atlanta, rent a car, and take off using the schedule:

Week One: the 76 miles of AT in GA

Week Two: Foothills Trail, SC (also about 76 miles)

Week Three: Bartram Trail, NC/GA (depends on section as to length)

Of course, you will have to figure out the logisitics, as far as shuttling back to car, or whatever...

Or you could do a big loop in GA including the Bartram and/or AT and/or Benton MacKaye and/or Chunky Gal trails.

Or there is tons of loop hiking in Pisgah NF in western NC.

Oh to have 3 weeks off again. Plenty of options...

11-05-2004, 14:00
The Mojave. Few trails, fewer people. Or, send him to Nicaragua, which is highly pleasant in December.

11-05-2004, 17:23
Actually the trails that The Solemates mentioned interconnect and a hike including several of them could be put together... assuming that they are passable after the hurricanes/tropical storms earlier this year. About how many miles in the southen Appalachians would your friend be interested in hiking?

The Benton MacKaye Trail / Duncan Ridge Trail connects to the AT in Georgia, the AT connects to the Bartram Trail in North Carolina, the Bartram Trail connects to the Chattooga Trail in Georgia and the Chattooga Trail connects to the Foothills Trail in South Carolina. All of this together is probably around 400 miles so there shouldn't be a problem with having enough trail to hike in three weeks. Logistics with resupply and transportation as well as getting info together in time would be the major problem.

Another southern gem is the 110? mile Pinhoti Trail in Alabama, in the Talladega National Forest.

11-05-2004, 18:11
Sometimes there is some snow going and coming out, but the Tonto is great hiking. Permits are limited to a week so it will take 3 separate hikes.

11-05-2004, 21:11
I plan on doing the pinhoti trail during january,it is where the appalachian mountains actually begin,the highest eleavation in alabama 2,407 ft.the trail is
approx.104 miles long,i hiked part of it in oct.2002,happy trail to all:jump neo
:sun :banana :bse :welcome :jump

SGT Rock
11-05-2004, 21:23
I did the Pinhoti in January 2000. I had a great time, but be prepared to have the trail to yourself for the most part.

Tim Rich
11-05-2004, 22:45
Alabama in the winter can be very comfortable, although you'll need to be prepared for wet and subfreezing temps. You may experience neither. I believe the Alabama portion of the Pinhoti is now complete and maybe a bit more than 110 miles now. The trail runs through Cheaha State Park, and has several side trails around Cheaha, including the Chinnabee Silent Trail, a nice spur that goes through a beautiful little gorge with some nice waterfalls and ends at a large lake - there's also a nice shelter on that portion that was relocated from the Pinhoti in the Cheaha Wilderness. Wear orange if you hike during deer season from Oct. 15 to Jan. 31.

http://www.montesano.com/hikeweb/chinnabee.htm mentions that a loop is available that includes the Chinnabee and Pinhoti.
http://www.alabamatrail.org/hikingAL/ is a good overview and guide to the Pinhoti.

11-06-2004, 10:07
These posts just reminded me of something. You need a permit to camp on portions(?) of the AL Pinhoti Trail during hunting season (and you really need to wear blaze orange). I got them when I went and it seemed to be just a formality. Sometimes I did this in time to get the paperwork back and sometimes I didn't- they seemed to not worry that I wouldn't get it back in time to take with me as long as they had it on record.

I never had anyone check to see if I had a permit but I did hear hunters... and their dogs. I was out there one weekend when they used dogs to hunt. It was interesting, one time I saw deer run right towards me only to turn when they saw me... a minute or so later one dog followed in their path and the second dog went all the way up to the trail I was on and then turned in the direction that the deer had taken. Those dogs bark alot so I was alerted that something was happening and really got to see it unfold.

Maybe the permits where to speed up identification in case of a hunting accident?