View Full Version : Accurate Trail Measurement

07-04-2004, 22:33
How do we know that the mileages given in the A/T guide books is accurate? Both on the A/T and the L/T I've had a strong suspicion that the mileage is off in some sections, with some concurrence from other hikers. Are there digital measuring devices that no one can argue with, that would work on gnarly terrain? If you are trying to measure steep rock fields as in the Whites, how can they get that right? Thanks for the experts out there...

07-05-2004, 00:37
The mileages listed are sometimes inaccurate but not due to mistakes in measurement. The local clubs seem to be pretty diligent concerning their sections and the reports they submit but trail maintainers often relocate sections for various reasons and that will affect the mileage. Sometimes the section will be shorter, but it seems it is usually longer! The late Del Doc spent his last few years mapping the trail using GPS and other means but I suspect some of that information will not be accurate soon. At least the mileage listings are closer to being correct the the elevation profiles. :)

Pencil Pusher
07-05-2004, 00:46
Didn't Doyle lug one of those wheel gizmos that measure distance on a thru? I'm pretty sure I just read that while googling Ward Leonard tonight. Whether it was Doyle or not, I recall the end result being the trail was 20.2 miles longer than what the book stated. I don't recall the date this measurement was taken.

trela keeg

07-05-2004, 09:24
How do we know that the mileages given in the A/T guide books is accurate?..........etc.,etc.,etc.................. ..........

the reason for the mileage difference in the last few years (the change from 2,168 miles to the current 2,174miles) is...that the section distances have been GPS-ed. ANd now, the mileage is a more accurate account! :D