View Full Version : Daily Miles

Former Admin
10-19-2002, 15:45
SNP is noted as having some of the easiest trail on the AT. Whats your average hiking pace thru SNP, daily miles, days to complete SNP, etc ....

10-20-2002, 00:30
easy is a relative term. is SNP easier than GA or easier than ME? sure! is any of the AT easy? not to me! of course i'm squarely in the middle-age years and i smoked (cigs) most of my hike. i did average about 17 miles per day and it took me about 6 days to get thru SNP. could've averaged more, but it takes awhile to eat 3 cheeseburgers at each of the waysides along the way.

i very much enjoyed SNP.

10-20-2002, 21:11
I've hiked the AT from central Virginia to the Whites of New Hampshire in sections over 3 decades (okay, I skipped the '90s). As a section hiker, it usually takes at least 3 days to get back into some form of hiking shape. Even so, I've been able to consistently hike 13-14 mile days in SNP, even in the Fall with limited daylight, versus a typical 11-12 miles for those first few days in other states. The only exception was central Pennsylvania, but I was much younger and resilient then.

I just ran into a couple of SOBO thru-hikers who even did the 27 miles from Loft Mountain to Rockfish Gap in one "day" (it was pretty dark those last few hours). The trail bed is very consistent and "soft", while the elevation changes are pretty tame, at least in the central and southern sections.

So, you can put in some big miles in SNP, but it would be a shame to miss out on some of the scenery and side trails (ask Early Riser for his favorites).

10-21-2002, 07:35
I wish people wouldn't brag about big mile days. I think that most of us can do an occasional big mile day. But what people don't say is that after that big mile day, they do a zero day or some real low mileage days.

What gets a thru-hiker to Maine is not the big mile days, but rather the consistent miles. A much better indication of progress is the number of miles per week.

And I'll totally agree the Kero. The best parts of Shenandoah are down the blue blazed side trails off the AT. For anyone contemplating a section hike in SNP. I'd recommend doing loop hikes, following various blue blazed side trails for a day or two, and then returning via the AT.

10-21-2002, 09:39
I figure i better say somthing :cool: after all, all my trail experiance has been in the SNP, i love the park. its a beautiful area. ive usualy averaged about ten to twelve miles a day depending on who i was with and how much of the scenery we wanted to see. this past july i spent four days down a blue blaze loop which was absolutly wonderful. the AT in SNP i liken much more to a major freeway, and the blueblaze trails to country roads. the AT gets many many day hikers which is very apparent in certain areas where the trail shows signs of damage. not to mention the fire that went through i believe almost a third of the park a few years ago. so a good part of that area is new forest. unfortunately many of the oak trees i believe, were hit hard with desease as well and there are large parts of mountains with dead trees. but there are still breathtaking views. from on top of hawksbill you have an almost 360 degree view (it is off a blue trail, probably an extra mile and a half or so) and at one time before pollution, it was possible to see the washington monument in the distance. the SNP is also very good about marking interesting views. its certainly a park you can do big miles in, but i dont think youd want to. i certainly wouldnt.

10-21-2002, 16:31
Exactly my thoughs on Shenandoah National Park. I discovered a long time ago that the best hiking was off the AT, and the AT seemed like an expressway along the ridge.

But the rub is that you technically haven't thru-hiked unless you follow the AT, so that rules out side trips. Guess it's just reason or excuse to come back to the area for more good hiking.

10-21-2002, 18:19
well in many some cases there are loops so you can blueblaze and then return to the AT where you got off and continue on. itd be no different than if you were say taking a zero day but hiking at the same time (if that makes any sence to anyone) and you can also do loops that take you back to before where you got off so youd spend maybe be about half a day or a day catching up again but hey thats not so bad for what you get to see on the blue blaze anyway. and yes you most certainly can come back again in the future. it really is a wonderful area. and id reckon right about now the leaves must be turning, so im sure its all the more beautiful.

10-23-2002, 09:16
Going to be section hiking SNP next month from Rockfish to Front Royal. Now I think I'll take my time and explore the side trails..I've got 10 days so it's doable...

11-26-2002, 02:24
Eventually the AT will be hiked to death.....if you hike year-round on the AT like moi you will see more and more people hiking-and the resultant increase in damage/pollution/trash and so on....what I would like to propose is the consideration of another acceptable thru-hike or 2000-miler moniker and consequently at the same time propose more support for alternative trails that parralel the AT and their use and acceptance. An excellent example of this is the Tuscarora- Big Blue Trail. This mentality would lead to the acceptance of, for example one who has used not just the AT but some of the 900miles of trails other than the AT when traversing GMSNP, as still a Thru-hiker or a 2000 miler, or as alluded to above the same for one who uses the Tusarora trail, and further one who uses the side trails in Shanandoah NP....I know this mentality is 'out of the box' and in a broad sense it is saying that the appalachian trail(s) and THE Appalachian Trail are indeed both appalachian. This also, invariably, will lead to the moniker '2000-miler' expanded to those who have hiked 2000 miles on many other trails such as the Ice Age, Natchez Trace, and the Cumberland Trail....the whole purpose of this thread/response is to promote hiking wherever you are and with some hope that the AT proper and in disregard to its proper place in history can be spared the overuse to death phenom so common with other things we Americans love so much.

01-02-2003, 19:27
The last two summers, my brother and I hiked a number of the blueblaze trails in SNP. I agree that many of these trails are well worth seeing. Many of the trails drop steeply from the ridge. As you know, the Skyline Drive (along with the AT) runs through the Park at high elevations. So, most of the side trails drop down from the road.

I've never through hiked before, but I am considering it in '04. I can't imagine going off on side trails during a thru hike. I think I will want every step to be moving me forward toward Maine.


10-31-2007, 15:51
My brother and I had a very different experience thru-hiking the AT in SNP. We did it in 4.5 days and saw almost no on the trail, very few people in the park. I guess we can thank the poor weather for that. Funny thing is, their website has a whole section for spring break hikers. I think we may have been the only ones that week.

10-31-2007, 16:03
I had my two longest (back-to-back) days in SNP this summer. Overall I found the park very pleasant hiking. The trails are so well-graded that you don't really notice the verticals. The main downsides were the constant traffic noise from traffic (especially motorcycles) on Skyline Drive. Oh, and multiple bee (or was it wasp or hornet) stings near Pocosin Cabin. But they actually got me walking faster. :rolleyes: Go figure.

jersey joe
10-31-2007, 21:18
I was able to hike through SNP in 4.5 days. Mileage for those days was: 26.2, 19.7, 19.1, 21.7, and 28.5 leaving the park.

I found the trails relatively easier than the rest of the AT.
I loved the fact that the AT followed a ridgeline and there were so many breath-taking views.
I loved what seemed to be the perfect mix of nature and civilization through the park.
I loved the blackberry wine! :)

10-31-2007, 21:52
7-12 miles a day.