View Full Version : Choosing a section? I need suggestions!

08-02-2009, 21:41
Hello everyone! I am just graduating college from Auburn University down in Alabama and am looking to hike part of the AT in a few weeks. I have previously hiked the complete Georgia section but my two other friends have never hiked. We want to stay on the trail for about 10 days and I was looking for some ideas about which section to hike. We want to hike an area that is very scenic and challenging at the same time. We were thinking maybe the smoky mountains would be awesome but they have a no dog policy and my friend wants to bring his dog along. We don't want to go too far up north because of money and time restrictions. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

08-02-2009, 22:01
Welcome to White Blaze.

Start in Damascus, VA and head north.

But the Roan Mtn / bald section is nice too.

08-03-2009, 06:59
Assuming you can do over 15 miles a day I recommend....

1. Standing Bear farm to Erwin, TN. Very scenic and lots of major road crossings. I think from there to Erwin is 172 miles.

2. I think that would be more challenging than my second option of Damascus north to Pearisburg (160+ miles).

If you are planning to eventually hike the entire trail then starting at Standing Bear will make it easier to fill in other sections later.

08-03-2009, 07:35
Shenandoah, maybe? Though the Blue Ridge Parkway winds in and out, there are many scenic views, and plenty of places to catch a bite to eat that doesn't need to be rehydrated. I haven't been there (on the AT) in 30 years, so it may be more built up than I remember. The views are probably still there, though. Most sections have clearings maintained specifically for the views.

Frick Frack
08-03-2009, 09:57
Shenandoah is beautiful, and perfect for newbies, but it was the easiest section of the entire AT that I can remember. If you were truely looking for "challenging" then I would take some of the previous recommendations. Fredmugs advice is my one of my favorite sections of the entire AT.

Chaco Taco
08-03-2009, 10:01
Franklin to Damascus

Chaco Taco
08-03-2009, 10:03
Shorter section that would be fun
Sams Gap to Damascus, easy access and easy pull out points. Great camping spots