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jteselle
11-05-2009, 20:57
We are AT newbies...

My wife and I are thinking about a multi-day trip with several day hikes, with our kids (two girls age 10 and 12). We can handle 5-10 miles a day, depending on terrain. Maybe 3 or 4 days of hiking in all.

We live in Nashville, and we'd like to be north of that for the summer (maybe doing this in June or July). Probably in New Jersey or North of that -- anywhere between NJ and Maine.

What would be your recommendations for the best place to do a trip such as this? My criteria:

- Great trail hiking and scenery! Not too rugged, though.
- Good road access at 3-10 mile points
- Close to reasonably well-supplied towns (maybe with a good B&B or something)
- Preferably possible to do hikes in series -- not have to skip any large sections of trail
- Maybe be able to spend the night in the same place at least some of the days (shuttle back and forth to the B&B).

It seems that NJ is one place this is possible, from my map research. Are there others?

Thank you!

Jack Tarlin
11-05-2009, 21:01
Check out Grayson Highlands State Park in southwest Virginia:

It's not far off I-81 and is easy to get to; is close to town for supplies; there are all sorts of things to do in that town (Damscus VA) like bike ride, fish, etc.

The Park itself is beautiful, has primitive and family campsites available, has great hiking, and best of all for your kids, there are herds of wild ponies running freely in and near the Park.

Great spot, and perfect for a family vacation.

Jack Tarlin
11-05-2009, 21:02
Whoops, I missed out that you were probably gonna be further North.

Will think about it and will write back later.

Blissful
11-05-2009, 21:10
I'd go to Shenandoah NP here in VA with a family, personally, if you want to do sections of the AT. Plenty of wildlife and flowers, easy trail, places to go and relax and eat if you want to get off the trail (even head to Luray and see the caverns). You can camp too at campgrounds. The trail gets tough with rocky terrain, etc the farther north you go. Shenandoah is a good intro to hiking.

jteselle
11-05-2009, 21:53
Thanks for the quick replies.

My wife in particular wants to be north -- different scenery, etc.

Is Maine a possibility for a trip like this? I read it is the most rugged section. Are any parts of it suitable for something like I have in mind?

johnnybgood
11-05-2009, 22:02
Shenandoah National Park has everything you want as described by your criteria.

If the reasoning for going north in June/July is in regards to cooler weather just remember that at roughly 3,000' elevation the temperatures will be 10 degrees cooler than the valley below.

I don't know much about New Jersey or points north to comment on.

Mango
11-05-2009, 22:03
You've got some great possibilities nearby, in TN and NC. Northeast TN ans SW VA have the Roan Highland area, Grayson Highlands (which Jack mentioned), and others. I'm not real familiar with sections that meet your criteria in NJ, but I know that the AT in Maine is EXTREMELY rugged for all hikers, especially first timers with young children. You might want to consider the White Mountains in NH, with the AMC huts as places to stay. It'll be pricey, but the shelter and meals will cut your necessary pack weights. Scenery is unmatched, but make sure you are prepared for sudden bursts of bad weather. Good luck.

johnnybgood
11-05-2009, 22:13
Thanks for the quick replies.

My wife in particular wants to be north -- different scenery, etc.

Is Maine a possibility for a trip like this? I read it is the most rugged section. Are any parts of it suitable for something like I have in mind?
Disregard my previous post.

Eastern Maine shore. Acadia Nat'L Park.

I don't about the B&B'S.

RXD
11-06-2009, 02:40
There are numerous fun hiking trails in Colorado's northern Front Range, many of which are appropriate for kids. Specifically, Fort Collins' family friendly hiking trails bestow an unbeatable opportunity to get your family out of the house and away from TV, the Internet, and video games. In 2008, we hiked a lot of the trails in the Fort Collins, Colorado area.

Crazy Larry #1
11-06-2009, 06:39
We are AT newbies...

My wife and I are thinking about a multi-day trip with several day hikes, with our kids (two girls age 10 and 12). We can handle 5-10 miles a day, depending on terrain. Maybe 3 or 4 days of hiking in all.

We live in Nashville, and we'd like to be north of that for the summer (maybe doing this in June or July). Probably in New Jersey or North of that -- anywhere between NJ and Maine.

What would be your recommendations for the best place to do a trip such as this? My criteria:

- Great trail hiking and scenery! Not too rugged, though.
- Good road access at 3-10 mile points
- Close to reasonably well-supplied towns (maybe with a good B&B or something)
- Preferably possible to do hikes in series -- not have to skip any large sections of trail
- Maybe be able to spend the night in the same place at least some of the days (shuttle back and forth to the B&B).

It seems that NJ is one place this is possible, from my map research. Are there others?

Thank you!I'd say around Kent, Ct on up to Great Barrigton, Mass is probably what you are looking for. It is fairly easy hiking if my memory serves me right and access is plentiful.

babbage
11-06-2009, 06:49
Are you driving or flying? Because you could break up some monotonous road miles with some hiking - if you were driving. That would elicit different replies, I think.

leeki pole
11-06-2009, 10:57
Great Smoky National Park. My kids (now 19 and 25) loved the hikes and they were about 12 and 18 at the time. Cades Cove, Abrams Falls, Laurel Falls and even to Mt. LeConte.

Blissful
11-06-2009, 11:15
If you're going to Maine I'd enjoy the coast and Acadia NP which has some trails. I mean the interior of the state is beautiful but pretty rugged and remote.But you could go all the way up to Baxter and enjoy some camping and some of th trails in the park if you wanted.

There are also family friendly trails in the White Mountains of NH that are not the AT. Like Lincoln Woods (of Kancamagus Highway) to Franconia Falls and a natural rock water slide. Great intro to backpacking. We took our son there when he was ten. And you could hike to Lonesome Lake Hut and stay there if you wanted. Nice family hut and part of the AT is there.

Wise Old Owl
11-06-2009, 13:13
How about something closer to home in your backyard, less driving, plently of campgrounds, lots to do, with kids. Fishing and finding a local place to horseback ride would really make it fun.

http://www.stateparks.com/cheatham.html

Early on one of my mistakes was trying to do too much at first.

makoboy
11-06-2009, 13:59
Connecticut has some good options for you. The shelters are reasonably spaced, the terrain isnt too bad, and there are several good look-outs from the mountain tops.

wnderer
11-06-2009, 22:39
I'd wait until the end of July, beginning of August. End of June is tick season.