View Full Version : Blue Blaze Maps

11-24-2010, 12:01
I am considering walking from Springer Mt. to Katahdin but if a blue blaze trail cuts off time or miles I will take it. Purity debates aside, I imagine I need maps to do that in addition to the Thru-Hiker's Companion.

Are there any suggestions? It looks like there are map books for every state or section. Is this overkill? Thanks.

11-24-2010, 12:14
National Geographic / Trails illustrated maps are available for many areas but not all and they have a lot of detail. But there really are no more direct ways to ME than the AT itself. I doubt you could "save" more than 50 miles total by blue blazing. You could blue blaze past some areas, like the northern Presidentials, but that's more just cheating yourself than accomplishing anything. Why someone hiking from GA to ME would want to miss the summit of Mt. Washington to save a few miles of hiking is kind of beyond my comprehension.

11-24-2010, 12:16
Buying the official guides is not overkill.

Serial 07
11-24-2010, 13:54
Nat Geo maps are probably your best option for blue blaze trails...and i'm pretty sure you could cut off more than 50 miles if you blue blazed all options...there are lots of blues in the south and north, but not too much in the middle...

11-24-2010, 14:38
it only would cover a very small aprt of the trail, but through most of NJ, NY and the NW corner of CT you can get maps from the NYNJTC that show the AT corridor plus about a zillion "blue " (sometimes blue, but also almost every other imaginable color) trails that intersect the AT throughout the area. for a specific recommendation, i'd ssay when you cross the Delaware river take the red dot trail up mt tammany, then follow the fire road to the trail going left (name escapes me, but tis its only tail there) down to sunfish pond and back onto the AT. much better walk than following the AT. for that matter the dunnfield creek trail is another better option in the same area. theres many similiar alternatives throughout this region, the NYNJTC maps would show them.

ive often wondered where else on the trail, besides the big places like the NPs and NFs this may also be true and possible.

11-24-2010, 19:21
Nat Geo maps are good. Don't get into the mentality of looking for the shortest route possible. If you don't want to do the miles and are already looking for ways to shorten the hike it seems you might be ready to quit before ya start. You're coming out to do the trail, so do it. Even if you cut out 100 miles its only 4-10 days of hiking anyway. After you've done months and months already, whats a couple more days???

You could always walk the interstate, the interstate signs are blue. It's probably your quickest route from GA to ME.

11-24-2010, 19:49
When it begins to get hot, some through hikers dislike Pennsylvania. Just do us all a favor and download a copy of Yellow-blazer's Guide to the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania and move on if you can't deal with it. The guide is free, but you'll need some computing power to download it and take full advantage of it.

Don't walk Interstates in Pennsylvania or anywhere else unless you want to end your so-called through hike. If you wish to relieve yourself of your misery, I suggest hitch-hiking Pennsylvania's Turnpike where it will not be tolerated and you are unlikely to get away with it, unless you get a through ride straight-off.

You can bet your last dollar in your pocket, I'll be right back with the link.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showpost.php?p=574341&postcount=60 (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showpost.php?p=574341&postcount=60)

Consider yourself advised, if you skip the A.T. on Hamburg's watershed or don't pay attention, you will miss what some refer to as the best vista on the A.T. in Pennsylvania.

max patch
11-24-2010, 20:22
If you buy and read the ATC state handbooks w/ maps as you go you will find many opportunities to cheat yourself out of miles and time.

11-24-2010, 22:40
Wow, sorry I asked. Thanks for the non-judgmental responses.

11-24-2010, 23:03
Wow, sorry I asked. Thanks for the non-judgmental responses.
I wasn't being judgmental, or at least not trying to be. Hey, if you hike from GA to ME, regardless of which trails you hike, it's still a pretty fine accomplishment in my book. You could likely put together a string of blue blazes such as the BMT, the Tuscarora / Big Blue, etc - there are a lot of parallel trails. But the key word is parallel - I just don't think you save that much time or mileage by blue blazing considering you're hiking 2000+ miles unless you road walk I-95. The AT runs a pretty direct line from GA to ME along the Appalachian Ridge. Sure, there are a few "short-cuts" that might take you a bit more directly from point A to B, but not that many. Now if you're thinking of doing it to see some nicer trails that have perhaps better conditions, or more lakes, waterfalls, etc, then hey, go for it. But you will get some flak from some people who take it upon themselves to give a $#!t about other people's hikes. Myself, I couldn't care less. Have a great hike whatever you decide. :)

11-25-2010, 05:49
Many of the people that complain about alternate routes and blue blazing haven't hike the trail. They have a section hiker mentality that says you need to do the trail.

Buy the ATC's holiday sale guidebook/map pack for the entire trail that's going on now (save about $100).

If you look closely, there's hundreds of ways to get Maine with the AT as the main trunk. Blue blaze, forest service road, even road walking. What you'll find is that a large percentage of these "routes" are old AT and you can still see the faded blazes..