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kdk1610
02-19-2013, 13:55
want to miss the bulk of the starters in the March/April time frame. is May 1st too late to start a 30 day section hike heading north from Georgia? will there be anyone left to hike with or will the trail be empty? want to avoid the crowds by starting later but not hike totally alone!

thank you.

newbie

10-K
02-19-2013, 13:58
You joined almost 8 years ago and just made your first post, congrats. :)

Staring May 1 anywhere on the AT south of Harper's Ferry you won't be alone unless you want to be.

flemdawg1
02-19-2013, 14:00
MAy should be less crowded, but there will still be some thruhikers starting due to finishing school in MAy.

RED-DOG
02-19-2013, 14:24
You will miss the bulk of Thru-Hikers but their still be a few late starters thats thinking the same thing you are.

Hot Flash
02-19-2013, 16:32
Well, if I get to go this year (and it's a big if) then I would be starting the last weekend in April...

Praha4
02-19-2013, 17:26
you will be behind the biggest numer of nobo thru hikers, but if you start May 1st at Springer for a one month section hike, it will be perfect. You will see the wildflowers in bloom and the rhododenrons start blooming in May and early June in the southern Appalachians. There will still be some late starting thru hikers on the trail in that area too, but there should be plenty of space at shelters by then. You can also enjoy warmer weather and carry less clothing and a lighter sleeping bag.

in 2010, I started at Springer April 19th, enjoyed smaller number of thru hikers, shelters not as crowded, and it was really great weather for hiking north, still some cold nights thru early May, but by middle of May it was much warmer at nite. But still met a lot of great hikers on the trail even that late.

jbwood5
02-19-2013, 17:32
want to miss the bulk of the starters in the March/April time frame. is May 1st too late to start a 30 day section hike heading north from Georgia? will there be anyone left to hike with or will the trail be empty? want to avoid the crowds by starting later but not hike totally alone!

thank you.

newbie

You'll find a lot of sectioners on the trail at that time. A couple of years ago in May, I arrived at Neels Gap at 5:30 PM and the hostel was full. May is often a perfect time to be sectioning.

colorado_rob
02-19-2013, 17:49
With due respect to the OP, a question to AT veterans: is this a consideration? I'm planning on starting on April 8th, and I was not at all worried about "crowds" on the AT. Maybe the OP is worried about shelter space, which might be of some concern (but not to me).

Seatbelt
02-20-2013, 14:20
You'll find a lot of sectioners on the trail at that time. A couple of years ago in May, I arrived at Neels Gap at 5:30 PM and the hostel was full. May is often a perfect time to be sectioning.

I do a new section every May and I always have (so far) run into thru-hikers in the south. There's usually room in the shelters if that's where you want to stay.

Kerosene
02-20-2013, 15:35
May is a great time to hike down south. You will likely be passed by a number of NOBOs anxious to catch up with the pack, but there will be a decent number of section hikers on the southern portions in May. I've enjoyed fantastic weather on my May section hikes (Standing Indian to Fontana Dam in mid-May; Catawba, VA to Atkins, VA in late May; Atkins to Damascus in early June).