View Full Version : Planning a section hike : CT to WV or vis versa.

05-10-2013, 01:42

I am planning a hike. I hiked part of VA to WV last year. ( 9 days ) and I'd like to either stop or start where I left off, as my goal is to someday have all of the AT completed. I reside in PA, and I thought that CT to WV would be good. I am not able to fly to a very far away state, but may be able to catch a train or a friend drive me. Problem is this: I am having trouble finding a train that goes near the AT in CT for a drop off. I can catch an AMtrak in Coatsville Pa, and it will take me right to Harpers Ferry...which is where I left off last year...So, my thoughts are that I could just get on that train, and start walking to CT and go NoBo, and worry about a ride later, when in CT.? Any thoughts on June hiking, if I start in CT and go south? ( bear, black flies ect ect...)

I really want to do this and I plan to leave in June. Is there much hiker activity in CT in June going SoBo ? Also, the next question I have is this: I met several thru hikers last year and they were carrying these very thin, nice, AT directions. it was so much better than the books that I carry. I dont really want a map, but I am looking for the name of those papers as I forgot. It had the miles from shelter to shelter/state by state. They were so nice,and cheap. Anybody know what they are called and where I can order them?

Thank you for helping me out...trail on!

05-10-2013, 09:02
Where in CT did you hope to start? Since your issue is logistics, perhaps you should start your hike at Pawling at NY Rt. 22, the last northernmost road crossing in NY before CT. You can get to Pawling via the Harlem Line of the MetroNorth railroad. Go to this site (http://www.mta.info/mnr/html/planning/schedules/schedules.htm) for timetables and other information. If you arrange to get to NY (Grand Central Station) on a weekend, you'll note that the train actually stops at the AT. Otherwise, take the train to Pawling and get a shuttle to the trailhead.

The advantage of this approach is that you can go to Pawling for your next section hike also - perhaps Pawling to Bennington or Rutland, VT.

If you want to hike this stretch NOBO, you can do it all in reverse i.e. take the train from Pawling to NYC and connect to other trains home.

I hiked the portion of NY east of the Hudson in June (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=103303) and it was already hot & muggy. Black flies were not an issue but mosquitoes very much so especially at night. Bring a tent because even if there's room in shelters, the bugs will munch on you all night.

05-10-2013, 10:11
Thank you for your response. I was checking into the train schedule and I am more confused. Iv never taken a train before, so that would explain my confussion. I almost feel like I should go to H Ferry and start, because that is what is familiar to me, and then backpack my way back. It is June and I am sure I will meet up with others this time of year. Thinking when I get closer to CT, I can ask how to find the train station. I am guessing Pawling is a city in CT or is it in NY? is it far from the trail that you know of? again, Im just a newbie when it comes to using any transpoprtation. I just drive a car, walk, or run.

05-10-2013, 10:30
Pawling is in NY but as I mentioned, it's off of the last road crossing before CT. At that point, you're 45 miles beyond the Hudson River and just a few miles short of CT. Hiking northbound, the trail approaches Rt. 22, passes by the Appalachian Trail Railway station, and in another few feet, reaches the road. Pawling is just a few miles south (right) down the road. I hitched on Rt. 22 on my June '05 hike and had no problem getting a ride into downtown Pawling where the train station is easy to find. As you can see from the timetables, service is frequent. But if you can time your arrival to a Saturday or Sunday, you need not go into Pawling; simply take the train from the AT station which is really a platform but clearly marked.

The train takes you to NYC's Grand Central Station from whence you walk to Penn Station for an AMTRAK train to Philadelphia with connections to your home.

05-10-2013, 10:39
This photo (http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=19678&c=521) shows the AT "Station" near Pawling. This one (http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=31671&c=541) is even better.

05-10-2013, 10:46
Maybe this will help.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_Trail_%28Metro-North_station%29

05-10-2013, 11:10
yes, its all very helpful information...feeling very thankful to be getting feedback. I believe I will start in WV , and go to NY or CT and look for the train, and then get closer to home that way. Plus, I believe I will meet more hikers going NoBo from WV this time of year, agreed?

05-10-2013, 11:43
Yes, you'll meet thruhikers. Chances are, each group will get ahead of you because at that point they've been hiking 1,000 miles. But then more will catch up to you. There's a good chance that you'll share your campsite/shelter with thruhikers virtually every night.

Remember, prepare for mosquitoes and heat - mentally even more than physically. The bugs get worse after crossing into NJ.

Have a great hike!:)

05-10-2013, 22:40
Moved this thread/topic to the "General" forum.

05-11-2013, 07:48
Check the Hooking Up section on here for people who are hiking in the same area looking to share transportation. I finished section hiking the AT years ahead of schedule by finding people on here. A lot of section hikers would rather use their own vehicles instead of paying someone to shuttle them. Several times I have met someone on here and done a car swap. Just make sure they look like they are legit (been here awhile, post a lot, etc).