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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    04-26-2016
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    Rock Island, IL
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    Default First Section Hike

    Hi! I am doing my first section hike of the AT in September. I will be with a group of 4. All are new to the AT. Only two of us have any packing experience. We have allotted three days to hike and I am currently plotting which section. I am open to suggestions. The other ladies on the trip are active, but as we all know it is one thing to work out every day and another to strap on a pack and hike for four to five hours. I don't want people getting burned out. Thanks in advance for your responses!

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  2. #2
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
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    Winston-Salem, NC
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    Go to Grayson Highlands in Virginia. You can make a very nice 2-night loop of the AT and several other trails depending on how many miles you want to hike. The Nat'l Geo map of the Mt Rogers National Recreation Area is the one to get, as it will show you all the trails and the loop possibilities. This area has open balds, spectacular views, wild ponies, and many available camping/tenting sites. It's reasonably easy to get to from I-77 and I-81. Happy to provide specific ideas, just PM me.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  3. #3
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    Thanks Big Cranky! I just guess the others want to hit TN (distance from residence) and do the Smokies. I would prefer to do Davenport Gap to Hot Springs and use Max Patch as a point for anyone that wants to quit. The rest of us can continue on to Hot Springs. Have you hiked this stretch? I am definitely adding Grayson Highlands to my hike list though!!! Sounds amazing!

  4. #4
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    10-22-2002
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    Yes. Any of those sections work well. If you do part of the Smokies (say, from Newfound Gap northbound), note that there is no good bailout location. Davenport Gap to Hot Springs is a great section, too. Not sure about Max Patch as a bailout point - there is a road, so that's fine, but I don't recall what sort of cell service one gets there.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

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