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  1. #1

    Default Is there a specific kickoff date?

    Hi there,

    I am new to the life but quickly falling in love. Did a lot of hiking this fall and even though I have no allusions of being able to thru-hike in 2017, I thought it would be fun to plan a long section to coincidide with the 2017 thru Hikers.

    So my question is, is there any sort of official kickoff party at springer where the bulk of people intend to start on that day? Or is it just sort of haphazard?

    Would love to meet some thru Hikers and get a little taste of the experience for a week or two.

    cheers,
    mr. soggy

  2. #2
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    Their is one for flip flopers ar Harper's Ferry. It's in April I think .

    Thom

  3. #3

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    That's an interesting thought. I had thought I'd start at Springer with the regular NOBO'rs, but I actually live only 90 mins from HF, maybe I'll start with the flip floppers!

    Would still like to hear about a potential Springer kickoff though.

  4. #4

    Default

    Here you go:

    http://www.atko.info/Schedule.html

    A ton of NOBO hopefuls start from Springer every day between March 1 and April 15 -- the numbers are even larger on weekends and the 1st and 15th of March and April. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the trail maintenance clubs in the south, however, have been working hard to discourage large concentrations of NOBOs at these times because they can overburden the trail and its support services.

    If you start from Springer the second half of April you will still be around enough thru-hikers to get a good feel for thru-hiker trail culture but avoid really large numbers. You will also experience less winter-like weather.
    Last edited by map man; 10-19-2016 at 08:15.
    Life Member: ATC, ALDHA, Superior Hiking Trail Association

  5. #5
    Leonidas
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    We did a section from Springer in July and still ended up in a group of 7 people for a couple of days. People are out there all the time.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  6. #6
    Registered User Fireplug's Avatar
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    I think there is some type of kickoff at Amacola falls in March or April. But I'm not sure. I'm starting early and will miss trail days at Damascus but that's ok with me

  7. #7
    Registered User evyck da fleet's Avatar
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    If you want to hike with thrus I'd recommend starting your section north of Damascus around Trail Days. About 75% of those starting at springer are section hikers they just don't know it yet. I'm not saying everyone who makes it that far will be a thru but it increases the odds.

    Now or if you want to see how I'll prepared some people are start in March or early April from Springer.

  8. #8
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    anytime in March or April you'll get to hike with a lot of Nobo thrus

  9. #9

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    The Appalachian Trail Kick Off (ATKO) for 2017 is on March 3, 4 & 5 at Amicalola Falls State Park. The Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/events/264092267306757/

  10. #10

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    If you want to hike with thrus I'd recommend starting your section north of Damascus around Trail Days. About 75% of those starting at springer are section hikers they just don't know it yet. I'm not saying everyone who makes it that far will be a thru but it increases the odds.

    Over my years of sectioning I found that the quality of thru hiker encounters increased as I was north of Damascus. There appears to be a fairly significant "party crowd" that get on the trail and discover that an entire thru hike isn't for them and hang out for the party in Damascus. Generally once the Virginia blues kick in a few weeks north, the party crowd diminishes somewhat.

    Keep in mind wet muddy overcrowded campsites as the bubble progresses is the norm in the spring. Along with those conditions, Norovirus usually makes a visit. Sounds like "fun" to me

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    If you want to hike with thrus I'd recommend starting your section north of Damascus around Trail Days. About 75% of those starting at springer are section hikers they just don't know it yet. I'm not saying everyone who makes it that far will be a thru but it increases the odds.

    Over my years of sectioning I found that the quality of thru hiker encounters increased as I was north of Damascus. There appears to be a fairly significant "party crowd" that get on the trail and discover that an entire thru hike isn't for them and hang out for the party in Damascus. Generally once the Virginia blues kick in a few weeks north, the party crowd diminishes somewhat.

    Keep in mind wet muddy overcrowded campsites as the bubble progresses is the norm in the spring. Along with those conditions, Norovirus usually makes a visit. Sounds like "fun" to me
    Where is the Like button?
    I agree that catching the bubble in the south is not desirable. North of Damascus, hikers will be getting in better shape and you will have a (relatively) harder time keeping up. I would recommend hiking north of Damascus (or my favorite section between Pearisburg and I-81) well before Traildays to hit the less crowded front wave of thurs. You could hike sobo and see even more for shorter periods of time.

    You could also start with the flip flops out of Harpers Ferry.

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