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  1. #1
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    Default AL Pinhoti - mid December

    I'm considering a section of the Alabama Pinhoti in mid December. My thinking is to start at Flagg Mountain and end at the US 431 crossing near Anniston. Logistics would be Megabus to Montgomery, shuttle from Coosa Hiker Hostel to their hostel and then the trailhead the next day. Hike north and then hitch (or shuttle?) from 431 to Anniston and then Amtrak back home.

    Is this a nice enough section? It looks like there's a road walk near the southern terminus. Would I be better off skipping that? The AL Pinhoti website has a lot of info which I'm using to plan. Any tips on logistics would be helpful. I'm also debating between taking my 30F EE quilt or my 10F zPacks quilt - leaning toward the 10F since I don't like being cold.

    Thanks for any insight/tips. This would be my first time on this trail.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
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  2. #2
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    I hiked the AL section last January and it was awesome. Lows in the 20s, highs in the 70s. I pounded out the road walk on day 1 but if you don't think you can manage that I may consider skipping due to camping logistics. Really just depends on how much of a "purist" or how much of a completionist mindset you have.

    You are pretty much doing the best section of the entire trail and some of the best backpacking in the Southeast, imo. You'll have a blast. I ran into only one other backpacker and a handful of day-trippers on my hike.
    traveliní light

  3. #3
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    Sounds great. I think that I could do the road walk on day 1 as well with an early start. Where was your first night's campsite? I'm working with the Pinhoti Trail Alliance NOBO Databook and the link to a google track of the trail.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    You won't have to worry about navigation as the AL Pinhoti is now well blazed (over-blazed in a few areas).
    Lonehiker

  5. #5
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    I remember pretty much immediately after the road walk ended I entered a forest, walked far enough to get to out of earshot of the road, and set up camp.
    traveliní light

  6. #6

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    I would skip the road walk, sections 1&2. If you have the time do sections 3 through 9 ending at Pine Glen campground.
    The lower shoals area would be a great way to end a hike and the Lower Shoals shelter is the best on the trail.

    Call my BIL if you need a shuttle.

    I am pretty close to the trail, if you need anything give me a shout.

  7. #7
    Leonidas
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    I wouldn't skip any road walks but that is me, haven't skipped any yet. Section 1 is now 20.8 miles long, ~6-7 miles of this is road walk. Section 2 starts with a road walk as well and is about 9.8 miles.

    As to the weather, it is a crap shoot. I did Section 9-19 in Feb. and it never got below 40 degrees. I came off trail this week due to 4 days of rain and highs in the 40's. The weather originally only predicted 1 day of rain, which I was semi-prepared for.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  8. #8
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    I'd go with the 10 degree option for sleep. Temperatures can be all over the place here that time of year.

  9. #9
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    Those off trail logistics seem decent. I took Ghound from Hotlanta to Anniston. Second person I asked right off the bus took me to Sylacauga. Spent a night in town where a nice local family set me up on the fly in a spare b-room. Next morn I walked about 2 miles before I got a ride to the southern terminus. More great southern hospitality offered to this southern Jarzee 'redneck.'

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JC13 View Post
    I wouldn't skip any road walks but that is me, haven't skipped any yet. Section 1 is now 20.8 miles long, ~6-7 miles of this is road walk. Section 2 starts with a road walk as well and is about 9.8 miles.

    As to the weather, it is a crap shoot. I did Section 9-19 in Feb. and it never got below 40 degrees. I came off trail this week due to 4 days of rain and highs in the 40's. The weather originally only predicted 1 day of rain, which I was semi-prepared for.
    Then my advice may be outdated..I'm just going by memory but I recalled it being about a 5 mile walk down Flagg Mountain and mile 5-19ish being a continuous road walk.
    traveliní light

  11. #11
    Leonidas
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    The new part of Section 1 opened June 1st. They added a new portion that is woods walk but it might have knocked 1-2 miles of the section 1 road portion.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  12. #12
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    I hiked the Alabama Pinhoti in December '06 from Porter Gap to Cave Spring, GA. Great time to hike that trail - weather can be dodgy at times but it's usually pretty nice. I used a 20 degree down bag and a Six Moon Lunar so I wasn't all geared up for cold weather, and didn't feel the need, either. YMMV.

    About the only other thing I'd mention is it did call for some discipline to get out of camp promptly in the morning. 'Bama is pretty far south, but the hours of daylight are still a bit limited in December.
    Me no care, me here free beer. Tap keg, please?

  13. #13

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    How reliable are the water sources that time of year?

    Looks like the guide has many seasonal sources.

    Thinking of Trammel Trailhead to Cheaha around mid December also.

  14. #14
    Leonidas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodust View Post
    How reliable are the water sources that time of year?
    Looks like the guide has many seasonal sources.
    Thinking of Trammel Trailhead to Cheaha around mid December also.
    They will depend on the weather prior to your hike. I imagine they are mostly flowing after all the rain we just had. I went through that section in Sept. and it was hit or miss. There was plenty of water though if I chose to carry it. That was the bigger issue the first two days, I either didn't want to carry more than 2 litres or I didn't fill up when I could have.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  15. #15
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    Good info here, thanks. I'm hoping I'll be able to make this happen and will report back on the trail if I do it.

  16. #16
    Registered User dhagan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    Good info here, thanks. I'm hoping I'll be able to make this happen and will report back on the trail if I do it.
    Did you ever make it?

  17. #17
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    There was once a long gravel road walk from Flagg Mt. It has changed. AL I think is almost all single track now. The longest road walk is in GA PT section coming out of Cave Spring. There's another longing road walk through Dalton GA unless that has changed unbeknownst to me. Dec, Jan and Feb can all be great timeframes to start at the PT southern terminus. Water sources are seasonally affected as it is most places. Right after several days of rain on PT LASHes and one NOBO extended thru hikes I never had to walk off the PT to get H20. No longer available, I think, Mr Parkay PT topo set maps had water logistical notes printed on them like Halfmile's PCT and Ley's CDT map sets. Folks like them who provide this free topo map set service with the added notes are like gold IMHO These folks hard work IMHO we should be supporting rather than other APP and minimalist data guidebook providers who do it being financially motivated.

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