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  1. #1
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    Default Long Trail in May

    Will the Long Trail be a muddy, buggy, slushy mess in May? I have the month off and am looking for a good month-long hike that I haven't done before. I love VT, but am wondering if it would be a mistake to thru-hike the LT this early in the season.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEM15 View Post
    Will the Long Trail be a muddy, buggy, slushy mess in May? I have the month off and am looking for a good month-long hike that I haven't done before. I love VT, but am wondering if it would be a mistake to thru-hike the LT this early in the season.
    yup. too early

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by LEM15 View Post
    Will the Long Trail be a muddy, buggy, slushy mess in May? I have the month off and am looking for a good month-long hike that I haven't done before. I love VT, but am wondering if it would be a mistake to thru-hike the LT this early in the season.
    Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
    Don't Die Before You've Had A Chance To Live!

  4. #4
    double d's Avatar
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    The Green Mt. Club advises hiking the LT until late May (they usually ask to not hike the LT until after Memorial Day weekend).
    "I told my Ma's and Pa's I was coming to them mountains and they acted as if they was gutshot. Ma, I sez's, them mountains is the marrow of the world and by God, I was right". Del Gue

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by LEM15 View Post
    Will the Long Trail be a muddy, buggy, slushy mess in May? I have the month off and am looking for a good month-long hike that I haven't done before. I love VT, but am wondering if it would be a mistake to thru-hike the LT this early in the season.
    I think you'll appreciate the LT more between mid-August and mid-October.

    Since your timeframe is May, other trails of comparable length are:
    1. Allegheny Trail in WV (about 290 miles) - I spent a lot of time planning this for a hike in 2010 but had to end the hike after an injury to my hiking partner. Parts of the trail might be overgrown but it's very well-blazed
    2. Sheltowee Trace in KY (280 miles) - runs on a SW-NE axis from the KY/TN border up to near the Ohio River in Daniel Boone National Forest plus portions in Big South Fork and several state parks
    3. Tuscarora Trail VA-WV-MD-PA (260 miles) - leaves the AT at Elk Wallow picnic area in Shenandoah NP, heads west down the Blue Ridge, up the Massanuten Ridge then to Great North Mountain into WV, north to the Potomac, across to MD and over to PA where it follows a ridge and rejoins the AT south of Duncannon.
    4. Mid-State Trail in PA - don't know the mileage but it's at least 200 through the center of PA.

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    For that time of year, perhaps The Benton Mackaye Trail might be best.

    It will have hikers on it, but not too many, it cross crosses the AT a few times so you get to see thru hikers beginning, and the blooms on Azalea and Rhody's may be in play, which could be spectacular. Plus it goes into the Smokies, in may, perfect.
    I think it's about 300 miles.

    Long Trail is a great fall trail.

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    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEM15 View Post
    Will the Long Trail be a muddy, buggy, slushy mess in May? I have the month off and am looking for a good month-long hike that I haven't done before. I love VT, but am wondering if it would be a mistake to thru-hike the LT this early in the season.
    we did it in May. rained for 8 days straight, no lie.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

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  8. #8

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    If you like to be cold, wet and knee deep in mud all the time, go for it!

    Personally, I head to your neck of the woods to hike in May!
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Registered User Bob McCaw's Avatar
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    The lower elevations can be OK in late May. It all depends on the recent weather.

    The GMC doesn't like you to hike before Memorial Day, mainly because the ground is very fragile at the higher elevations and it's usually still waterlogged. I'd honor their wishes.

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    I'm planning on hiking the AT in Vermont in mid June. Thanks for the information on the Long Trail in May. What kind of condition should we expect? Similar to what has been reported so far on this thread as it relates to the L.T. in May, or something different?

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    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speer Carrier View Post
    I'm planning on hiking the AT in Vermont in mid June. Thanks for the information on the Long Trail in May. What kind of condition should we expect? Similar to what has been reported so far on this thread as it relates to the L.T. in May, or something different?
    Lots of bugs!!

  12. #12
    formerly amazonwoman
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    How about the Long Path in NY? How is that in May? About the same?
    Dancer (Julie)
    "What saves a man (woman) is to take a step. Then another step." ---Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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    Default long trail in may

    bugs dont come out untell june I know Ky

  14. #14

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    The bugs don't come out until a week or so after the rainy season ends and it warms up a bit. That can happen anywhere from mid May to middle of June. It all depends on the type of spring we have, but more often than not, May and early June is the peak of the rainy season.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  15. #15
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    thanks for the guidance, folks. and, Cookerhiker, thanks for the info on the other trails; i will check them out for sure.
    Swiss Miss
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by LEM15 View Post
    thanks for the guidance, folks. and, Cookerhiker, thanks for the info on the other trails; i will check them out for sure.
    I've only hiked on small portions of the Sheltowee Trace but I think May (starting early May) would be a nice time to hike. IMO the coolest thing about the ST is the large rock formations, rock shelters, arches, and natural bridges - something you don't see much in the East.

    If you want to consider the Sheltowee, here's one of the WB threads on it: https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=19266

    One advantage of hiking this trail is there's a new i.e. less than 1 year-old guidebook with mileage points and trail services written by Taba (a WB member) described in this thread: https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=64357

    And if you have additional questions, WB's Traildust is the Executive Director of the Sheltowee Trace Association.

  17. #17
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    i did it last year in July - good water and very few bugs (bugs only south of US 4) - weather was really very nice - I think that July - September are perfect - May would be buggy and muddy - re-schedule and wait a bit if you can.

  18. #18
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    I think you'll appreciate the LT more between mid-August and mid-October.


    Since your timeframe is May, other trails of comparable length are:
    1. Allegheny Trail in WV (about 290 miles) - I spent a lot of time planning this for a hike in 2010 but had to end the hike after an injury to my hiking partner. Parts of the trail might be overgrown but it's very well-blazed
    2. Sheltowee Trace in KY (280 miles) - runs on a SW-NE axis from the KY/TN border up to near the Ohio River in Daniel Boone National Forest plus portions in Big South Fork and several state parks
    3. Tuscarora Trail VA-WV-MD-PA (260 miles) - leaves the AT at Elk Wallow picnic area in Shenandoah NP, heads west down the Blue Ridge, up the Massanuten Ridge then to Great North Mountain into WV, north to the Potomac, across to MD and over to PA where it follows a ridge and rejoins the AT south of Duncannon.
    4. Mid-State Trail in PA - don't know the mileage but it's at least 200 through the center of PA.

    What about the John Muir Trail out in Calif? Too early in the season for that? It's length is comparable to the LT, and the scenery incomparable.


    To the OP: I believe the Ouachita Trail in Arkansas is also of similar length and it would be plenty warm by then. You'd have to reckon with thunderstorms and, by late May, it could get good and hot.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

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    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
    [/LIST]

    To the OP: I believe the Ouachita Trail in Arkansas is also of similar length and it would be plenty warm by then. You'd have to reckon with thunderstorms and, by late May, it could get good and hot.
    I've hiked in AR in May a few times and would not recommend it. The trail is overgrown to the point of being hard to follow in places, the ticks are horrible, mosquitos are starting to hatch, and it is approaching being too hot.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

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  20. #20
    Registered User d.o.c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Solemates View Post
    I've hiked in AR in May a few times and would not recommend it. The trail is overgrown to the point of being hard to follow in places, the ticks are horrible, mosquitos are starting to hatch, and it is approaching being too hot.
    1000% agreed i tryd the ozark highland trail from its start to mulbery mountain for wakarusa music festival.. it was overgrown with nothing but poisionus plants ticks were evrywhre it was a straight mess all in all prob wont hike there again like that but it was pretty..

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