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  1. #1
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    Question Spring hiking in NH/Maine

    What's the earliest that this section can be hiked without tons of snow/impassable conditions?

  2. #2
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    That will depend on what the remainder of the winter brings, but it is likely to be late spring (later in May if not into early June) before some sections lose all their winter. You may be able to navigate some areas sooner without needing full winter type gear, but no guarantees on that.

  3. #3

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    Hard to draw a line, mid to late April is normally spring breakup where the snow pack starts to fall apart, the ground may still be frozen or just plain saturated so rivers and stream may be impossible to cross. Shady areas can hold snow until early to mid may. Trails will be incredibly wet and muddy and the black flies will be in full force once the snow pack goes. The AT up Katahdin may not be open until late may to mid June. The whites in NH will be rough going until early to mid may. Nights can get cold and not all the AMC huts are open. Many of the hostels in Maine may not be open. Weather patterns tend to be shorter duration so expect rain about every 3 and 1/2 days with one good day and one marginal day in between. NH from Hanover to Moosilaukee will dry out quicker and will give false hope to earlybirds. There was an early thruhiker last year that did a daily you tube video. He got stalled just north of Moosilaukee for two days in row on the same stretch of trail due to deep postholing, he skipped a short section and after a very hard day postholing ended up leaving the trail for several days. Realistically early to mid June if you dont mind the serious black flies and mosquitoes.

  4. #4
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    The long-term history of snowpack on Mt. Mansfield in VT is that the snowpack peaks in mid-April, and declines rapidly from that time. Realistically, wait until after Memorial Day for northern New England to avoid snow, mud, and trail damage. A lot of the winter blowdowns won't be cleared until then, too.

  5. #5
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    Trails are usually okay after late May - eraly June depending upon how the spring melt/mud season goes. A NOBO start from Hanover after Memorial Day is probably the earliest practical time. As the snow melts and the ground thaws the blackflies emerge. They're usually at their worst up through early June at lower elevations, but can stick around thru early July at higher elevations and the further north you go. Don't underestimate the enemy. Bring long pants, long sleeve shirt, hat/headnet, and DEET.

  6. #6

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    There is typically lots of snow around until the middle of May, then it starts to rain a lot and then the biting bugs come out. I stay out of the woods around here until mid June.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  7. #7

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    July 4th week would be a good start at Franconia notch? 2 weeks northbound
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    July 4th week would be a good start at Franconia notch? 2 weeks northbound
    Just after July 4th is the official start of the summer season here. The 4th tends to be quiet, but the hoards start to show up just after. The middle of August is the worst as everyone suddenly realizes that summer is almost over and the kids have to go back to school soon.

    I find the last 10 days of June to be the best. Still reasonably cool, the bugs have settled down to tolerable numbers and the crowds haven't really started to be a problem yet.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

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