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  1. #1

    Default AT Section hike alternatives - which is best (beginning May 22)

    I completed the AT section between Kent, CT (Mile 1455) and Glasgow, VA. (Mile 781 - James River Foot Bridge) in 2014/2015 and want to do another section beginning around May 22, 2020 for about 4 weeks (and I averaged about 100 miles a week from CT to VA considering zero's etc).

    I'd appreciate feedback on which section to tackle next
    1) Glasgow, VA south for 400 miles would bring me to about Overmountain Shelter (Mile 383 in NC) - I know this shelter is currently closed.
    2) Springer Mountain GA to Overmountain Shelter
    3) Kent, CT north (about 350 miles - less miles due to terrain) to Franconia Notch (Mile 1812, Lincoln, NH)

    I'm leaning towards #1 or #2 due to potential mud/bugs in Vermont, etc and cold/bad weather.
    Also considering how big northbound hiker bubble will be if I go south from Glasgow (Trail Days in Damascus (May 15-17) Mile 467)?

    Thanks for your feedback!
    Wedding Walker

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Pace, Florida


    If it wasn't for your May 22 date, then I would say #3. It will be muddy and buggy, and maybe even cold.

    I would vote for #1. You will want to start and end at Carvers Gap, which isn't far from Overmountain Shelter (definitely camp there).
    #2 is also a good option as well, you can't go wrong with either.

  3. #3


    I would consider starting at the Delware Water Gap and heading north. That's nice territory in the spring, Harriman and Western NY is nice except for the suicide run across a parkway. End up near the Mass VT line

  4. #4


    I'd go with #2. You'd be well behind most of the thru hikers, but still lots of company. The weather will be warm to hot, so you can get away with a much lighter pack.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  5. #5
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Raleigh, NC


    My vote is #2. New England will be quite muddy and buggy at that time (or so I've heard), and #1 will put you right in the middle of the thru-hiker bubble. Springer to 19E (slightly north of Overmountain shelter) is very close to 400 miles, and there are a couple of nice hostels close to the trail there.
    It's all good in the woods.

  6. #6


    Are you usually starting out that same time in May every section hike?
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

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  7. #7
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    DFW, TX / Northern NH


    It's great that you have options! The #3 option depends upon how much snowpack there is, the timing of the melt and thaw, plus how rainy/dry/cold/warm this spring turns out, etc. I've hiked in VT/NH during early June right after Memorial Day and some years it is fine with just small patches of mud - some years the trail is more like a creek. If local New England folk here at WB and at Views From The Top https://www.vftt.org/forums/ (go to northeast trail conditions forum) report that it's dried enough and firmed up, I'd go for it. If not, I think that I'd go with #2 NOBO from Springer rather than mingle every night with the NOBO bubble. What are the travel logistics as far as purchasing any tickets or such in advance? If you can wait until hike time to make the final decision, I'd do that.

  8. #8


    VFTT trail conditions is not act active as it was in the past. A long term member created a dedicated site that is bit easier to use https://www.newenglandtrailconditions.com/.

    DWG to the VT border in April it was pleasant weather, things were dried up well.

  9. #9


    I probably need to purchase tickets in advance to get a decent fare and I have a friend in Atlanta area that I could see as well if I do # 2 which is how I'm leaning right now based on feedback. Thanks for the link

  10. #10


    If you do choose option 1 I would recommend doing it NOBO instead of SOBO. I find that if I am hiking among a decent number of thru-hikers I much prefer going with the flow instead of against it. If you started at Culvers Gap or 19E on May 22 you would mostly be among thru-hikers who started at Springer around the third week of April so you would not be among hordes. There would probably be three or four in that number who would be going around your speed and seeing familiar faces from time to time on the trail adds to hiking enjoyment in my experience.
    Life Member: ATC, ALDHA, Superior Hiking Trail Association

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