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  1. #1
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    Default 1 Week Late Sept. or October Where to go?

    I am mostly a canoe camper, but am looking to do 1 week on the AT this fall and would like recommendations. Would be hiking with one friend, not couch potatoes by any means but not looking to set any FKT either. Must be able to sleep in hammocks, would love to get great fall colors, some elevated views, cool weather and mostly just a good overall taste of the AT. Somewhere to catch a shuttle back to/from our vehicle or advice how to navigate that would be helpful as well. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Your days are still going to be hot even in October for most all of the AT. Until recent years I had done all of my long distance hiking in October and now days I really miss that opportunity. That being said, South of Connecticut, Oct 1st is still green. I saw some fall colors one year up around Shenandoah NP but that wasn't until mid to late October. As well, every ear is different depending on rainfall, October temps and overall weather.

    I can suggest from personal experience that you can hop on the trail anywhere and get a memorable 1 week trip. I would look at a 100 mile section, or a little less...so lets say a 80-100 mile stretch.

    Do you want several towns during your experience or wilderness?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Your days are still going to be hot even in October for most all of the AT. Until recent years I had done all of my long distance hiking in October and now days I really miss that opportunity. That being said, South of Connecticut, Oct 1st is still green. I saw some fall colors one year up around Shenandoah NP but that wasn't until mid to late October. As well, every ear is different depending on rainfall, October temps and overall weather.

    I can suggest from personal experience that you can hop on the trail anywhere and get a memorable 1 week trip. I would look at a 100 mile section, or a little less...so lets say a 80-100 mile stretch.

    Do you want several towns during your experience or wilderness?
    Wilderness preferred. We can push to the end of October if that makes the difference in temps.

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  4. #4

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    South of New Hampshire and even days in New Hampshire, September is going to be hot during the day. I would suggest October 15th -October 30th. This will give you pretty chilly nights, and cooler days with some fall colors. If you would like a mostly wilderness experience then GSMNP would be a good choice. the trail is 72 miles through the park and only has 1 road crossing at newfound gap along the way.

  5. #5
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    If you're going in September/October, New England is the place to be. You should have plenty of color from late-September to mid-October and perfect hiking weather with cool days and cold nights. Weather can be wildly variable, though, and snow is likely in October in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, or it can get hot, or rain, or drought, or wicked cold, especially above treeline. Welcome to New England!

    Rutland VT to Lincoln NH would be a great hike with lots of variety.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    If you're going in September/October, New England is the place to be. You should have plenty of color from late-September to mid-October and perfect hiking weather with cool days and cold nights. Weather can be wildly variable, though, and snow is likely in October in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, or it can get hot, or rain, or drought, or wicked cold, especially above treeline. Welcome to New England!
    Rutland VT to Lincoln NH would be a great hike with lots of variety.
    This is a good suggestion. The trail is also nice south of Rutland... excellent fall area
    There are some ridiculously cheap buses that I have used that connect some of those towns. Eg: An hour bus ride from Rutland to Manchester is $2!

    https://www.thebus.com/manchester-route/
    rutland to manchester
    https://www.thebus.com/middlebury-route/ rutland to middlebury (if you went north of Rutland)
    https://www.greenmtncn.org/links.html
    manchester to benington

  7. #7
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    Ditto on New England in late September or early October. Rutland, VT to Lincoln, NH would be approx. 115 miles would would make for a full week and some great NE and AT scenery. Enjoy and be safe out there.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info!

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  9. #9

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    I agree that New England will have the best temps, but as he mentioned: Novice backpackers looking for an enjoyable week of hiking. That kinda eliminates NH IMO.

  10. #10

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    NH south of Glencliff to Maine Junction in VT is some nice hiking. Plenty of hardwoods for nice leaf color. A lot less busy than the Long Trail.

  11. #11
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    Hey OP...sorry to hijack, but you mention canoe camping...this sounds like fun! Have you done any of that along the AT corridor?
    While searching for that unknown edge in life, never forget to look home. For the greatest edge you can find in life is to stand in the protective shadow of those who love you.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I agree that New England will have the best temps, but as he mentioned: Novice backpackers looking for an enjoyable week of hiking. That kinda eliminates NH IMO.
    Agreed, the Whites may not be the area for novice hikers at that time of year, but the Long Trail in VT might.

    This trail has a nice, slow increase of difficulty hiking from south to north, allowing one to match a 7-day trek to the section of trail that best fits the skill and ability level of the group.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPritch View Post
    Hey OP...sorry to hijack, but you mention canoe camping...this sounds like fun! Have you done any of that along the AT corridor?
    No. I mostly go in northern MN and southern Ontario, the BWCA and Quetico Provincial Park respectively.

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  14. #14

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    All I say is I sectioned hiked Maine to northern Mass from late August through mid October in 2012. Had great hiking weather until I entered NH. Was wet at least part of very day but 2 until I came off at North Adams; ironically the day going over Mt Washington was clear but cold. I was told that isn't normal. Great fall colors except the weather was stripping the leaves off the trees in Vermont too quick for my taste and the colors weren't as vivid as other years. I'd pick anyplace along the AT where the leaves will be changing color when you go as that would give you the best scenery which is the best reward for you hiking effort.

  15. #15

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    Grafton Notch North is great that time of year. More than a few nice views and colors could be very good. Also can look at more than a few spots to bring a canoe back to at some other time. With the proper spotting of a canoe you can make a nice loop and never need a shuttle.
    Bob

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