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  1. #1
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    Join Date
    Harker Heights, Texas

    Default Campsite Reservations for section hike of NY, CT, MA, VT?

    My family (me and 3 kids 8-11 y.o.) plans on section hiking about 150-200 miles of the AT summer 2021, and I am looking at the NY to VT area (haven't nailed it down just yet). Do we have to have reservations for any campsites in that area, or can we camp at any site or shelter? We will have a 2p and a 3p tent. Will we have problems finding space for our tents because of generally small tent sites or overcrowding? Because I will be the only adult, I don't want to put us in a situation where we are constantly struggling to find shelter, or where we have to make it to a particular shelter/campsite where we have a reservation, since with kids I don't want to have to guarantee we can make certain milage and would like flexibility. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2


    No reservations, no guarantees. There can be overcrowding where the extended thru hiking bubble runs into weekend usage. That said, a very general observation is that the campsites south of VT tend to be in mature woods. That usually means that the forest floor usually is open enough to set up a tent in the woods surrounding a campsite. As you head north into VT some of the higher elevation sites tend to be in spruce/fit mixes where space is less available. One things that work to your advantage is that thruhikers tend to be hiking long days, the sites are first come first served and a family group will probably not be hiking as long a day, therefore you will probably be setting up for the night a few hours before the thruhikers roll in so you will be there first. That said, dont hog a site if its busy in the trail. If possible share a tent pad or preferably go on the far outskirts of the site.

    The standard caveat applies that the thruhikers are in general a college age group with social norms and standards that some parents may object to. There could be smoking of various substances,drinking foul language and possibly brief nudity. If your kids live a sheltered life and you dont prepare them and yourself for different social norms it can be stressful. You wont change them but you can change your attitude if need be. Good practice for the real world that your kids they will encounter as they become adults.

  3. #3


    Probably would be a good idea to check the closures of camping areas by State a month or two before the planned kick off date to be sure camping is allowed.

  4. #4


    Keep in mind NY/CT/MA are designated sites only for camping. Chances are good you'll be going shelter to shelter. As Peakbagger says, that lets you get in early and pick the best tent sites. Some sites have plenty of space for tents, some have very little.

    How busy it is depends on exactly when in the summer you go. From the end of June through most of July is generally the peak of the thru hiker crowd. There will also be a lot of section hikers like yourself. It's also very hot and humid. Afternoon thunder storms are common. June is best time for this section. Warm, but not too hot.

    It will likely take you about 3 weeks to cover 150 miles. I would suggest starting at the Hudson River. The southern end of NY is very rough and could be a discouraging way to start.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Probably would be a good idea to check the closures of camping areas by State a month or two before the planned kick off date to be sure camping is allowed.
    Hopefully that won't be a concern next summer, but one never knows seeing how things are going at the moment.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  6. #6


    Keep in mind in Conn. no open fires

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