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  1. #21
    Registered User
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    08-28-2007
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    Georgia and Hawaii
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    "So, for those that have completed a 2k+ mile trail what has been your experience with not wanting to start another long endeavor like that, but stick closer to home, and hike shorter trails?"


    Home? Over the last 20 yrs I've called home AZ, CA, CT, FL, HI, GA, NJ, NY, and PA. To that we can arguably add the AT, CDT, PCT,......xyzt. Wanderlust is my blood type.

    Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” -Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad

    I had to take a "year off" between thru hiking each of the TC trails for gig work. I also worked during several thru hikes from the trail/route. But during those 2000+ mile TC thru hiking yrs 06, 08, and 2010 I averaged 3700 miles/yr with my 2010 CDT thru hike yr put somewhere close to 4900+ - miles so was doing both 2000+ mile trails and "several shorter length" ones. In 2010, if I was to not get injured, I was so zoned in I could have done the TC trails back to back to back but not a CY TC. It would have taken me longer. I've been extremely fortunate to generally not get seriously injured ever on a LD hike that it permanently sidelined me. In the so called off yrs 07, 09 and 2011 I was still getting in more than 2000 miles/yr and continued those numbers for 4-5 yrs after completing the TC in 2010. I ceased counting number of total trail and route miles when reaching 27K some 5-6 yrs ago. Since some may be wondering what kind of work allows this lifestyle it is being an independent grower in the ornamental Horticultural Industry and designing custom estate size and small-med commercial Landscape Architectural/Landscape Construction/Property Management projects.

    Most TC and other 500+ mile thru hikers IMO approach the distance as a series of shorter chunked down mileage "thru hikes."

    Since 2011 I've been completing the TC a second time in LASHes with a 700 mile CDT LASH left to be a 2X TCer. I am so appreciative of being able to cherry pick LASHes on the CDT and PCT particularly. These were different awesome worthy experiences in their own right compared to the often gotta go go go gotta be somewhere else 2000+ mile thru hike mindset that prevails among TC thru hikers. In addition, I like stacking shorter distance hikes with great diversity finishing up one going right to the next and after that yet another ala Cam "Swami" Honan style all very diverse.

    @GM I think those are great thru hikes close to home. I did the ST 2x, BMT 3x with one being an AT/BMT Figure 8 and the PT. Have only been on a short section of the Cumberland Trail. To those I'd add the Ozark Highlands Tr. I liked the OHT so much I did it 2x. FWIW, in 06 I thought it inane, a waste of diverse hiking opportunities, to hike a route or trail more than once. I was very wrong!
    Last edited by Dogwood; 10-09-2020 at 22:21.

  2. #22
    Registered User
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    08-28-2007
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    "What is everyone's experience with shorter 300-400 mile trails like these after completing a task like the AT? The scope for these trips[on the ST, BMT, CT, and PT] and for the foreseeable future will be weekends and possible some 3 day holiday weekends, but mostly just Friday to Sundays. In the 2022 timeframe I would enjoy spending a week or 2 on these short trails - What expectations should have in in contrast to the AT for a trip like that? Involving off trail accommodations, resupply and logistics?"

    2-3 day hikes are not an immersion.
    For me it's much a tease like eating only one potato chip. It takes me, and I suppose others, longer to sober up from the mechanizations of civilization and cultural habits, at least a good week on a lesser utilized trail than the AT or PCT for example. FWIW, I prefer to do 2-3 days on a whim, 30 mins or less and out the door NOT during a Holiday or over a weekend. 10-14 days in I'm fully present with all the muscle memory, mental sobriety, sensory acuity, and LD hiking zone character. How about you? On a 2-3 day, 48-72 hrs, too much time is spent driving to TH's, getting ready to hike, unloading, loading the vehicle back up, getting ready for work on Mon, etc. Perhaps worse, you're experiencing a niche weekend and Holiday crowd.
    What you're going to find is no LD trail has the logistical, resupply, and accommodation ease so over uber micro anal-ized and mega documented as the AT! Do yourself a favor! DO NOT make the mistake in assuming the AT is the norm in those aspects. IMHO, noting I have a go with the flow less stressed more time allowed hiking timeframe, I did not find resupply, off trail accommodation, or logistics to be particularly onerous on the ST, PT. and BMT. Settle it in your mind these are different trails with embraceable differences. This is called having some adventure.
    Last edited by Dogwood; 10-09-2020 at 23:01.

  3. #23
    Registered User QuietStorm's Avatar
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    01-20-2017
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    Towson, MD
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    61
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    Since completing the AT last month, I’ve put together a long list of hiking goals for the next 6-7 years. Some of them are shorter than the AT. The PCT and CDT both made the list. While waiting for my leave days to build up again, I’ll be peakbagging in the Catskills and hiking the other trails and peaks not on the AT in the SNP. Next fall I plan to hike the first half of the Colorado Trail, and the following year the second half. The Long Trail, Northville-Placid Trail, Adirondack 46ers and a bunch of others are also on the list. I also still have only weekends and the occasional holiday weekend to hike, but hey, that’s mainly how I hiked the AT anyway.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Never. I still have a few miles left in NH I guess I'll have to do those miles eventually to complete my red lining of White Mtn. trails.

    Otherwise, Best I can figure I have have hiked roughly 7,000 miles on the AT and maybe 1,000 miles on other trails. It adds up after a while
    SG how does one log thousands of miles on the AT yet not complete the state they live in? LOL What stretches do you have left?
    Trail Miles: 3,978.2 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 59.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 0.0

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    SG how does one log thousands of miles on the AT yet not complete the state they live in? LOL What stretches do you have left?
    Too busy peak bagging, trying to avoid the AMC huts and the crowds. There are too many people on the AT through NH as it is and there are lots of other fine places to go around here where not so many others venture. I did over 300 miles of day hikes in the Whites over the last 12 months.

    The last major piece I need to do is Glencliff to Franconia Notch. Maybe I'll get around to that next summer. Pinkham to the summit of Moriah has some holes in it, will fill in a 5.4 mile piece Friday. That will leave me with just the Wildcats to finish. Probably day hike those next spring. Need them to finish the 4,000 footer list, so that's the incentive.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Too busy peak bagging, trying to avoid the AMC huts and the crowds. There are too many people on the AT through NH as it is and there are lots of other fine places to go around here where not so many others venture. I did over 300 miles of day hikes in the Whites over the last 12 months.

    The last major piece I need to do is Glencliff to Franconia Notch. Maybe I'll get around to that next summer. Pinkham to the summit of Moriah has some holes in it, will fill in a 5.4 mile piece Friday. That will leave me with just the Wildcats to finish. Probably day hike those next spring. Need them to finish the 4,000 footer list, so that's the incentive.
    I got the luxury of staying in the ski hut on wildcat in September, what an awesome experience I had. I really only experienced big crowds in the whites from Franconia to Washington. Due to covid i had the rest of NH to myself!
    Trail Miles: 3,978.2 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 59.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 0.0

  7. #27

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    In 2017, I think it was, I met this very nice couple from Knoxville, TN in the GSMNP who told me that they are members of the 900 miler club. Their goal is to hike the entire 900 miles of the GSMNP. Here's a challenge!

  8. #28

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    The Pinhoti is a wonderful trail. Right now, Nimblewill Nomad is staying at Flagg Mt., the Southern terminus, and he's always happy to spin some yarns with folks. Guthook has the trail, and from what I can see, it gets regular updates from users. Towns along the way are excited about building a trail culture, with Heflin, AL, really coming through. It's growing in popularity, which comes with Pros and Cons.

    Charlotte

  9. #29
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    09-03-2002
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    Minneapolis
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    I finished my last AT section in 2014 atop Katahdin. Iwas 20 miles down the JMT in 2016 when my right knee informed me that it had had enough of backpacking. I replaced one knee back in February and the other is slated for November, so I'm hoping to get back out next year to start building up my strength and endurance. It's not clear if I will ever be able to tackle a remote wilderness trail like the JMT again, but I've got a handful of other trails that will keep me busy until I croak and there are a lot more to consider.

    Superior Hiking Trail (easy access points that should work well to help me recuperate next year)
    Timerline Trail (Oregon) and Wonderland Trail (Washington), punctuated by a lot of breweries, wineries and coffee shops
    Maroon Bells 8-Pass Loop (Colorado)
    West Highland Way (Scotland)
    Tour du Mont Blanc (Europe)
    Milford Track (New Zealand)
    Patagonia "O" Loop (Argentina)
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

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