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  1. #1

    Question Lots of Questions ( Fall Colors)

    Okay, here is the issue. I am in planning to Thru hike next year with two others. Problem is that one person wants to be in New England for Fall colors and the other wants to go and not leave until Mid May or Finish by late August. I thought about doing SOBO but runs into a issue about fall colors. How are the colors in the South? if a flip flop was possible, how could both issues be solved?
    Any insight would be great

  2. #2

    Default Southern Autumn

    Can't beat a New England autumn, so if you've never seen it you should try to go. It can get cold after or during leaf peak, with snow, especially in Maine or New Hampshire. You could flip-flop. If I were to do it, I'd start in mid-May and go south to Springer, enjoying the high country in NC during the hot summer. I assume you're going for the standard 6 month AT package.

    The leaves in NC were spectacular this year. It was unexpected, at least by the experts, because of the dry summer. The best season I've seen in a long time. It was late though. The year before saw a hard freeze in the E and thus a disappointing season in most places. I don't think you'd be disappointed with a normal fall season in the S Appalachians.[URL]

    Link supplies info on normal peaks. Click on Normal Peak Times for Fall Color about 3/4 down the page.

  3. #3
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    May to August? Way too fast. March 1st- 3rd week of September. You'll see colors. Don't plan to hike with 2 "others". Destined to fail.

  4. #4
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Groucho: About when would North Carolina colors typically peak? Any idea if the colors are quite as good in southern Virginia and about when they might peak?
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  5. #5
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    In 1999 I hiked the smokies and took two weeks to do it...the first week ( which was the second week of oct) was when i walked from clingmans north...good color...the second week of hiking (which was the thrid week of Oct) I headed south from clingmans in some snow and walked from "winter" into absou;lutly beautiful color as I headed into fontana....there was a full moon and just a few people...color starts in the high elevations (beginning with MTN ash and witch hobble) aws early as mid sept..and can continue in north ga into early november...1999 was a dry year and there were some water problems in the west end of the park but this year has been so wet tht this shouldn't be a concern this fall...fall is the driest time of the year in the smokies and offers excellent hiking weather and fewer crowds during the weekdays but week ends can be crowded....
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  6. #6
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    IF you are looking for New England fall colors, then the time to be up there is mid September though mid October. The color peaks first in the north, and then progresses south. So. if you are NOBO, then you will probably go though the band of peak color during this time frame.

    Time wise, the average thru-hike requires 5 1/2 to 6 months. So, just plan accordingly. If you are confined to a late May start, then plan on doing a leap frog or flip flop at some stage along the way.

    Hike with 2 others? As said previously, it probably will not work out. Suggest that you be of the mind set that it's every man for himself. You will find that everyone has their own agenda on the trail.

  7. #7
    Registered Troll
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    What about the Long Trail, when is the range there?

  8. #8
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Default Long Trail

    Long Trail runs along the spine of the Green Mountains. Leaf flicker season is early October to around Columbus Day Weekend.

    Allow 3 weeks to go end to end

  9. #9

    Default NC leaf season

    Kerosene,

    Generally, people try to view the leaves in NC about the middle of Oct. As I said before, they were late last year, but it was worth the wait. It was odd that from Pisgah through most of the Piedmont in NC, the stage of change was about the same.

    The VA mountains are further N but generally lower in elevation, and peak about the same time. Was in Burkes garden area the 15th of Oct. a few years ago and was in a snowstorm, but this is very rare, and the snow melted soon anyway.

    The GA area would be a little later, and I've never been there during peak.

    NC or VA, walking beneath the changing canopy is a treat; much better than driving through. Expect increased traffic on the trail during peak. Shenandoah Park can be really crowded on the trail, and you wouldn't believe the road traffic!

    Did you try the link in my above post?

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    Have been going to the Smokies or N Ga for the last 15yrs in fall. As stated before, fall starts in/around 1st of October. Peak around the 3rd-4th week(sometimes later). Beautiful colors when they are in. You will see some increased hiker activity but mainly day hikers. The farther out you go, the less people you will see. Be advised, if your are looking for accomodations, everything is booked(camping, hotels,etc). Also, road travel sucks due to traffic, leaf lookers and tourons everywhere. And if you'r really smart, stay the hell away from Helen,Ga and Dahlonega.

  11. #11
    Registered User Toolshed's Avatar
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    I am inclined to tell you to skip the thruhike idea altogether and just make plans to do a 300 mile chunk in New England/Mid-Atlantic. Start around the Whites in Mid August and enjoy the fall as you head thru Vermont, MA, C, NY. NJ and PA. Nothing quite like smelling the fall season and waking up to cool, crisp mornings knowing that it will be a perfect hiking day. You then can walk into fall .
    .....Someday, like many others who joined WB in the early years, I may dry up and dissapear....

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