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Thread: crowds- people

  1. #1
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    Question crowds- people

    Looking to hike part of the Southern AT in early- mid march for a couple of weeks and I understand it's crowded with spring breakers and thru hikers- how crowded- like how many people will be around- will someone be in sight at all times? Any good suggestions for trails in area with more solitude? Also, what about every time you set up camp- are there crowds of people- with exception of Smokies as i know your restricted to sights so obvious more people. Any advice please.

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    Start times seem to get earlier and earlier each year but as a general rule most thru's hit the trail (NOBO) at the end of March/beginning of April. So it all depends on which side of the "bubble" you want to be on.

    Good luck.

  3. #3

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    Depends on what part of the Southern AT you are talking about. I wouldn't think you would have too many people on the trail north of Springer around that time. Weekends might see a few people out there, but otherwise I wouldn't expect too many folk out there. If you start at Springer in early-march, you still won't see any big crowds. At that time of year, it isn't hard at all to find solitude, if that is what you seek.
    Yahtzee

  4. #4
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    I hardly saw anyone as I was hiking. Or one or two here and there at certain places Its at night at shelters where they congregate. To avoid crowds, pick a nice campsite.







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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishboy View Post
    ..... Any good suggestions for trails in area with more solitude? ....
    Sounds like you're open to trails other than the AT but in the same ecoregion. How about the Benton MacKaye Trail or the Pinhoti? I haven't been on either of these but other WBers who are more familiar with them than me can weigh in. I suspect they're less crowded than the AT, especially the MacKaye.

  6. #6
    Registered User jesse's Avatar
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    Ditto the Benton Mackaye Trail. Did 35 miles of it over a Memorable day weekend. Saw only 5 hikers. You could do the Approach trail, then the first 7 or so miles the BMT crosses the AT 3 times, and the two trails run together for a few miles. That way you could experience some of the thru-hiker madness, but have solitude most of the time. The only disadvantage is there is about 5 miles of road walking. Check water sources.
    Another twist. You could take the Duncan Ridge Trail back to the AT, then continue along the AT till the two weeks were up. By the time you hit the Duncan Ridge Trail you'll know if you want more solitude, of if you want to return to the AT.
    The AT will be crowded.

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    The A.T. is as crowded and as social as you want it to be. In the Southern end of the Trail, except for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can pretty much make camp wherever you wish, i.e. you're not compelled to stay at shelters or "established" campsites. If you're out in March or April, you will certainly see plenty of people every day on the Trail.......you'll see them at shelters, you'll see them at "scenic" views, etc. You'll pass some of them as you go by and others will pass you. But you're not compelled to camp or overnight with them, so I wouldn't worry over-much about the "crowd" thing. If you want a nice quiet secluded place to camp by yourself every night, you won't have any trouble finding such places.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishboy View Post
    Looking to hike part of the Southern AT in early- mid march for a couple of weeks and I understand it's crowded with spring breakers and thru hikers- how crowded- like how many people will be around- will someone be in sight at all times? Any good suggestions for trails in area with more solitude? Also, what about every time you set up camp- are there crowds of people- with exception of Smokies as i know your restricted to sights so obvious more people. Any advice please.
    Get Sgt Rocks book and thruhike the BMT. I am so jealous. If I could just get a couple of weeks off, me and Wak would be on that trail in a heartbeat. And now that there is a guide, its easier to plan it. DO IT!!!!

  9. #9
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    You'll see other hikers at shelters, and pass the on the trail every once in a while. But the trail itself isn't that crowded.
    Ken B
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    Our Long Trail journal

  10. #10

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    Unless it rains, then you'll see as many as 40 squeezed into a shelter.
    I remember standing room only 3 shelters in a row one year in the rain.
    Hardly saw anyone on the trail that day either.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

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