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  1. #1
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    Default Looking for beautiful section hike

    Hi, my husband and I are looking to do our first week long section hike along the AT. Can someone suggest a location they think is the most beautiful along the trail?
    Thanks!
    Michelle

  2. #2

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    Hard to beat Vermont, NH or Maine for beauty in the fall, but your a little late for that. If your thinking in the near future, maybe some where in Virginia would be nice. The Shanandoahs? If you can wait until next spring, North Carolina is flush with wild flowers and good views during late April and early May - and thick with thru-hikers.
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  3. #3
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Here in the southern Apps we have nicely graded switchbacked trails that almost pull you up without effort.

    As opposed to Vermont, NH, or Maine......

  4. #4

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    You didn't say when you were starting - next week, next Spring? If you're planning to go in the next 1-2 weeks this year yet, I suggest (1) Shenandoah National Park in VA which you can drive to in 5-6 hours depending on what time of day you leave NY, or (2) Maryland and Southern PA - Harpers Ferry to Boiling Springs. Although the latter is further north than the former, it's also lower elevation so the leaves may still be on the trees.

    If you're talking Spring, anywhere south of Vermont is nice. Slo-go'en is correct about NC in both regards - wonderful flowers and lots of thruhikers. If you want a more solitary experience, pick a stretch in VA west of I-81 centered on Pearisburg -either Pearisburg to Daleville or Pearisburg to Atkins.

  5. #5
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    ...and don't count out your own back yard!!! nj, ny and ct are all beautiful. you can even take a train to the trailhead in ny. great easy way to break into hiking the AT. I don't think there's more beautiful AT hiking within 4 or 5 hours drive of nyc. you don't say when you plan to go...
    Lazarus

  6. #6
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    "Most beautiful" is a relative term, open to personal opinions and preferences, and also will depend on which month you go, and how many miles per day you hike. "one week" ~ 7 days. So do the math on how many miles you can do in one week, and whether you will need mid-hike resupply or are prepared to carry one week's food on the hike.

    If you and your husband are looking to do a one week section now, I'd suggest the southern Appalachians to catch what's left of the fall colors. It's not too late for southwest VA, NC/TN, or GA to still see the fall colors, and resupply is relatively easy along most of the southern Appalachians.

    I just finished a 74 mile section (Damascus,VA to Atkins,VA that was really one of the prettiest sections in my opinion, incuded Mt Rogers and the Grayson Highlands.

    other ideas for nice southern AT sections that should take you about a week.... depending on your pace you could finish in 4-5 days.
    a. GSMNP ~ 75 miles (Fontana Dam to Eastern end of the park... you could end the hike at Standing Bear Farm Hostel to leave a vehicle there)
    b. Erwin, TN to Damascus, VA (covers Roan/Unaka Mtns and the Roan Highlands and Balds)
    c. Winding Stair Gap,NC (Franklin, NC) to Fontana Village/Dam (includes Wayah Tower, NOC, other good views)
    d. Amicalola Falls SP, GA to Dicks Creek Gap (Hiawassee, GA) (most of the GA section of the AT)

  7. #7
    T-Rx T-Rx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Praha4 View Post
    "Most beautiful" is a relative term, open to personal opinions and preferences, and also will depend on which month you go, and how many miles per day you hike. "one week" ~ 7 days. So do the math on how many miles you can do in one week, and whether you will need mid-hike resupply or are prepared to carry one week's food on the hike.

    If you and your husband are looking to do a one week section now, I'd suggest the southern Appalachians to catch what's left of the fall colors. It's not too late for southwest VA, NC/TN, or GA to still see the fall colors, and resupply is relatively easy along most of the southern Appalachians.

    I just finished a 74 mile section (Damascus,VA to Atkins,VA that was really one of the prettiest sections in my opinion, incuded Mt Rogers and the Grayson Highlands.

    other ideas for nice southern AT sections that should take you about a week.... depending on your pace you could finish in 4-5 days.
    a. GSMNP ~ 75 miles (Fontana Dam to Eastern end of the park... you could end the hike at Standing Bear Farm Hostel to leave a vehicle there)
    b. Erwin, TN to Damascus, VA (covers Roan/Unaka Mtns and the Roan Highlands and Balds)
    c. Winding Stair Gap,NC (Franklin, NC) to Fontana Village/Dam (includes Wayah Tower, NOC, other good views)
    d. Amicalola Falls SP, GA to Dicks Creek Gap (Hiawassee, GA) (most of the GA section of the AT)
    +1 for Praha4 suggestions, especially the Erwin, TN to Damascus, VA or the Damascus, VA to Atkins, VA sections. I have done both of these and I think they are some of the most beautiful stretches of trail I have done thus far. Grayson Highlands also has the bonus factor of wild ponies along with the awesome views and scenery.

  8. #8
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    How about the whole state of Connecticut - it's only 54 miles +/- (I say +/-) because you have to hike a little of NY and MA to get to access points (neither N-S state line on trail is at a road) - - regardless, the hiking isn't too hard and it's really pretty. Fast hikers could do it in 2-3 days, it would also be a fun 4-6 day hike. Most thru-hikers also don't like Kent, CT - mainly because the re-supply isn't the very best and it's pricy but it's a fun town for a section hiker - - decent short term re-supply, a nice piano bar at the Fife and Drum Inn (and a reasonably priced room if you need one). The cool thing about this (I see you live in NY) is that you could accomplish a whole state in a pretty short time. I also agree with other posters especially regarding VT /NH - both great and spirited hikes. Probably getting too cold for NH (for most) about now. enjoy!

  9. #9

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    One of my friend shared his experience with me about the hiking section in Great Wall. Itís not too hot and not too cold for hiking and offers more clear days to appreciate the beautiful view of the wall. Badaling Section is absolutely the most popular spot the Great Wall, as it is the closest one to Beijing and has been opened for the longest time to visitors.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelvinsmar View Post
    One of my friend shared his experience with me about the hiking section in Great Wall. Itís not too hot and not too cold for hiking and offers more clear days to appreciate the beautiful view of the wall. Badaling Section is absolutely the most popular spot the Great Wall, as it is the closest one to Beijing and has been opened for the longest time to visitors.
    The OP asked for a "week long section hike along the AT". China is on the other side of the world...
    He leads me beside still waters !!
    Happy Trails..... BrotherAL

  11. #11
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    The trail offers all sorts of beauty unless you are looking for a particular type, such as wilderness vistas, I don't think you will be disappointed by using the AT map and picking a section that looks interesting. Part of the trail I love is the trail town visits, if you plan one in you can also use that to resupply and save weight.

    For a week trip at this time of year I would be very tempted to chose 2 sections. One in your area (NYC area), and one down south. This way you can decide based on weather and temperature which one is better for you both.

    Peace

  12. #12
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    A serious option is to stay locally, hike CT. Its beautiful, close and not the most challenging section. Come down here to VA and do the Shenandoah.
    Go Everywhere, Study Everything, Fear Nothing

  13. #13
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    If this is your first multi-night backpacking trip, then I'd also suggest southern Massachusetts through Connecticut as a good intro hike to the AT. That way, if things don't go well you won't be too far from home. Consider hiking before or after mosquito season.

    If you've got a bit more experience, then I'd suggest the 75 miles from Atkins to Damascus in southern Virginia. This is an easily accessible, beautiful and relatively easy section with a high likelihood of encountering wild ponies. Shoot for June or September.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  14. #14
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    To the OP : When are you planning this week long hike ? This week will likely be rainy up & down the east coast so I'd wait till this storm passes. If you are thinking later this fall then I suggest either Grayson Highlands Area from Akins,Va. south to Damascus--74 miles or Compton Gap, SNP to Swift Run Gap --55 miles .

    The shorter Shenandoah section of the AT can be covered in 4-5 days at a leisurely pace and you also can add in a blue blaze or two using a loop trail. Some of the most scenic hiking in SNP are on blue blaze trails that take you to waterfalls, mountain summits or National Historcial sites.

    A great day loop hike from the AT is the Rapidan Camp Hoover trail that is a 7.5 miles loop that takes you to President Hoover's Retreat , one that he used while in office from 1929-1933. If your interested in a free tour of the Presidental Cabin call the park headquarters for information (540.999.3500). Volunteers conduct tours every week and if you time your hike right a step back in American history can be experienced.



    I'd recommend buying the Shenandoah Map Set published by the PATC, www.patc.net which includes all 3 sections of the park. Enjoy your hike.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

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