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First timer, section-hiker, need suggestionss

The Appalachian Trail is the most well traveled and adored trail of the Triple Crown trails. So come on in, have a seat and tell us your story.

First timer, section-hiker, need suggestionss

Postby Farmgirl » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:15 pm

I need some advice! My husband and I are going to begin our AT journey next month. We have about 5 days, 4 nights to complete our first section hike and we don't know where to begin.

Orginally I want to do complete the AT very methodically, but it's just not very practical for us. This year I turn 40 and I really want to get this "journey" started.

Do you have any suggests for us regarding what section to complete? We are doing this in next month, so we don't want to go too far south, but we don't have time to get to Northern Maine. We live in Central Ohio. I was thinking about a section in PA, it's close, kind of in the middle?!? Do you have any thoughts on this? We have to figure out where to park our car and how to get back to it. So many considerations, so little time! But I am determined to make this happen!

All suggestions are welcome!!
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Postby Calh319 » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:39 am

I started my section hikes when I was 58. I am now 60 and have completed close to 300 miles of the trail. I started at Springer Mt. Ga.

Hope you have or had a great 1st section hike. Mine was the last week of June and 1st part of July.
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Re: First timer, section-hiker, need suggestionss

Postby Soggybottom » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:31 pm

I live by the Pen/Mar line. I would recommend starting in Boiling Springs and hike south to Harpers Ferry. Or vice versa. It is about 3 days from Waynesboro to Harpers and about the same up to Boiling Springs from Waynesboro. I know of people who have done Pen/Mar Park to Harpers in two days. So this can be done in 5 if you are up for big miles. If not start in Caledonia State Park and hike south to Harpers Ferry, this is about 5 days/4 nights. Soggy
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Re: First timer, section-hiker, need suggestionss

Postby Kouch » Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:42 am

I'm a section hiker from Va. My hiking partner (my big brother) and I have done about 700 miles over the last 2 years. We're heading off this Sat for 3 days to finish the last 60 miles of northern PA, after which we will have done all of PA, MD, WV and more than half of VA (as far as Catawba -- Dragon's Tooth). We did some other hiking up on the Maine part of the AT, but that's way more challenging.

I agree with the previous poster from PenMar. If you're a new hiker, I would recommend doing the section south of the PA/MD line from PenMar down to Harper's Ferry. First, it's simply a more pleasant hike with some things to see than is PA. The southern parts of PA -- up to Boiling Springs and then next 15 miles north aren't challenging, but north of Cove Mountain you start hitting a lot more rocky sections and there aren't many interesting things to see or scenic views. Also, going south into Md will allow you to finish at Harper's Ferry and see the AT culture and historical things there. That section has some civil war battle sites and nice monuments. It's relatively flat and there is plenty of water and support, in terms of supplies, etc...

Alternatively, you could drive down to Front Royal VA and do as much of the 100+ AT miles in the Shenandoah National Park. Views are nicer and you get to enjoy the park scenery and wildlife, but there hiking is a bit more challenging at times (climbs and such) and you have to deal with a lot more day hikers and such.

Good luck and enjoy!
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