When you’re choosing to start your thru-hiking journey, you will first want to determine if you plan to travel north or southbound on the trail. Do not leave your things unattended. Your smartphone may die or you may get no signal—meaning you won’t be able to connect to online maps. How Long Would it Take to Hike the Great Trail? The hiking community is friendly. The terrain will be steep, rocky, sustained, and will involve some stream crossings. D: 1,456. So, how long does it take to walk the Appalachian Trail? It will cost about $1000 a month if you do this the right way. Hiking over this section of the Appalachian Trail, you’ll see Shenandoah National Park, famous for its beautiful views and untouched wildlife. This pace may be slower at the beginning of the trail, and become faster as hikers gain muscle strength and confidence. Get more detailed information on what gear you’ll need in our hiking trips preparation checklist. Appalachian Trail Shuttles are hiker taxis that will ferry you to and from the trail when you need to leap-frog to the end of a section or need a ride to a nearby town, hostel, train or bus station. There are so many important logistics to consider when planning a big thru-hike that it can be easy to forget some of the smaller ones – like just how you’re going to get there! Northbound hikers typically start in late March or early April ending their hike between late August and early October. But if your route passes rocky trail sections, you should definitely consider wearing hiking boots. Besides, weapons can be used against you or accidentally discharged. After getting a Master’s degree in Public Relations and spending 3 years working in an office as an internet marketer, Kathryn completely changed her lifestyle. Southbound hikers generally begin late May to mid-June.Some hikers start heading north, then realize that they will not make it to Katahdin before B… This can lead to overcrowding at campsites, trampled vegetation, sanitation issues, and degraded trail quality. Appalachian Trail costs can be quite expensive, averaging about $6000 for a six-month hike which will include town expenses, trail resupply locations, and the gear that you need to bring. There are many more challenging sections and sometimes even larger mountains to climb. There are also a few dates to avoid as hundreds of hikers start their thru-hike on: One these days upwards of 100 thru-hikers may start their journey. Clingmans Dome, located in the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, is the highest point along the Appalachian Trail.With an elevation of 6,643 feet, it offers hikers stunning views of the surrounding countryside hills, mountains, and forests up to … When you’re considering hiking the Appalachian Trail end to end, you may be wondering how long it will take you. High-quality, comfortable shoes will help prevent calluses and swollen feet. The Appalachian Trail (AT) is a National Scenic Trail extending from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin, Maine, and protected by federal- and state-owned lands as well as public rights-of-way. Moreover, the mountain ranges on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee have weather conditions very similar to Northern New England. Start it instantly, complete it at your own pace, access it forever. Nice article! Katahdin terminus. Another great way to explore Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness along the Appalachian Trail is to start off from Golden Road at the north end near the Baxter State Park boundary. The Katahdin trail does not open until the last week of May or early June. There are two trailheads on the Appalachian Trail. So, you’ll need to be prepared for possible winter conditions in the southern mountain ranges. Here’s one correction: Shenandoah National Park does allow back country camping throughout much of the park. If you are planning for extended hiking trips, then you should choose shoes that are a half-size larger because your legs will swell under the weight of your backpack or on the rocky terrain. I'm in physical therapy, healing fast, getting stronger every day, and have … At Shenandoah National Park, you are not limited to designated campsites. If your intuition suggests that this person can hurt you—then minimize contact. “15 miles per day = 145 days or @ 5 months”. And surely none of you would like to be the next victim. **OR** Take SR348 approximately 7 miles to the parking lot. The "nobo" hiker typically encounters wintry conditions in March and parts of April and hot, humid conditions in summer. For me personally, and many other hikers, hiking the entire Appalachian Trail was one of the most difficult things I have done in my lifetime. MacKaye then called for a two-day Appalachian Trail conference to be held in March 1925 in Washington, D.C. Certainly! Then keep in mind that mosquitoes, black flies, and beetles plague the AT from May to late August. How do I get to the trail? Millions of people set foot on the Appalachian Trail every year. Nevertheless, over the last hundred years, the police have encountered several Appalachian Trail murders. Contact | Privacy Policy. ... It’s not too early to start for 2012. For a day hike, your best choice may be comfortable old sneakers or worn-in tennis shoes rather than new shoes. Do not forget to bring orange clothes and head coverings. How difficult is a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail? When planning to hit the road, first check your maps. Non-thru hikers get the priority shelter spots with their reservations. Wet cotton can lead to hypothermia—one of the most serious threats lying in wait for hikers. Please note that in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, camping is not allowed except at the Birch Spring Gap campsite. The AT intersects GA75 and SR348, with parking facilities at both locations. Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail is located 8.5 miles north of Amicalola Falls. Hiking alone has its benefits. Her fastest time was in 2011, taking her 46 days 11 hours and 20 minutes (Southbound). This would put your end date somewhere in December. The direction of the hike depends on the hiker. Please doublecheck your Smokies information as it is NOT correct. Call the park at 706-265-4703 for more information. For hiking short sections, contact the local Trail Club for the most up to date info. 1. Your guide to outdoor adventure since 2019. Regularly update them about your location while hiking the AT. The Appalachian Trail thru-hike is equivalent to 16 climbs and descents of Mount Everest! This trailhead is located on Springer Mountain in Georgia. As a result, an independent organization known as the Appalachian Trail Conference was established. Then in 1925, the first conference devoted to the creation of the trail was held. The Appalachian Trail … Besides, it can help you reduce the weight of your luggage. Consider starting on a weekday, versus a weekend, as the trails will be less crowded. When preparing for hiking, carefully study the principles of Leave No Trace. Short-distance hikers must also make a reservation. You won’t want to hit the trail wit That being said, it only takes most people 4 to 5 months to hike the trail. Each part has different weather and hiking conditions. That means they’re averaging around 15 miles per day. Hike & Cycle benefits from affiliate programs (including Amazon’s). A complete thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail typically takes hikers anywhere from five to seven months. Since most hikers start south and head north, the trail is going to be crowded in the beginning and you are still pushing the line to make it in time. Other info can be found at ALDHA.org, Whiteblaze.net and TheTrek.co. What I am Most Nervous For 1. Information in this blog is very basic, and in some cases not accurate (one quart of water per day?!). Starting somewhere in the middle of the Trail. Sign up now! Still, many hikers see Harper’s Ferry of West Virginia as their psychological halfway marker. One of the significant battles that a thru-hiker will encounter is knowing how far they can hike each day. Moreover, a hike is a great opportunity to make new friends. The average hiker’s pace is about three miles an hour. “10 miles per day = 217 days or @ 7 months.”. Most thru-hikers start their journey between late February and mid-April at Springer Mountain in Georgia. 10 miles to the parking lot. As a rule, passage of the trail is free, and permits are also issued without charge. 7 Tips for Thru Hiking the Appalachian Trail | There is a lot of planning involved with a thru-hike, and it can be intimidating to know where to start. There is no early limit on when one can start a nobo hike, and a few hearty souls start as early as January and February. An 8-mile approach leading from Amicalola Falls State Park begins the 78-mile Georgia portion of this famous hiking trail to Maine. About late March or April when the weather in Georgia is starting to warm up is the best time to start. The path has some pretty severe conditions, especially for beginners: mountainous terrain and unpredictable weather conditions. 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