In recent years the most popular start dates have been March 1, March 15, and April … Beginners should count on a hiking speed of about 1 mile per hour, even on simple sections. Karel Sabbe, a Belgium ultrarunner, completed the trail in 41 days 7 hours and 39 minutes in 2018 (Northbound), Karl Meltzer, an American ultrarunner based in Utah, completed the trail in 45 days 22 hours and 38 minutes in 2016 (Southbound), Scott Jurek, an American ultrarunner from Minnesota, finished the trail in 46 days 8 hours and 7 minutes in 2015 (Northbound). This pace may be slower at the beginning of the trail, and become faster as hikers gain muscle strength and confidence. Learn the seven principles of Leave No Trace. Get more detailed information on what gear you’ll need in our hiking trips preparation checklist. As a result, an independent organization known as the Appalachian Trail Conference was established. Completing an Appalachian Trail thru-hike is both draining and rewarding, mentally and physically. The usual start of Appalachian Trail is at the Southern Terminus in Georgia. This section lies in the center of Maine and western New Hampshire. The Appalachian Trail is a good place to start. Appalachian Trail organization to long-distance hikers: Postpone your start during coronavirus Posted Mar 17, 2020 The Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine, passes through Duncannon. Crossing state lines many times and hiking over numerous mountain tops, you can see why it takes most hikers months to complete this trail. Still, many hikers see Harper’s Ferry of West Virginia as their psychological halfway marker. This section of the AT does not require any additional fees or permits. In Georgia alone, the 2,180-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail covers 76 miles and crosses seven counties. However, in some frequently used camping places, a small fee may be charged. The trail is about 2,190 miles long, though the precise length changes over time as parts are modified or rerouted. How long is the AT? About late March or April when the weather in Georgia is starting to warm up is the best time to start. Mobile gadgets are tightly integrated into our lives, which is why many travelers prefer to leave their phones at home when outdoor hiking. By doing so, you can avoid unnecessary attention and provocation. When planning to hit the road, first check your maps. Do not leave your things unattended. Hi Kathryn – great article and appreciate the detailed information. So after reading about the sections of the AT, you may still be wondering, “Where does the Appalachian Trail end and start off?” You may even be thinking, “I want to do the trail from beginning to end!” To do this, though, you need to be sure that you can overcome all the obstacles. Speed hiking on the trail has become somewhat of an ultramarathon runner phenomenon. Katahdin provides a dramatic finale; hikers should plan to arrive before October 15. The top 4 fastest supported times on the trail are as follows: The top 4 unsupported times on the trail are as follows: Many hikers, especially those not from the Eastern part of the United States, imagine the AT is a flat, easy trail. 10 miles to the parking lot. When preparing for hiking, carefully study the principles of Leave No Trace. Nevertheless, along these 280 miles, you will find spectacular landscapes. It takes five to seven months to thru-hike the trail while a section hike can take two or more months. The majority of thru-hikers hike northbound, beginning in Georgia anytime from late-March to mid-April. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy recently posted the following memorandum as an open letter with cautionary tips for all hikers planning to be on the trail in 2021: “In March 2020, America began to feel the first impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which would upend almost every aspect of … When And Where To Start The Hike. Hi! The hiking community is friendly. I’m hoping to get onto the NC portion of the trail this year – need to convince my bride to join me. So let’s go into more detail on the permits that hikers need to obtain and the requirements that need to be followed. 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. The AT may not be the oldest trail in the US, but it ranks among the longest hiking trails in America. PLEASE do some more comprehensive research before undertaking your hike. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has published 11 guidebooks that describe all the details of the trail and contain relevant trail maps. Appalachian Trail Overview. Steve. But, the earlier one starts, the more severe the weather. Once you reach its summit, you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views of the Appalachian Mountains and … 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. One is in Georgia while the other is in Maine. Reportedly tricky due to elevation gain per each mile, intense weather, regulations for camping, rocky trails, and steep terrain. Non-thru hikers get the priority shelter spots with their reservations. The Appalachian Trail stretches 2,168 miles from the state of Georgia to Maine. As a result, it is recommended by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and many conservationists for hikers, if at all possible, to consider alternate options to heading NOBO. The terrain will be steep, rocky, sustained, and will involve some stream crossings. Since the trail actually begins at a bronze plaque on the summit of Springer Mountain at 3,780 feet, the first decision you make is whether to do the 8.5-mile approach trail. Northbound hikers typically start in late March or early April ending their hike between late August and early October. If you’re going to be camping overnight, a camping fee is charged. An Appalachian Trail thru-hike takes between five and seven months to complete the entire trail. Of course, in our research, we used websites you recommended. The path passes by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Wall of the Appalachian Mountains. 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. How much quality gear do you have? It generally takes hikers at least a full month or more to cross the entire state. Hiking alone has its benefits. 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. Even if you are planning to stay at a motel, hostel, or shelter, you still should carry a tent in case you lag behind schedule and do not have time to get to your planned stopover before dark. She ultimately decided to cancel her hike given the ATC’s recommendations surrounding COVID-19. The main thing you have to decide is when and where to start hiking the Appalachian Trail. That being said, it only takes most people 4 to 5 months to hike the trail. Contact info for each club can be found at the ATC website. Nevertheless, over the last hundred years, the police have encountered several Appalachian Trail murders. Completing an Appalachian Trail thru-hike is both draining and rewarding, mentally and physically. A huge contribution to the trail-building project was made by Myron Avery (1899-1952). If your intuition suggests that this person can hurt you—then minimize contact. The most famous Appalachian Trail day hikes are located right here. And it’s not surprising: just an hour’s drive is the most densely inhabited part of the United States. Call the park at 706-265-4703 for more information. Most section hikers may not take on a full state at one time, but for others, it can be a rewarding getaway. On average, brand-new camping supplies can cost $1,000 or more. The Appalachian Trail offers a variety of scenery, is well maintained by volunteers, has established campsites for hikers, and is centered around a hiking community that’s like no other in the world. Besides, it can help you reduce the weight of your luggage. The route runs alongside highways and roads, the big cities. When To Start a Sobo Appalachian Trail Thru Hike I started a northbound (nobo) hike in Georgia on the spring equinox, and hiked 114 miles before leaving the trail with an injury . And do not forget to bring a printed copy of your permit! First Previous Next Last. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, out of the 1,500 to 2,000 hikers who try to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail every year, only 200 to 300 hikers succeed. It all started when Benton MacKaye (1879-1975) published an article called “ An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning ” in the Journal of the American Institute of Architects. The Appalachian Trail also offers many other important landmarks throughout its long and extensive abode. On average, the journey can take you about 6 months to complete. However, during emergencies, your phone can be your salvation. One of the significant battles that a thru-hiker will encounter is knowing how far they can hike each day. Your smartphone may die or you may get no signal—meaning you won’t be able to connect to online maps. Her fastest time was in 2011, taking her 46 days 11 hours and 20 minutes (Southbound). Great Smoky Mountains National Park policy requires tourists to stay overnight in shelters. If you are an experienced hiker and want to toughen up things, start the hike from Katahdin. This website is where I share all our adventures along with tips and advice to help you get outdoors too! There are a lot of factors involved in overall hiking time, and it will vary from hiker to hiker. It’s not officially part of the Appalachian Trail and is optional. The northern parts of the trail are more complicated, and the weather is less forgiving. If you can start in early spring it is best to start in Georgia as the mountains of the Northeast are very cold and snowy at that time. Sign up now! And do not forget to give them the ATC contact numbers. The first white blaze and plaque at Springer Mountain Georgia, southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. What to bring? It all started when Benton MacKaye (1879-1975) published an article called “An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning” in the Journal of the American Institute of Architects. 7. “I swam, jogged, hiked, and lifted — anything to start building the muscles back up,” he said. Covering everything from general information and how to plan your hike to the best resources and most important regulations, this ultimate handbook about hiking the Appalachian Trail will make it easy for you to find the answers to all your questions! 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