How to Section Hike the Appalachian Trail

25 Comments

  1. Amy. Cody
    Amy. Cody September 6, 2017 at 5:49 pm .

    Can you suggest a 7 day section hike for next week in Massachusetts, Vermont or Maine on A.T.? We were supposed to start at Springer Mountain on Saturday but now we’re worried about Irma hitting Georgia…..

  2. Debbie Johnson
    Debbie Johnson December 5, 2017 at 4:38 pm .

    Hi Jeff,
    I would like to hike the NC section can you recommend the best place to start and end my hike? I did the GA section in May and would like to complete NC next year.

    thank you,
    Debbie

  3. Debbie Johnson
    Debbie Johnson December 5, 2017 at 6:36 pm .

    I went to Bly Gap and then backtracked to Blue Ridge Gap for a shuttle to TOG Hostel.

  4. Justina Kling
    Justina Kling December 14, 2017 at 9:16 am .

    Thanks for writing this! I’m headed to a Appalachian Trail in a few weeks and plan on hitting up a few of these trails!

  5. Kristen Idalski
    Kristen Idalski July 24, 2018 at 10:31 am .

    Hi!

    I live in NY and have a life goal to section hike the AT. I’m a little old for such a goal (44) and I’ve only day hiked. I’m fit and have flexibility to do several s croons a year. Do you provide coaching for such an ambitious goal??

  6. Jim Austin ("Skyline")
    Jim Austin ("Skyline") December 27, 2018 at 9:41 pm .

    There is advice above to plan your end-of-hike shuttle well in advance. I’d like to offer another suggestion, and give the reasons for it.

    It is more sensible to get the shuttle at the BEGINNING of a section — meeting the shuttle provider wherever you park your vehicle. Then, get shuttled to where you want to start hiking, and hike back TO your vehicle.

    So many things can happen during a multi-day hike to make you early (and more often, late) arriving someplace to meet a shuttle driver at the end of a hike. Cell coverage in the mountains is iffy at best. You may not be able to call the driver to change the time, and even if you can, that driver may have other trips booked at the time you want to switch to.

    It also creates unnecessary and unwanted stress to keep to a tight schedule. Isn’t avoiding stress one reason we go to the mountains?

    Most shuttle providers recommend doing it this way. A few refuse to meet hikers at the end of their hike because they know they, or the hiker, will probably have to wait for the other party to show up. Some drivers do several trips per day and simply CANNOT wait, so the hiker meeting a driver at hike’s end is taking a chance on not getting that ride if he or she takes longer to hike than anticipated.

    Conversely, if you are able to finish your hike a day or a few hours ahead of anticipated, it’s better to simply arrive at your vehicle and be able to drive home than to have to wait hours (or until tomorrow) for your ride.

    There may be the rare exception why you might NEED to do it the other way, but these are all valid reasons not to.

  7. Greg w
    Greg w March 2, 2019 at 8:00 pm .

    i am unable to do many multi-day section hikes beyond a weekend hiKe but would still like to meet my goal of hiking thE at. What adviCe can you give or resources can you point me to about how Do plan these shorter sections?

  8. Dan Snyder
    Dan Snyder March 16, 2019 at 6:14 am .

    hi jeff. I am from delaware and i would like to take our youth group on an over night hike. I have hiked a section in virginia about 20 years ago. i do remember passing and even staying at a shelter along the trail. I was thinking Virginia, maryland or pennsylvania. i want them to see some beautiful mountain views, but also have some type of shelter if possible. thank you in advance.

  9. Heather Locke
    Heather Locke July 13, 2019 at 6:08 pm .

    I was wondering if there is a way I can find section hikes that are jogging stroller friendly. Not sure where to look to find this information. I’d like to start out with a few days on a section hike and would like to bring the stroller with. What are your thoughts?

  10. mark
    mark October 11, 2019 at 3:51 pm .

    Hi Jeff,
    Really loving the information you have up here, so informative! I am a novice and travelling from Ireland to NYC in two weeks, was hoping to do some the AT on my own and am wondering if you would have any recommendations for a 3 night (4 day) trail? Id be heading from NYC via public transport but have no idea where to even begin, was thinking of the section Pawling to Harriman State Park you mentioned above? Any advice would be greatly appreciated

  11. Ami
    Ami October 11, 2019 at 4:35 pm .

    Hi. I’m from Illinois and a group of six of us have some time off in june and want to do a thru hike. After figuring travel to and from we have five nights to spend on the trail. We are middle aged and above and in okay shape. I’m thinking no more than ten mikes a day. Any thoughts on your favorite six days/five nights thru hiking adventure?
    Thanks!
    Ami

Leave a Reply