View Full Version : Where to do First Long AT Section

2009-02-26, 23:17
My first post here! Woo-hoo! :five: The wife and I are thinking about doing our first week-long AT section this year. We're not committed yet, for various reasons, but if we are going to do it, we need to start thinking now. So I'm posting a poll here with the options we are considering. Each section is listed in the direction we would do it. All sections would start on a Sunday and conclude on the following Saturday, so they would all take seven days. The Vermont sections would be in early August, the Virginia and Georgia sections in June sometime. I'm leaning towards one of the Vermont sections, as we've never averaged more than five miles a day with full backpacks before, and since we would wait until August, that would give us more time to train. On the other hand, you have less choice in camping sites in Vermont, which would force us to do a couple of very long days at some point. I'm also tempted to do the Georgia part, which would get us to Springer and give us the "start of a thru-hike feel." In any event, please give us your opinions. The biggest criteria here is probably ease of hiking, given again that we haven't done anything like this before. Please note, however, that we are planning to do some short sections and some long sections each year, and the really easy parts between, say Shenandoah and Williamstown Mass. are reserved for the short sections. We definitely want to do one of the sections mentioned in the poll. Thanks.

(P. S. The current leader on the poll I put up on Whiteblaze is Pearisburg-Catawba, if you're curious.)

2009-02-26, 23:39
Of the options listed, I went with Georgia, but honestly, consider Mt. Roger's NRA HQ south to Damascus. It's about 75 miles through balds and wild pony herds. The smart hiker would blue-blaze the last dozen or so miles by taking the Virginia Creeper Trail into Damascus instead of that God-awful 15 miles of PUD's on the AT. The Creeper is super gently graded rails-to-bike-trail along a really nice creek. And you end in a fantastic trail town.

And it's easy to park in Damascus and get a shuttle to Mt. Rogers. One vehicle. Easy logistics.

It may be the nicest section in the entire south.

2009-03-01, 00:01
you might find the trail "crowded" in vt at that time. just something to consider.

SGT Rock
2009-03-01, 00:12
I think Mt Rogers are is a great idea. Some of the nicest terrain you can find. And since there are about 3 outfitters with tons of shuttle opportunities you can get your plan set easy and hike back to your ride.

2009-03-02, 00:56
Go with Bearpaw's suggestion 2nd by Sarge. (Hi Sarge, Bubba here.) If you need latrines (with lots of flies because they're 'moldering latrines' and they throw it everywhere), and don't mind a little diarrhea and heavy exercise, go with GA. Heading south (and down) from Mt. Rogers to Damascus is really to be preferred, and do it during berry season. Those berries saved me down the dry Jones Farm blue blaze. Just don't expect to be able to rent a bicycle for the Creeper trail. If you're cheap, Marion's the best place to get on the trail since it's only a seventyfive cent city bus ride to the hot shower headquarters shelter--quite different from the $100.00 'special' to get one soul to the trail from north Atlanta.

Tin Man
2009-03-03, 00:55
can only speak for options 1 and 2... danby south is much easier than danby north as you are hiking along ridge lines vs. crossing ridge lines