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8 - 10 day AT hike suggestions

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    • 8 - 10 day AT hike suggestions

      Hello everyone. I am a 45 year old Canadian woman with mid level hiking experience. I would like to explore part of the AT and I will have about 8 - 10 days to complete the hike. I plan on going the first 2 weeks in July.
      I prefer to be surrounded by forests, mountains and lakes. I don’t want to hike through towns, I really hope to be away from civilization and enjoy mother nature. I am planning on camping or brining a hammock with a canopy.
      1. Given that I am coming from Ontario, most likely driving down, which trail would you recommend and why?
      2. After I park my vehicle at point A, how do I get back there at the end of the hike?
      3. Is fresh water readily availabe at various points along the trail?
      4. Are there places to fish?
      5. Is there any other helpful advice you would have for a single woman hiking?
      Thank you in advance for your helpful recommendations
    • Welcome to the cafe!

      If you are hiking in July, you might want to stay further north...an area which i have no experience. My first thought was the 100 mile wilderness but again, I’ve never done it so should probably keep my mouth shut. But that’s kind of difficult for me. :)

      The other cafe members have hiked up north and will likely have better suggestions.

      Regarding being a solo female...

      I can’t say there’s no danger, but in general, it’s not a problem. Most hikers will be respectful of your privacy and understand that you might be skittish. There will be other people on the trail and usually hikers watch out for each other. There are lots of solo women hiking the AT.

      There is the occasional, mentally-ill hiker or professional, homeless hiker. If someone makes you uncomfortable, you move on.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • I'm going to suggest you hike the Appalachian Trail in the state of Maine
      There is plenty of forests, mountains, and lakes.
      Also, fresh water seems to be plentiful, from what I've seen.
      As for where in Maine, get the trail map for Maine and look it over, there are ample places to get on or off the trail.
      I would recommend you park your car near where you plan to finish the hike and get a shuttle back to where you want to start the hike.
    • I agree with hitting northern states due to the timing. I would suggest you join ALDHA (Appalachian Long Distance Hiker Association) aldha.org/ For $10 memebership you also get a PDF copy of their Trail Companion. I reccomend Vermont along with NH & ME.
      One of the benefits is that there are bus systems that somewhat paralell the AT/ LT (Long Trail) South of Killington & ME Jct you will share camping areas/shelters with Thru Hikers. North of that the Long Trail is less populated. It gets a bit more rugged, but worth it
    • Vermont would be nice that time of year. Not as difficult as New Hampshire or Maine. You could park at the Long Trail Inn in Killington, Vermont and hike south.
      If you hiked to Dalton, Massachusetts it would be about 130 miles.
      Use this website for quick mileage calculation: atdist.com
      "Dazed and Confused"
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by jimmyjam ().

    • jimmyjam wrote:

      Vermont would be nice that time of year. Not as difficult as New Hampshire or Maine. You could park at the Long Trail Inn in Killington, Vermont and hike south.
      If you hiked to Dalton, Massachusetts it would be about 130 miles.
      Use this website for quick mileage calculation: atdist.com
      Welcome to the Cafe!
      I would recommend VT also due to the reasons above. I am sure NH & ME are beautiful (will find out this summer). But the relative lower level of difficulty and easier logistics to me makes for a much better "first" AT hike. Then you can plan NH or ME for next summer. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Welcome to the Café. My sister in law is from Kincardine, so we get over to Ontario often.

      The guide books indicate the locations of water. You should plan on having some treatment option (chemical, filter, UV). Usually they are close enough together so you don't need to carry much. I will bring a couple of 1 liter bladders along with a water bottle, but only use the bladders if I know I am coming to a long dry stretch or might be dry camping. There are usually water sources by the shelters.

      There are those that you should never hike alone, regardless of your gender. But mast people also do a bad job of assessing real risk. I dare say that most of us drive cars on a daily basis. Considering all the people who are killed on the roads every day, you probably extend your life expectancy by getting yourself off the road and on the trail. The fear mongers never take that into account.

      I have not hiked in VT, but in general, the AT tends to follow mountain ridges where there are not a lot of lakes so the AT is not rhe best trail for fishing. From what I've seen on the maps, ME may be the exception. Don't know about VT.

      I agree that hiking back to the car is,a good plan. The guide should have a list of shutte drivers you can call if you need a lift. However, shuttles are not cheap. You just have to figure it into your budget. The bus service in VT may not get you all the way to the trail, but if you can just get close, it cuts,way back on the shuttle distance and cost.

      Also you must return here with a trip report to tell us all how great our advice was. We need our fragile egos supported. ;)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by odd man out ().

    • My suggestion mirrors some of the others. Consider hiking from North Adams, Massachusetts to Killington, VT. Distance 110 miles. I would park at Greylock Community Center on Mass 2. This is just a few blocks from the AT. I parked there before when my daughter & I attempted an afternoon hike. They just ask that you sign in and contribute a donation. (or at least that's what it was 12 yrs ago). Take Greyhound south from Killington to Bennington. It been a few yrs since I researched this but there is another bus service from Bennington to Williamstown, MA which is just a few miles west of North Adams on Mass 2. There is bus service between Williamstown and North Adams.

      By hiking northbound you will be hiking in same direction as majority of hikers out on the trail at that time and will likely see some, a least a few, of the same people along the trail where you stop for snacks, breaks, camping. I am a woman who, except for my very first backpacking trip, has hiked alone for over 300 miles and have only run into one "mentally-ill hiker" and one "professional, homeless hiker". Had no problems with them as the mentally-ill hiker was encountered at a lunch break at a shelter so there were a group of us there and the man moved along before the rest of us did. The professional homeless hiker was encountered at a shelter in NC and he was basically hanging out there when I stopped for lunch. I moved on and it appeared he was staying for some time. The vast majority of hikers are truly wonderful people.

      Happy Hiking! ~~