With the trail changing so often, that means the halfway point moves too. We think that thru-hiking the A.T. is an honorable undertaking, and encourage all aspiring 2000-milers to aim high, but remember to take a moment to enjoy the beauty of nature. For example, our article on the. It takes 5 million steps, an average of 16 miles per day on the Appalachian Trail, for 6 months, to complete the longest hiking-only trail in the world. Over 5 months this amounts to $2250, which may seem like a shocking figure. “10 miles per day = 217 days or @ 7 months.”. Hiking the Appalachian Trail – Expert Guide The Appalachian Trail is perhaps the most well known of all of the National Scenic Trails in the United States. On average, you can expect to lose 30 pounds during your 6 months on the trail. It is recommended that you start the trail no earlier than June 1st if you are starting in Maine. To be a bit more exacting, according to the most recent available statistics (from 2015), the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) Data Book says that the average completion time is “a week or two shy of six months”. We hiked an average of just under 20 miles a day with backpacks that weighed up to 40 pounds! This hike will take almost half a year even with good-hiking speed. end date October 13 th). The Appalachian Trail stretches 2,168 miles from the state of Georgia to Maine. 310 people who hiked on the Appalachian Trail in 2018 took the survey. Trail speed attempts can be broken down into two categories: supported and unsupported. Joey Campanelli, an American ultrarunner based in Utah, completed the trail in 48 days 23 hours and 28 minutes in 2017 (Southbound). (About 20 percent of hikers who begin the trail will complete it.) However, especially with increased traffic on the A.T., these water sources are becoming more likely to be contaminated. Do your research beforehand. However, this trail is most famous as a thru-hike. Most will hit a few 20-25 mile days towards the end of their hike, but the average miles per day on the Appalachian Trail is 16. Even section hikers should carry survival gear, as it’s always better to be prepared. On average, the total cost of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is $5,000-$7,000. On your first day, you’ll have to climb Katahdin, a mountain with an elevation of more than 4000 feet. This means the majority of those who complete the trail end-to … - Heather Anderson The Appalachian Trail (AT) runs 2,189 (in 2015) miles from Georgia to Maine. Being careful means we’ll be able to enjoy the breathtaking A.T. for longer. November 5, 2019 Posted by averagehiker.com Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail - Connecticut - 2019, Section Hikes Fall Hike – Day 2 Day 1 had … Thru-hikers will gain and lose a total of 464,464 ft or 89 miles. Jennifer Pharr-Davis, an American ultrarunner from North Carolina, actually set two separate speed records on the trail. Mount Washington will be your highest point at 6,289 ft. The northern parts of the trail are more complicated, and the weather is less forgiving. About 15% of backpackers give up just a few days into Georgia. Dan “Knotts” Binde, an American thru-hiker from Minnesota, completed the trail in 53 days 22 hours and 57 minutes in 2017 (Northbound). Starting my trek on February 18 th, at a fairly relaxed pace, gives me 238 days to reach Mt. This route option is a great choice as it means you can avoid the crowds and the bad weather, and it’s much better for the preservation of the trail. Most hikers begin at Springer Mountain in Georgia in the spring and head north to the trails terminus at Mount Katahdin in Maine because the northern mountain is frequently snowy and cold well into the spri… That gives you miles and miles of steep, rocky terrain to climb up and wander down. Before you go, get used to carrying all your gear on your back, test out the weight regularly and have overnight practice hikes. In total, the AT passes through eight national forests and two nation… Since the entire Appalachian Trail is so long, many choose to complete it over the years by doing something called section hiking. The 10 Longest Hiking Trails in the World. The Trail travels through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian Mountain Range, from its southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine. The highest point of the mountain is 5,268 ft. Last year, it was 2,185.3. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, more commonly known as the Appalachian Trail or just the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the eastern US. There are many more challenging sections and sometimes even larger mountains to climb. However, these parts of the trail tend to be the most strenuous, rocky, repetitive, and steep. There are also plenty of campsites along the Appalachian Trail, and they make a great option for some nights. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the proposal for the hiking trail was first presented in 1921, but the Trail was not technically completed until 2014 when a final major stretch was formally acquired and received permanent protection. It stretches between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine, passing through 14 states in total. Consider starting on a weekday, versus a weekend, as the trails will be less crowded. A Brief on How Long to Hike The Appalachian Trail. The total expanse of the Southern Maine section, including the Bigelow Range, will be just over 100 miles. The first few steps in a successful thru-hike experience are getting to know the trail and getting to know yourself as a hiker. Consider why you’re hiking the Appalachian Trail- if it has anything to do with peace and solitude, you’re better off avoiding these crowds. This can be a vital aspect, as many hikers have set up drop points and only carry enough food to get them from one drop point to another. A complete thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail typically takes hikers anywhere from five to seven months. Most thru-hikers will complete the Appalachian Trail in 5 to 7 months, with 165 days being average. Completing the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in one trip is a mammoth undertaking. There is an abundance of water sources on the Appalachian Trail, with one at almost every shelter, and plenty of streams along the path. Your equipment must be durable when, This bracelet makes an excellent addition to any backpack, helping the trek across the backcountry to be just a little easier. The trail is, at 2,190 miles (3,510 km) long, the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has reported that at least 99% of the original trail has been rebuilt or relocated since 1937. Trail-Time Expenses. Mileage wise, this will be past halfway, but as a hiker, it can be significant for one location to signify you’re halfway there. The most difficult parts of the trail tend to be in the northern portion. Shelters along the A.T. are maintained by 31 different trail clubs, who also perform other duties such as painting white blazes. Now pursuing freelance writing full-time, Meg has found a new base in Pheonix, AZ where she splits her time between writing and new desert adventures. They’re spaced from 5 to 15 miles apart, and if there’s a town with lodging nearby then it could be up to 30 miles before you reach the next one. The average (mean) age of hikers in the survey was 34 years old, plus or minus 13 years, with a median age of 29 years old. This allows hikers to hike the entirety of the trail without having to do it in one push. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy recommends $1,000 per month for the average hiker thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Her fastest time was in 2011, taking her 46 days 11 hours and 20 minutes (Southbound). All hikers will face their own hardest section of the trail, but we can narrow down some of the most challenging terrain portions that are commonly reported as being the hardest parts of the AT. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *. For example, one could start in the middle and head north, and upon reaching Mount Katahdin in Maine, head back to the middle and do the southern half of the trail. This bracelet makes an excellent addition to any backpack, helping the trek across the backcountry to be just a little easier. 4-5 - Average pairs of shoes an AT hiker will go through However, the range of weight loss differs wildly from one person to another: The heaviest person in the study lost just under 70 pounds, while the lightest lost only 5. The Appalachian Trail is a path located in the eastern United States. Your email address will not be published. Crossing all 14 states via the Appalachian Trail amounts to approximately 5,000,000 steps. From market farming to wilderness survival guide to forestry technician and climbing instructor, Meg has an eclectic work history. That's because the PCT really restricts the time in which you can thru hike it before it starts getting dangerous. Matt Kirk, an American ultrarunner based in North Carolina, completed the trail in 58 days 9 hours and 40 minutes in 2013 (Southbound). This was set on the northbound route, which is the most popular choice for the A.T. By far the most popular choice amongst hikers on the Appalachian Trail is the northbound route. It requires massive commitment and personal investment, but the payoff is huge. They offer an opportunity to socialize with other hikers and are much more convenient than tents when it comes to packing and carrying. Average time. It’s to be done with continuous footsteps and must be completed within one calendar year in order to qualify. You might wonder if you need a permit to thru-hike this trail, but it’s not necessary for the whole thing. Make sure you know some of the facts about hiking the A.T. before leaving. A thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail typically takes between five and seven months, although speedsters have done it in less than 50 days. The current unsupported record for completing the Appalachian Trail is 45 days, 12 hours, and 15 minutes, achieved by ultrarunner Joe McConaughy in 2017. That being said, it only takes most people 4 to 5 months to hike the trail. You will be ascending for about 5 miles. Most backpackers will go through 4 or 5 pairs of hiking boots on the route. Dehydrated backpacking recipes are popular with thru-hikers, as they provide more calories while not being as expensive as shop-bought dehydrated meals. As a thru-hiker, it can also be daunting to cross 14 states. Completing the Appalachian Trail is more than anything about having the ability to adapt well. However, on average, people cross 10 to 15 miles every day. These are the trails which thru-hiking is commonly associated with, but the term could be used to describe other end-to-end long-distance hiking as well. Many hikers prefer these shelters to tents as it’s much easier without the setup time and the added weight. Still, many hikers see Harper’s Ferry of West Virginia as their psychological halfway marker. However, the amount of calories you burn hiking long-distance is huge, so make sure you buy and eat as much food as you need. No matter if you are traveling northbound or southbound, the passes you make over these mountains and these states will be days you remember. Thru-hiking is when someone hikes a long trail from beginning to end without skipping any part of the trail. Shelters, water, and even the trail route itself are prone to change from year to year. For more information, read our, whole review of the best paracord bracelets, If you want to learn more about the Appalachian Trail, check out the. Learn more about me here. However, the amount of, Fun facts and FAQs about the Appalachian Trail. You’ll need to let them know where you’ll be and when to make you easier to locate in case of an emergency. Or, you could become a section hiker, and complete the trail in small chunks over a period of years. That averages out to about 10 miles per day. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Trail life is often cheaper than “real” life. "The trail has a way of answering the questions you most need answered, even if you are afraid to ask." The trail is maintained by a variety of citizen organizations, environmental advocacy groups, governmental agencies and individuals. The Appalachian Trail Conservatory has asked aspiring thru-hikers to consider other route options and other times of the year, as the huge amount of traffic the A.T. sees northbound at the start of April is very damaging to the wildlife. Only 20% of aspiring thru-hikers actually finish their journey. This website is where I share all our adventures along with tips and advice to help you get outdoors too! Most long-distance hikers eat as much as they can, as often as they can, otherwise, they risk a serious calorie deficit. Thru-hiking (or through-hiking) is the practice of hiking an established long-distance trail, from end to end. Thru-hiking is hard, it requires great physical and mental strength, there’s no point going around it. You’ll also want to keep in mind that different legs of the trail are more difficult than others. © 2020 Outdoor Command. Obtaining these is easy, as the best way is to simply pick one up when you arrive. Because of the magnitude of this undertaking, every hiker should have a designated support person at home. Instead, so-called “flip flop” thru-hikes entail hiking the entirety of the trail in different sections. for some useful information. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. However, the average time to hike the Appalachian Trail is between 5-7 months. But there's one common factor across all her pursuits: the outdoors. Adding in a tight budget just means that you have to be a bit more skilled. Hiking the Appalachian Trail covers about 2,168 distances from Georgia to Maine. Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Don’t expect to hit your target every day, but make sure you set a goal to reach every month. 50 of these hikers were age 70 and above. Throughout this article, we will present you with some valuable tools as you begin your AT journey and layout some remarkable trail history along the way. This includes gear, trail resupply, and town expenses. Contact | Privacy Policy. I think you're more likely to get a good ballpark figure for the PCT than the AT. Speed records of the trail have been set in just over 41 days. Once you’ve decided your full commitment to conquering the trail, you’ll need plenty of time to plan out specific details. On average, the length of the Appalachian Trail is 2,200 miles or 3,500 kilometers. There is no such restriction for the AT. 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