Appalachian Trail Hiking

Do you feel the need for some fresh air, exertion, and magnificent views? Well, you have probably considered a good hike through the mountains. What about a day hike on the Appalachian Trail?  The Appalachians scan several states and mountain ranges from Maine to Georgia.

Preparation 

A few things should be considered when preparing for a hike. Where are you going? Who are you going with? Are animals going along? These things impact the hike considerably and should be taken seriously.

Find a Hike

For instance, are you heading to The Great Smoky Mountains section of the Appalachians? Then you should know that this national park is closed to dogs. Fido will not be allowed-even on a leash- in Tennessee or North Carolina Great Smoky Mountains national park.

Are you planning a hike with a group? Ages are important to consider. Toddlers will walk slower and want to look at everything. Seniors may not be able to traverse steep terrain as well as young adults. Young children will not be able to walk as far as the adults. Factoring these things into the plans will help everyone have an enjoyable hike.

Experienced hikers may enjoy the Maine and New Hampshire parts of the trail. Here the terrain is harder. Katahdin Maine has very treacherous, steep terrain. The western section of Maine has the famous Mahoosuc Notch, a very dangerous boulder-strewn mile.  It is not a place for beginners. This part of the trail is rated up to a 10, the hardest of the hiking ratings. Maryland and West Virginia are the easiest parts to hike. West Virginia is rated a 2-3, meaning it has well graded trails and moderate terrain.

If your group wants to hike somewhere midway between beginners and experienced, try the Great Smoky Mountains of the Appalachian Trail. Here the rating is a 3-6 (moderate difficulty). North Carolina offers the best graded high altitude trails along the Appalachian Trail. These are found in the Nantahala Gorge. The views are stunning and the wildlife is plentiful. Expect to see black bear, deer and other animals as you hike.

Along the way 

Parks are plentiful on the trail. Shenandoah National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Harriman-Bear Mountain State Park (where the lowest elevation of the trail is located) all await hikers with wildlife, historic sites, and breathtaking vistas. Pass by zoos and mountainside cabins. Watch trains far below. Catch a glimpse of moose in the deep forest. Enjoy nature at its most raw points

Thru & Section Hiking

Whether you want a day-hike, a week-long vacation or you want to become the next ‘thru-hiker’ just pack your water and some high-calorie food, something for blisters, and a lot of energy and then just go!  The trail is approximately 2,200 miles and some thru-hikers will split the trail into sections to be done yearly until all are complete. Some do a 6-month stint and get it all done at one time. The choice is yours for distance, starting points and duration. The trail only beckons you to enjoy all she has to offer.

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