Where to hike on the AT?

11:10 p.m. on May 12, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm trying to plan a trip this summer and want to day hike on the AT and was wondering where a good place would be.  It will definitely be my daughter (17) and me.  My 8 year old son might come along if the hike is easy enough. Something near a big city would be preferable. 

Last year we took a trip out west.  Vegas to the Grand Canyon to San Francisco to Yosemite and back to Vegas.  It gave us a good mix of outdoors and city life.

6:27 a.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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The entire trail is beautiful and filled with vistas. Dayhiking only really restricts your options in alot of areas. That being said I think the smokies are a don't miss area. The highlands in VA are nice as well. And then the areas of CT and north.

Do you have an idea of which state you are going to? That will really help alot, because otherwise you will get some vey vauge answers.

11:12 a.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Not sure why (?) you'd want to be near a BIG CITY.   I don't think anywhere along the AT is very close to one.

Charlottesville, Virginia ... my former home, is a modest-sized city.  It is not far from the AT, which runs near the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive, near where they meet on Afton Mountain, and I-64.

All, very readily accessible.

Yogi Robt

2:22 p.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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I would agree with the Smokies....

A high visual impact (but low exertion) choice would be to start at Newfound Gap and go out to Charlie’s Bunion. It's about 8 miles round trip but the elevation changes are slow and easy (by comparison).

 

If you feel like really hitting it hard, try going up to Rocky Top (yep from the song); it's about a 12 mile round trip. You would start at either the Cades Cove campground (Anthony Creek trail) or the Lead Cove trail from the side of the road and hike up to Spence Field and on to Rocky Top (actually a peak of Thunderhead Mtn). It will test the endurance and cardio fitness of most folks but if you go in summer you will more than likely encounter a bear eating blueberries (which makes for good stories and an exhilarating trip). And the blueberries are pretty tasty....

Another very visually stunning choice is Max Patch Mtn in North Carolina; you can actually drive most of the way up if you choose. You will only have to hike a half mile or so to the summit. You could always head North on the AT after that if you want more exercise and neat trail.

 

In fact, I'm about to head out this afternoon and hike the section from Cosby (Low Gap approach) out to Newfound Gap over the weekend.

I love all of the Smokies but the AT is just a fun place to be in the park, I hike it again and again without tiring of it. Of course I live close so it's also convenient.

6:01 p.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Oops! I typed this this morning and I forgot to hit post.

My grandfather lived in the Appalachians just south of Brevard, NC and I spent many summers there.  I was looking for something different. I live in Florida and if I can't fit the AT in I can make a long weekend run up to the Appalachians.

I am in the beginning stages of trip planning and haven't even nailed down which states to go to.  The states from Virgina to Maine are open. 

The problem I have is finding a place where my wife's 96 year old grandmother and the rest of the family will have something to do while we hike. It doesn't take much just some shops and a restaurant where grandma can ride her scooter around. The plan would be to get dropped off in the morning, hike and get picked up late in the afternoon/early evening. 

6:27 p.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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i'm a new hampshire native and partial to the Presidentials, but that is a serious trip for you in terms of fly-time; southwest airlines flies into manchester, NH though.  it would also be a lot for an eight year-old. 

 

North Conway New Hampshire is a nice small town, kind of touristy in spots, and there are a few other places of interest that could satisfy a non-hiker for a long weekend.  the southern presidentials are good for a nice day hike, and Mt. Washington has the unique attraction of your family being able to drive to the summit and pick you up after a solid and substantial 4-6 hour hike.  there are also places from which you could day-hike some of the other summits, like Mt. Adams from the Randolph side. 

 

the parts of the AT or the Blue Hill Mountains near Charlottesville, VA might be interesting for you.  Charlottesville is great - excellent restaurants and shopping, nice walking street, gorgeous college town, and lots of wineries nearby if you like that kind of thing.  the hiking would be better for your younger contingent than New Hampshire, not as tough. 

 

 

7:27 p.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey ocala..I am presently hiking a thru hike but I live on the Trail in Virginia..Patman is correct Tennesee is one of the most beatiful parts so far...

if your looking for City wise like your first post say''s with access to the trail as well as shopping 2 area's I know of. Roanoak VA..The avator picture is of macfee's knob most well known and photographed.Roanoak has farmers market downtown as well as mall's etc and is only 15 mins from the trailhead by car..Shenandoah national park is only 2 hours away..then you have Harpersferry WV 30 mins by shuttle to DC..If your thinking farther north Delaware water gap in NJ it's 30 minutes to New york and the trail is right there towards pennsylvania and New jersey and New York. You could also go to the Jersey shore 2 hours away...But The Rambler has thru hiked the whole trail and I am just working my way thru.I relied on his experiance and it's been dead on...sorry it's my niece's college graduation this weekend and I came off the trail just for that and then back on next week..

7:30 a.m. on May 14, 2011 (EDT)
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ocalacomputerguy said:

Oops! I typed this this morning and I forgot to hit post.

My grandfather lived in the Appalachians just south of Brevard, NC and I spent many summers there.  I was looking for something different. I live in Florida and if I can't fit the AT in I can make a long weekend run up to the Appalachians.

I am in the beginning stages of trip planning and haven't even nailed down which states to go to.  The states from Virgina to Maine are open. 

The problem I have is finding a place where my wife's 96 year old grandmother and the rest of the family will have something to do while we hike. It doesn't take much just some shops and a restaurant where grandma can ride her scooter around. The plan would be to get dropped off in the morning, hike and get picked up late in the afternoon/early evening. 

 

As I mentioned, take a look (internet) what "C-Ville"  (as the locals call Charlottesville, VA) has to offer.  Everything you are looking for.   Even an airport (Earlysville), two excellent hospitals (UVA and Martha Jefferson).  Excellent sight-seeing (Monticello, etc.).  Downtown shopping mall (closed-off streets with local  boutique shops and vendors ... NOT an enclosed mall).

Yogi Robt

12:19 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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In SW VA, Mout Rogers is an interesting visit.  I don't know if there are easy day hikes around there since I through hiked.  The AT approach from the south has beautiful views.  It may be difficult hike for your son if he isn't used to hiking.

Your kids may find the wild horses that live there a neat attraction.  I went there with a bunch of scouts and the horses were the highlight of the trip.

http://www.summitpost.org/mount-rogers/150778

2:53 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
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OCG ~~

"Bump" my post.

Others here, while trying to be helpful, are not mindful of your family, and namely, your wife's grandmother's circumstance.

"RTFD", anyone?

Otherwise, you could get about 2,000 suggestions, or more.

______________________________________

~r2~

7:07 a.m. on June 30, 2011 (EDT)
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I've hiked most of the AT from Connecticut through Maine. New Hampshire, especially the White Mountains, are unforgettable. If you want to day hike, you can stay at the Appalachian Mountain Club Huts and Lodges and still avoid the more strenuous bits. There are mostly families who stay there and lots of activities. We're talking high peaks, incredible mountain passes, great waterfalls and streams. I've been hiking there for years and have only scratched the surface.

July 23, 2014
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