HikeMore Online Newsletter - Appalachian Trail Edition, Spring 2004


AT Survey Guide

Getting Ready
Background Info
Making Time
Start Dates
Mail Drops
Bounce Boxes

Backpacking Gear
Top Twelve
Sent Home
Best Gear
Worst Gear
Top Brands
First Aid
Water Treatment
Maps / Guides
Seasonal Changes
Backpack Weight

Pain / Problems

Weight Loss

Trail Food
Top 5 Foods

Danger on the Trail

After the Trail
End Dates
Hiking Again
Favorite Sections
Biggest Surprise
Best of the Trail
Worst of the Trail
Lessons Learned


Appalachian Trail 2003 Hiker Survey

The majority of survey responses we received were from northbound thru-hikers, so these results are therefore representative of their experiences. To date we have received 49 replies to our Appalachian Trail survey. According to the ATC, there were 503 hikers that reported finishing the AT in 2003.

After the Appalachian Trail - Continued

Favorite Sections

Although every state along the Appalachian Trail is beautiful in its own way, there are some sections that are truly breathtaking. From our survey, we found there are definitely favorite areas among thru-hikers.

Maine Clear lakes with sandy beaches for swimming, plenty of moose tracks and sightings, and home to Katahdin - trail's end.
White Mountains Like nothing else along the AT, thru-hikers hear tales of the Whites from day one of their journey. The first trail above treeline, huts that offer all-you-can-eat baked goods and work for stay, the famous Presidential Range, and scenic value that is indescribable.
Grayson Highlands Wild ponies, pines, rocky outcroppings, and lush greenery comes together to create an area so beautiful it is almost unearthly.
Vermont Beautiful green mountains and lonely mountaintop ski huts that are open to thru-hikers in the summer. When you hit Vermont, you know you've arrived.
100 Mile Wilderness As it states, 100 miles of wilderness. Clear cold streams, marshes, ponds, and waterfalls hidden among the pines, and the satisfaction of knowing you've almost made it.

Other favorite areas along the Trail included: God's Thumbprint, Max Patch, Georgia, Katahdin, Smoky Mountains, Roan Mountain, the Long Trail section, Dragon's Tooth, the Mahoosuc Notch, and the Berkshires.


Biggest Surprise

Unless you've already done it, no one really knows what to expect before their Appalachian Trail hike. Some surprises are pleasant and welcome. Other people decide there are aspects of the Trail that simply don't interest them.

Top Surprises About the Appalachian Trail
High number of thru-hikers. If you are a northbounder looking for solitude along the Trail, you'll be hard pressed to find it. With a little ingenuity, it is possible, though.
The Trail community. Most hikers begin their trek solo, but by the end will have made friendships that will last a lifetime. The thru-hiker bond is like no other.
Trail magic and trail angels. Especially in the South, you'll find that kindness and generosity abound. Simply amazing how townspeople will cram muddy, stinky hikers into their clean cars, or go through the trouble of stocking a cooler in the middle of the woods.
The amount of social interaction. Simply put, it's nearly impossible to pass another thru-hiker on the Trail or at a shelter and not exchange tidbits such as, "How's the water?" or "See you up the Trail!"
How much it rained and how many different types of rain there actually are.
That I made it.

Next > More Info on After the Trail

< Back to After the Trail Page 1


Hiking the AT in 2003
Danger on the Trail
Agony of the Feet
Appalachian Trail Documentary
Appalachian Trail 2003 Survey Results
Trail Food Ideas and Recipes
Comics - Coming Soon
Trail Days in Damascus

Additional AT Info

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HikeMore Online Newsletter | Appalachian Trail Edition | Spring 2004

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