AT Prep: Itinerary

January 27, 2015 Categories Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Hiking

I’ve been working on my Appalachian Trail itinerary for the past few days, trying to figure out just where I’ll be and when. I’m attempting to stop in towns as little as possible to avoid the excess cost and temptation of lodging and fancy meals. Contrary to how most people only do a few mail-drops and rely on towns to resupply, I am doing pretty much 100% mail-drops along the way. The downside of this method is it takes a little more planning to ensure you arrive in each town during Post Office hours and on a day they are open.

If I am making excellent time and somehow get to a town before my mail-drop does, I will suck it up and buy food in town and just ditch my scheduled package – I’m not gonna stop and wait for a package to arrive. I plan on having my packages mailed to me two full weeks before I expect to be somewhere, that way I should never arrive before my package does.

I didn’t include “zero” days (rest days) in the itinerary, but I plan on taking 12 to 14 of them. I’m going to try to take them while in a town or near a food source every two or three weeks.

To get to the trail, I’m taking a Greyhound bus to Atlanta. The next morning I’ll take the bus to Gainesville and from there I’ll take a taxi to Amicalola Falls State Park. I’m gonna camp in the park and start the Approach Trail to the AT the following morning. Four days after leaving home, I’ll finally be at Springer Mountain.

Anyway, this is my rough itinerary so far. I expect it will change significantly as I go along. I’m only planning for 15 mile days, but I have no doubt some days I will have energy to do 20 or more and other days I will barely do 10.

  • S = Shelter
  • C = Camping/Campground
  • L = Lodging
  • H = Hostel
  • Towns I plan on getting mail-drops are bold and have a blue background
GEORGIA
Day Destination Type Miles Total
0 Springer Mountain Shelter S 9.0
1 Hawk Mountain Shelter S 8.1 8.1
2 Gooch Mountain Shelter S 7.7 15.8
3 Slaughter Creek Campsite C 12.7 28.5
4 Baggs Creek Gap C 7.4 35.9
5 Campsite C 13.7 49.6
6 Helen, GA 30545 (E-9m) L 3.3 52.9
7 Cheese Factory Site C 3.7 56.6
8 McClure Gap C 10.6 67.2
9 Campsite C 9.2 76.4
10 Georgia / North Carolina Border 2.1 78.5
NORTH CAROLINA
Day Destination Type Miles Total
10 Standing Indian Shelter S 7.8 86.3
11 Betty Creek Gap C 11.3 97.6
12 Franklin, NC 28734 (E-10m) L 12.2 109.8
13 Campsite C 10.5 120.3
14 Wesser Bald Shelter S 11.1 131.4
15 Sassafras Gap Shelter S 12.6 144.0
16 Cody Gap C 11.9 155.9
17 Fontana Dam, NC 28733 (W-1.8m) 8.8 164.7
17 Fontana Dam Visitor Center 1.4 166.1
GREAT SMOKEY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Day Destination Type Miles Total
Backcountry permits REQUIRED, $20. Purchase and PRINT 30 days prior to visit. http://www.smokiespermits.nps.gov/
17 Fontana Dam Shelter S 1.1 165.8
18 Russell Field Shelter S 13.8 179.6
19 Double Spring Gap Shelter S 16.4 196.0
20 Icewater Spring Shelter S 13.8 209.8
21 Tri-Corner Knob Shelter S 12.6 222.4
22 National Park Boundary 15.7 238.1
NORTH CAROLINA / TENNESSEE BORDER
Day Destination Type Miles Total
22 State Line Branch C 1.3 239.4
23 Roaring Fork Shelter S 17.8 255.9
24 Hot Springs, NC 28743 L 18.0 273.9
25 Spring Mountain Shelter S 11.0 284.9
26 Jerry Cabin Shelter S 15.4 300.3
27 Hogback Ridge Shelter S 14.7 315.0
28 Campsite C 15.3 330.3
29 Erwin, TN 37650 (W-3.8m) H 11.7 342.0
30 Cherry Gap Shelter S 17.0 359.0
31 Roan High Knob Shelter S 16.8 375.8
32 Doll Flats C 13.3 389.1
33 US 19E 3.0 392.1
TENNESSEE
Day Destination Type Miles Total
33 Campsite C 16.5 408.6
34 Pond Flats C 13.4 422.0
35 Iron Mountain Shelter S 18.8 440.8
36 Abingdon Gap Shelter S 15.9 456.7
37 Tennessee / Virginia Border 6.5 463.2
VIRGINIA (SOUTHERN)
Day Destination Type Miles Total
37 Damascus, VA 24236 L 3.7 466.9
38 Campsite C 17.2 484.1
39 Big Wilson Creek C 16.2 500.3
40 Trimpi Shelter S 19.7 520.0
41 Chatfield Shelter S 17.7 537.7
42 Campsite C 18.6 556.3
43 Jenkins Shelter S 18.9 575.2
44 Bland, VA 24315 L 11.7 586.9
45 VA 606 (W-0.5m) C 18.6 605.5
46 Doc’s Knob Shelter S 17.1 622.6
47 Springs C 12.4 635.0
VIRGINIA (CENTRAL)
Day Destination Type Miles Total
48 Pine Swamp Branch Shelter S 15.1 650.1
49 Laurel Creek Shelter S 18.5 668.6
50 Niday Shelter S 12.4 681.0
51 VA 624 (E-0.4m); Catawba, VA 24070 H 16.8 697.8
52 Lamberts Meadow Campsite C 16.6 714.4
53 Fullhardt Knob Shelter S 14.1 728.5
54 Bobblets Gap Shelter S 13.5 742.0
55 Bryant Ridge Shelter S 13.5 755.5
56 Marbel Spring C 17.1 772.6
57 Campsite C 6.3 778.9
58 Big Island, VA 24526 (E-5.1m) 1.4 780.3
59 Johns Hollow Shelter S 1.7 782.0
60 Brown Mountain Creek Shelter S 18.3 800.3
61 Porters Field C 16.9 817.2
62 Harpers Creek Shelter S 13.1 830.3
63 Maupin Field Shelter S 6.2 836.5
64 Paul C. Wolfe Shelter S 15.8 852.3
65 Waynesboro, VA 22980 (W-4.5m) L 5.0 857.3
VIRGINIA (SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK)
Day Destination Type Miles Total
66 Calf Mountain Shelter S 7.7 865.0
67 Blackrock Hut S 13.0 878.0
68 Pinefield Hut S 13.2 891.2
69 Bearfence Mountain Hut S 20.6 911.8
70 Rock Spring Hut S 11.5 923.3
71 Byrds Nest #3 Shelter S 10.9 934.2
72 Luray, VA 22835 (W-8m) L 3.2 937.4
73 Pass Mountain Hut S 1.2 938.6
74 Gravel Springs Hut S 13.1 951.7
75 Tom Floyd Wayside S 10.5 962.2
VIRGINIA (NORTHERN)
Day Destination Type Miles Total
76 Manassas Gap Shelter 13.6 975.8
77 Rod Hollow Shelter S 12.9 988.7
78 Sam Moore Shelter S 6.9 995.6
79 Bluemont, VA 20135 (E-1.7m) 3.6 999.2
80 David Lesser Memorial Shelter S 10.5 1,009.7
81 Keys Gap 3.0 1,012.7
WEST VIRGINIA
Day Destination Type Miles Total
81 West Virginia / Maryland Border 6.3 1,019.0
MARYLAND
Day Destination Type Miles Total
81 Ed Garvey Shelter S 6.3 1,025.3
82 Dahlgren Backpack Campground C 10.9 1,036.2
83 Ensign Cowall Shelter S 13.9 1,050.1
84 Maryland / Pennsylvania Border 9.8 1,059.9
PENNSYLVANIA
Day Destination Type Miles Total
84 Deer Lick Shelter S 4.7 1,064.6
85 Fayetteville, PA 17222 (W-3.5m) L 13.2 1,077.8
HALF WAY DONE! Pass the midway point at 1,093 miles
86 Birch Run Shelter S 10.0 1,087.8
87 James Fry Shelter S 17.1 1,104.9
88 Backpackers’ Campsite C 11.5 1,116.4
88 Darlington Shelter S 14.8 1,131.2
89 Duncannon, PA 17020 C 11.4 1,142.6
90 Peters Mountain Shelter S 11.2 1,153.8
91 Rausch Gap Shelter S 18.0 1,171.8
92 William Penn Shelter S 13.4 1,185.2
93 Hertlein Campsite C 9.7 1,194.9
94 Eagle’s Nest Shelter S 9.5 1,204.4
95 Port Clinton, PA 19549 8.6 1,213.0
95 Windsor Furnace Shelter S 6.1 1,219.1
96 Allentown Hiking Club Shelter S 16.5 1,235.6
97 George W. Outerbridge Shelter S 16.9 1,252.5
98 Leroy A. Smith Shelter S 16.6 1,269.1
99 Kirkridge Shelter S 13.8 1,282.9
100 Delaware Water Gap, PA 18327 (W-0.1m) 6.4 1,289.3
100 Pennsylvania / New Jersey Border 0.2 1,289.5
NEW JERSEY
Day Destination Type Miles Total
100 Backpacker Campsite C 4.6 1,294.1
101 Brink Road Shelter S 20.0 1,314.1
102 Rutherford Shelter S 15.3 1,329.4
103 Pochuck Mountain Shelter S 16.7 1,346.1
104 Wawayanda Shelter S 11.5 1,357.6
105 New Jersey / New York Border 4.1 1,361.7
NEW YORK
Day Destination Type Miles Total
105 Greenwood Lake, NY 10925 (E-0.9) 3.2 1,364.9
105 Wildcat Shelter S 4.8 1,369.7
106 Fingerboard Shelter S 14.3 1,384.0
107 Hemlock Springs Campsite C 17.6 1,401.6
108 Dennytown Road C 12.3 1,413.9
109 Morgan Stewart Shelter S 19.7 1,433.6
110 Wiley Shelter S 16.6 1,450.2
111 New York / Connecticut Border 1.2 1,451.4
CONNECTICUT
Day Destination Type Miles Total
111 Mt. Algo Shelter S 11.2 1,462.6
112 Kent, CT 06757 (E-0.8m) 0.3 1,462.9
112 Caeser Brook Campsite C 13.6 1,476.5
113 Limestone Spring Shelter S 15.7 1,492.2
114 Connecticut / Massachusetts Border 10.8 1,503.0
MASSACHUSETTS
Day Destination Type Miles Total
114 Glen Brook Shelter S 6.8 1,509.8
115 Tom Leonard Shelter S 14.3 1,524.1
116 Shaker Campsite C 11.2 1,535.3
117 October Mountain Shelter S 18.7 1,554.0
118 Kay Wood Shelter S 8.8 1,562.8
119 Dalton, MA 01226 3.0 1,565.8
119 Crystal Mountain Campsite C 4.7 1,570.5
120 Wilbur Clearing Shelter S 15.8 1,586.3
121 Massachusetts / Vermont Border 7.1 1,593.4
VERMONT
Day Destination Type Miles Total
122 Congdon Shelter S 10.0 1,603.4
123 Kid Gore Shelter C 18.7 1,622.1
124 Stratton Pond Shelter S 15.0 1,637.1
125 Manchester Center, VT 05255 (W-5.8m) L 10.7 1,647.8
126 Peru Peak Shelter S 10.1 1,657.9
127 Greenwall Shelter S 14.0 1,671.9
128 Cooper Lodge S 19.4 1,691.3
129 Stony Brook Shelter S 16.3 1,707.6
130 Wintturi Shelter S 9.9 1,717.5
131 Thistle Hill Shelter S 11.6 1,729.1
132 Vermont / New Hampshire Border 14.1 1,743.2
NEW HAMPSHIRE
Day Destination Type Miles Total
133 Hanover, NH 03755 C 0.5 1,743.7
Mail cold weather gear?
134 Trapper John Shelter C 16.7 1,760.4
135 Hexacuba Shelter S 12.0 1,772.4
136 Jeffers Brook Shelter S 15.7 1,788.1
137 Eliza Brook Shelter C 15.9 1,804.0
138 North Woodstock, NH 03262 (E-7.3m) L 8.8 1,812.8
139 Garfield Ridge Shelter C 10.3 1,823.1
140 Ethan Pond Shelter C 14.5 1,837.6
141 Nauman Tentsite C 9.3 1,846.9
142 Osgood Tentsite C 14.8 1,861.7
143 Imp Shelter C 17.9 1,879.6
144 Gorham, NH 03581 (W-3.6m) H 8.0 1,887.6
145 Gentian Pond Shelter C 11.8 1,899.4
146 New Hampshire / Maine Border 4.7 1,904.1
MAINE
Day Destination Type Miles Total
147 Full Goose Shelter S 4.9 1,909.0
148 Frye Notch Lean-to S 15.5 1,924.5
149 Hall Mountain Lean-to S 10.5 1,935.0
150 Bemis Mountain Lean-to S 12.8 1,947.8
151 Little Swift River Pond Campsite C 12.9 1,960.7
152 Rangeley, ME 04970 (W-9m) L 4.8 1,965.5
153 Piazza Rock Lean-to S 1.8 1,967.3
154 Spaulding Mountain Lean-to S 16.9 1,984.2
155 Cranberry Stream C 15.4 1,999.6
156 Campsite C 15.9 2,015.5
157 Pierce Pond Lean-to S 15.2 2,030.7
158 Bald Mountain Brook Lean-to S 18.7 2,049.4
159 Horseshoe Canyon Lean-to S 13.0 2,062.4
160 Monson, ME 04464 (E-4m) L 9.0 2,071.4
Now entering the 100-mile wilderness
161 Long Pond Stream Lean-to S 15.1 2,086.5
162 Chairback Gap Lean-to S 10.9 2,097.4
163 Logan Brook Lean-to S 17.1 2,114.5
164 Antlers Campsite S 19.6 2,134.1
165 Wadleigh Stream Lean-to S 13.6 2,147.7
166 Hurd Brook Lean-to S 19.6 2,167.3
167 Katahdin Stream Campground C 13.4 2,180.7
168 Katahdin 5.2 2,185.9

For a few more examples, you can check out AWOL’s example itineraries below:

After I finish the Appalachian Trail, I plan on renting a car and driving back to Rutland, Vermont where the AT and the Long Trail split. From there, I will hike the Long Trail North to Canada to finish the trail.

LONG TRAIL (VERMONT)
Day Destination Type Miles Total
0 Drive from Maine to Rutland, VT L
1 David Logan Shelter S 12.7 +12.7
2 Sucker Brook Shelter S 12.6 +25.3
3 Skyline Lodge S 9.6 +34.9
4 Battell Shelter S 4.0 +38.9
5 Waitsfield, VT 05673 (4m) L 9.8 +48.7
6 Birch Glen Camp C 2.6 +51.3
7 Montclair Glen Shelter S 7.0 +58.3
8 Richmond, VT 05477 (0.6m) L 11.3 +69.6
9 Puffer Shelter S 11.5 +81.1
10 Taft Lodge S 10.2 +91.3
11 Bear Hollow Shelter S 12.6 +103.9
11 Johnson, VT 05656
12 Roundtop Shelter S 7.2 +111.1
13 Spruce Ledge Camp C 14.7 +125.8
14 Hazen’s Notch Camp C 14.5 +140.3
15 Laura Woodward Shelter S 9.5 +149.8
16 Journey’s End Camp C 8.7 +158.5

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