What to Expect

What does the trail look like?

     The Appalachian Trail is one of the most heavily trafficked foot trails in North America. It is typically very bold and easy to recognize, as seen to the far right. Additionally, white "blazes" are painted on trees or posts every tenth of a mile or so in order to confirm that one is walking upon the correct trail. Getting lost is typically not a major concern, as the trail is farily easy to recognize and follow. 

When is a good time to hike?

     The Fall is typically sought after for hiking due to the lack of insects, moderate weather and the changing of the leaves can be breathtaking. Summer is highly enojyable without any need for any kind of cold weather gear and allows one to carry a very light backpack. Spring is a choice for those who enjoy the return of flora and fauna to the landscape, and with that comes some spectacular views from the peaks. We do not guide hikes through the mountains in the winter.  

What is a typical "trail day"?

     Some are early risers and like to start moving before the sun comes up. Others prefer to take a leisurely morning and enjoy the beginning of the day in camp. Breakfast is a communal activity and french press coffee or tea is served. We take an hour of personal meditation time either alone or with the group. After packing up and leaving no trace, a morning hike has begun! Track your path with the Guide as you drift across the mountain range, stopping to rest and reflect on peaks from 3000 to 5500 feet high. A very reasonable pace of 2.0 miles per hour on a standard treadmill is the typical pace while hiking the trail, but this can obviously be slowed or increased based on the group. In the afternoon, we either take a long break for lunch or snack periodically, depending on how the group feels.  Often times we will take a slow afternoon and enjoy the surroundings. 

     We  will hike a bit more in the late afternoon and then arrive at a shelter or campsite in which to spend the night and begin to set up camp. The evening time on the trail is a wonderful and fraternal time in which everyone has been overwhelmed with beauty throughout the day and there are many stories and thoughts from the day which are shared and laughed about around a campfire as everyone enjoys dinner and prepares for a well deserved, good nights sleep. 

What is the trail culture like?

     Many hikers adopt pseudonyms or "trail names", and casually go by that name for the duration of the hike. Many of these nicknames are products of jokes or funny moments encountered on the trail or with other hikers. As people unplug temporarily from cell phones, computers, televisions, cars, highways, buildings, traffic lights and other stimuli that inundate our daily lives, drink pure mountain water and breathe unrecycled air, a lightheartedness and powerful sense of humor often emerges. This culture of kindness and honesty permeates the trail and those who walk upon it. It is an unparalleled experience to be a part of the Appalachian Trail culture. 

What do we eat and drink?

     In the wilderness, it is important to make food choices to maintain health, pack light, and enjoy what you eat. We are happy to accomodate special dietary needs as required.  Some general examples of meal choices are provided below:

Breakfast: Oatmeal, dried fruit varieties, granola varieties, nuts, powdered milk, brown sugar, pop-tarts, packaged cinnamon rolls, instant coffee and tea. 

Lunch: (Some hikers prefer not to stop for a full lunch, but to snack, others prefer to break, and we accomodate all preferences!) Snack cakes, CLIF bars, trail mixes, beef jerky, pre-made freeze dried meals, ramen noodles, tuna. 

Dinner: Pastas, macaroni &cheese, freeze dried meats, chili & beans, a large menu of pre-made meals, tuna, protien supplements, desserts and candy. 

What kind of gear do I need?

     We provide the following: A pack, sleeping pad, trekking poles, all meals from the first breakfast to the last lunch, all water and purification systems (minus water bottles), all required cookware, camping stoves, a certified, professional and friendly guide, all permits & licenses required, a waterproof Appalachian Trail Guide and full roundtrip transportation to and from base camp.

We do not provide the following: Clothing, shoes, socks, toilitries, flashlights, water bottles or other personal items. 

Check out our sample gear list and itenerary!