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[at-l] (Guest Post) Good dates for hiking northern part of A.T.

Jacky wrote:

>My wife and I are thinking of hiking from around Pennsylvania to Maine.
>Would it be better to hike in May/June or July/August?   We're not looking
>a lot of cold weather and we're not familier with northeast weather.  Any
>help would be appreciated.

Jacky -
You got some "local" advice that's good for hiking in specific places along
the AT during that time period, but none of it really answered the question
you asked, so ----

Hiking PA to Maine in May/June at a normal AT pace will get you to Maine
(assuming you mean Katahdin) at the end of July.  It's not usually a 2 month
trip unless you're in a real hurry.  In fact, unless they're thruhikers most
people aren't likely to make it in 2 months even if they are in a hurry.
It's NOT the PCT.  In PA, NJ, NY and Mass - you'd be ahead of the main body
of thruhikers so the shelters wouldn' be crowded, you'd miss the worst of
the heat and water wouldn't be as scarce as later in the summer.  North of
that (which whould be a month or more after your start time), the snow would
be long gone, the blackflies would be on the way out and the streams would
be long past snowmelt levels and prior to the September sometimes-wet

Doing the same thing in July/Aug would put you in the middle of thruhiker
season, getting you to Katahdin at the end of September, making the shelters
more crowded, the water situation worse, and putting you in the middle of
the Mid-Atlantic warm season (read - hot).

If you live on the East Coast, come to the Gathering - There'll be about 500
thruhikers and others there talking about the AT as well as other trails.
And some really good AT workshops by people who have "been there and done

Walk softly,

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