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Re: Northbound vs. Southbound
I hiked southbound in 1993. Although I didn't finish my thru-hike I did
finish 1300 miles of the Trail. My family lives in Tennessee so there was
a definite advantage to hiking "home" (if you know what I mean). Plus, I
think the first couple of weeks on the Trail are the hardest and not being
able to get off it easily and quit (as well as having to pay for the bus ride
all the way back home) really demands devotion. The only concern is that
the first hundred miles southbound is the Hundred Mile Wilderness is Maine.
If you don't feel secure in your hiking and camping ability, this can be
a tough place to find out it's not for you. Also heading southbound, you
get to knock off state after state and you really get a sense of moving
and accomplishment. Unfortunately, IMHO the northern part of the Trail is
the most beautiful part. So you get that over with first. Kind of a bummer.
And, seeing as how I've never been to Springer, I've heard that it doesn't
hold a candle to Katahdin. Once again, IMHO after hiking >2000 miles I am
sure no matter what is waiting for you, it will be an amazing experience. I
am planning on going back to the Trail in 97 to start at Katahdin and do it
southbound again. I can't wait. (oh yeah, less crowds southbound but also
less "community" southbound). Whatever works for you will be best. I don't
think either is superior. Just do it. It will be amazing no matter which
way you go. Good luck!!