This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions I get when I tell somebody that I want to thru hike the Appalachian Trail…
“How long does it take?”
Well, the short answer is that it takes about 6 months to walk the entire length of the AT from Georgia to Maine, mainly because it is 2100+ miles from start to finish.
Many of you may already be familiar with this answer because like me you’ve been reading up on the subject for many years.
When others start to learn about the AT for the first time this estimate simply blows their minds and many wonder why others would even attempt the feat. In other words, some of us get it and others never will.
The long answer about how much time it takes to hike the AT is that it varies from person to person. Ideally, I will set aside 6 months of my time for the thru hike, but I don’t really care how long it takes. I’m not on a set schedule.
The trail has been hiked in less than 60 days by more motivated (read: younger) people and some hikers take such a leisurely approach to the journey that Baxter State Park closes before they can put themselves in a position to ascend Mt. Katahdin at the finish point. Some don’t care about the ascent, so no worries there I suppose.
The more I read the more I truly care about ascending to the top of the great Katahdin. Heck, one book I just finished reading had me nearly in tears as I finished it because the author really brought the thing home for me.
You can check out some of the best material on the reading list page.
I’m gonna start my hike in late March, just after the first two rounds of the March Madness basketball tournament. A man needs to keep his priorities in order and they go something like this for me… March Madness, AT thru hike, no more working for the man FOREVER, travel the country with my backpack playing poker, hiking, and catching up with friends and family, not necessarily in that order but pretty close.
Well, I’d love to hear your thoughts on your own thru hike timelines. Leave some comments and let’s get the conversation started…