Sarabass, I noticed you are going to graduate school. I have a MS in Geology from Texas A&M. Every time I'm outdoors I'm checking out the geology. The AT is a Geologist paradise. Their are a few movie about the AT and the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) you may like. A walk in the woods is about a couple of old guys walking the AT and the next movie is Wild. Wild is about a young women walking the PCT. Both movies are based on real life people.

@REI-CarterC @ thank you for the mention and @sarabass @ congrats on the decision to start your adventure.   So far, the only part of the AT that I've done is the Approach Trail and a little bit from Springer headed toward Hightower Gap.  That said, the Approach Trail is (I think) a rite of passage, a challenge and a beautiful hike.  I'm trying to plan the next adventure, either Springer to Hightower or Springer to Neels Gap, depending on scheduling options, but thats my hike because it'd drive me crazy to miss a mile (my wife fe says Im OCD πŸ™‚ ).  As far as where to hike, I say hike your own hike.  Find something you want to accomplish (the first x miles, McAfee Knob, the halfway point, the Whites, Katahdin, etc.) and do it.  As far as finding hiking buddies, when you figure that one out let me know.  Anytime soon ask folks what theyre doing this weekend, they scatter, they know I'm gonna ask if they want to sleep in the woods

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Hello @sarabass, I am also looking for someone to start hiking the AT with in mid-May 2021. I reached out to the AT long-distance hikers Facebook group to see if anyone is planning on heading out at the same time (link to the group is below); I'm honestly just looking for anyone who could give the peace of mind of not starting out on the trail alone. 

I'm planning to head out from the Springer Mountain, Georgia around May 15th this year, and I'll be hiking as far as I can before the Fall semester starts at Georgia Tech (just after August 7th, 2021). @TAZ and @sarabass , I'd love to start out on the trail with you guys if the time and location coincides with your plans! Please let me know if you'd like to talk on Facebook Messenger.



Hi there @hunter-schaufel,

This may be relatively short notice, but I actually have a similar schedule and was looking to start out at Springer myself around the 15th of May.

The short notice is because I'm in the middle of switching jobs and was able to work in a month gap to do my first section hike.  I had plans to go in June with a buddy, but the new job would wipe out my PTO, so its now or never for me.

Anyways, I'll be starting out there around then, so if you find a guy in his early 30s who loves bad jokes, feel free to say hi and tag along!



Hey there @AlexW, thanks for reaching out! I actually had to call off my section hike for this summer to focus on work; I wish you luck in your adventure though! There were plenty of people out and about when I hiked the approach trail to weekends ago, so I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding company. Safe travels!


So far I have hiked from Amicalola Falls to Hot Springs NC on two separate hikes.  I am starting back on the AT on June 1 from Hot Springs NC and I hope to get somewhere close to the Partnership Shelter in Virginia.  I have a whole month out there planned.  Hope to see ya on the trail.  HIKE SAFE !!

Down south the great smokies is probably the most mountainous/beautiful: in the north...probably the white’s, going over mt Washington and the adjacent balds.

my recommendation would be the PCT, the Sierra Nevada section, as the AT is just a tree tunnel 

REI Member Since 1979

Like many here I am also an older guy (61) who lives near the trail and is looking to do sections of the trail as time permits.  Luckily I live a short walk from the trail so can get on it fast.  I live in Central Pa so if you find yourself in the area and need a walking partner or ride etc..let me know.  That goes for anyone else that may come through the area.


Id join ya. Im just wasting away in Cleveland. 


Hi Sara,

I'm in the same boat. I recently retired and got interested in hiking the AT. I've done a little, about 90 miles so far. I've only done 2 overnight hikes so far. I live in Maryland and have planned my next section hike for southern Virginia going from Damascus to Pearisburg, over about 10 days. I'm waiting till September since I hate hot weather, as well as bugs and snakes. Since my wife is also retired the plan is for us to rent an airbnb someplace and for me to do day hikes mostly. There will be some longer section that will require camping. I enjoy being out on the trail but always feel a little nervous at the same time since I'm alone in the middle of nowhere. I would enjoy it so much more if I had a partner. Anyway, my plan is to focus on the state of Virginia for now working my way north from Damascus, doing a couple weeks at a time. So to you and any of the other hikers on this thread feel free to DM me if you would like to do a hike together. I would encourage you all to check out youtube videos of hiking the AT through Whitetop Mountain, Grayson Highlands, and the triple crown. Happy hiking all.