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Amounting to a whopping 2,190 miles, the Appalachian Trail leads determined hikers through the immaculate wilderness of Eastern U.S. But out of 3,000 aspiring thru-hikers, only 1 in 4 makes it through. Having a support system, though, changes things. A lot. Your backpack is significantly lighter, you never worry about resupplies, and you don’t waste any time or money hitching rides into town. All of that is possible with a trusted team and a motorhome meeting you every 1-3 days. By doing longer mile days, you get to reach the iconic Mt. Katahdin faster! But there’s no rush. The journey itself is the destination. You’ll pass through a myriad of national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges. You’ll scramble across van-sized boulders, climb steep ridges boasting stellar views, or trudge below impenetrable foliage. And almost every night, you’ll pitch your tent under the stars. This is your sign to finally act on that thought that’s been at the back of your mind for a while.

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  • Complete the ultimate hike

    Traverse 2,190 miles across 14 states, 6 national parks, 8 national forests, and 2 wildlife refuges

  • Let us handle the logistics

    By doing a supported thru-hike of the AT, your chances of finishing it increase significantly

  • Find your place under the Sun

    Become a part of the eclectic thru-hiking community, adopt a trail nickname, and make lifelong friends

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Itinerary

The Appalachian Trail needs no introduction. Thru-hiking its 2,190 miles is on top of many bucket lists, but actually embarking on this 5-7 month journey is something only the bravest do—and only a portion of thru-hikers finish it. With a supported thru-hike of the AT, your chances of succeeding significantly increase. You’ll have your support vehicle—a motorhome where you store all your extra food, gear, clothing, and toiletries—meeting you every 1-3 days, and this will also serve as a security check. Once a week, you’ll be transferred into town for a hostel, hotel, or cabin stay, where you can resupply, shower, and do laundry. Embark on an epic journey and finish one of the most famed long-distance trails in the world.

  • The hike will start in late-April or early May. This is a rough estimate of what a 5-month thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail northbound will look like. Each hiker can hike at their own pace. If you’re interested about what you can expect from hiking in each of the 14 states the AT passes through, we encourage you to look it up—there are numerous guidebooks written about the trail and the internet is also a great source of information. Learn how to prepare for thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and check out these 15 AT hiking tips for first-timers by a three-time AT thru hiker.

    To learn more about what you can expect regarding the logistics of AT’s supported hike, scroll down and check out the FAQ.

  • Prior to actually getting on the trail and starting your epic journey, you’ll have a 3-day orientation in Villa Rica, GA to prepare. You’ll go over gear, clothing, food, and the itinerary with the tour organizer and your fellow thru-hikers. Shuttle to Amicalola Falls State Park, where you will register for the thru-hike. Then you’ll get transferred to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus where your life-changing adventure begins.

    Hikers on the beginning of the Appalachian Trail
  • You’ll spend your first month passing through Georgia and North Carolina. 

    Georgia is a fantastic place to get into the mindset of thru-hiking—the trail is wide and smooth and the terrain is relatively easy compared to the rest of the trail. You’ll begin your journey in Springer Mountain and soon you’ll get used to life in the wilderness.
    Distance: 78.1 miles (125.7 km)

    North Carolina starts to give you an idea of (literal) ups and downs of the AT. Just south of the Smokies, you can expect long climbs and many scenic views. The NC portion of the trail continues along the border with Tennessee.
    Distance: 96.4 miles (155.1 km)

    Keep in mind that the weather will be very cold with possible snow and ice at times. Average day temperatures could be anywhere between 20 and 50° F, while at night it could go down to 0° F.

    Amicalola Falls on the Appalachian Trail
  • Hike through your first trail town on the AT! These communities recognized as valuable places for thru-hikers, providing food, supplies, history, recreation, and much more. Once you’ve passed through the Smokies, the weather usually starts to warm up, and it could be time for a gear change.

    Border of North Carolina & Tennessee runs along Great Smoky Mountains NP ($25 permit required), the most biologically diverse and the most visited national park in the States. Spectacular vistas are guaranteed, as you’ll frequently climb above 5,000 and 6,000 ft (1,524-1,829 m) and pass through the highest point of the AT, the 6,625-foot (2,019-m) Clingmans Dome. You’ll reach your first trail town, Hot Springs.
    Distance: 217.8 miles (350.5 km)

    Tennessee welcomes you with the 2nd trail town of the AT, Erwin. Other than that, highlights of the state might be high-elevation summits, dense forests, and Laurel Fork, a serene gorge featuring 40-foot waterfalls. Hopefully, you’ll hit your 3rd trail city, Damascus, Virginia, just in time for a hiker festival, where you can expect a parade,arts & crafts booths, gear booths, prize giveaways, food trucks, and more!
    Distance: 74.7 miles (120.2 km)

    Clingmans Dome, the highest point on the AT
  • Weather begins to warm up so you’ll need to switch to summer gear, which means a lighter backpack! Average day temperatures are around 50 to 90°F during the day, while the night brings a bit cooler weather at around 40 to 60°F.

    Virginia has more miles of the AT than any other state, accumulating nearly a quarter of the entire trail length, and it’s a place where you’ll spend at least a month. While Southern Virginia is a challenging section featuring long climbs along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Northern Virginia and Shenandoah National Park boast mellow sections on farmland and rolling hills. Exit the park around Front Royal, and you’ll soon enter West Virginia.
    Distance: 541.7 miles (871.8 km) + 25.2 miles (40.6 km) along VA/WV border

    Guided and supported thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail
  • In July, the weather starts getting hot and humid. Be prepared for day temperatures going above 85° F. The terrain starts to get easier and flatter, but the trail itself becomes rockier.

    West Virginia’s section of the Appalachian trail is by far the shortest, but still very important for thru-hikers as they pass through Harpers Ferry. Apart from being a site of notable Civil War battles, it’s also home to Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s headquarters and a symbolic AT midpoint.
    Distance: 2.4 miles (3.9 km)

    Maryland is a fan favorite—it hosts some of AT’s gentlest and flattest terrain, you can hike it in just 2 days, and it’s close to the buzzing Washington, D.C. Consider Maryland the calm before the storm, as you have the rocky Pennsylvania next up.
    Distance: 40.9 miles (65.8 km)

    Pennsylvania, also known as “Rocksylvania”, is where you get to show what you’re made of. While the north features rocky terrain that’ll test your feet, southern PA offers some of the smoothest terrain of the whole AT. Factor in historic landmarks and charming towns along the way as well as expansive views off the top of ridges, and you’ll find that you have to gird your loins for Pennsylvania’s rewards.
    Distance: 229.8 miles (369.8 km)

    Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
  • Longer days and flatter terrain during this month make hiking a bit easier, allowing many hikers to pick up the pace, with many covering 15-20 miles (24-32 km) a day. These states don’t have long stretches of the AT, so you’ll go through them in a matter of days to a week. The trail runs through populated areas, along roads, and through farmlands. Weather is still hot and water sources can be contaminated with farm pasture runoffs, so make sure you’re filtering your water.

    New Jersey offers two great things: the feeling of remoteness in the wilderness and proximity to major cities. Elevation changes are generally moderate, and you’ll go through a whole spectrum of great views. AT also passes through the Wallkill National Wildlife Reserve, where you might encounter the state bird—the eastern goldfinch.
    Distance: 72.4 miles (116.5 km)

    New York has plenty to look forward to, but with its steep climbs and tough scrambles, it’s no walk in the park. Pass a Trailside Museum and Zoo in Bear Mountains (which is also the lowest elevation point on the entire AT), find numerous trailside delis, and you might even get a chance to see the Manhattan skyline from a distance.
    Distance: 93 miles (149.7 km)

    Connecticut, which is among the shortest sections of the AT, still features tough, rocky climbs—after which you’re rewarded with long miles of easy hiking and relaxing river walks. For most of the state, you’ll be hiking through the green tunnel, but every now and then, you’ll make your way out of the trees to witness spectacular panoramas.
    Distance: 52 miles (83.7 km)

    Massachusetts boasts longer views and higher elevations—on a clear day, you can see up to 90 miles (145 km) in the distance. From river walks and fields of conifer woodlands to charming New England towns, this state has it all. Massachusetts is also home to Mt. Greylock, the mountain which served as an inspiration for Melville’s Moby Dick.
    Distance: 90.2 miles (145.2 km)

    Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts
  • By now, you’ll have already built up your strength and stamina—and now’s the time when you’ll need it the most. The remaining 3 states are the hardest part of the entire Appalachian Trail with steep and rocky climbs up to 5,000-6,000 ft (1,524-1,829 m) high. Daily logistics and planning are also a must, due to no campsites at the Appalachian balds. You should finish up the hike by October 15 at the latest, when Baxter State Park—the end point of the thru-hike—closes the mountain down for hikers.

    Vermont comes to the rescue if you’re sick of rocky terrain—there’s a reason why it’s called The Green Mountain State! Don’t let its dense forests and rolling pastures fool you, the trail is still challenging with vertical ascents up to 4,000 ft (1,219 m). Savor the verdant Vermont while you can, as the next state’s terrain is not as forgiving.
    Distance: 150.8 miles (242.7 km)

    New Hampshire’s portion of the AT offers more miles above the treeline than any other state. It’s nearly all within the White Mountain National Forest, and you can expect incredibly steep terrain. Mind your step, especially if there’s bad weather, and be prepared for a very tiring part of the AT. Still, New Hampshire will remain an unforgettable section with epic views that make the struggle worth it.
    Distance: 160.9 miles (258.9 km)

    Maine—the last part of the thru-hike. You made it! Maine is AT’s most challenging, rugged, and wild state, featuring wildlife and landscapes that are rare to see anywhere else on the trail, such as moose and sparkling lakes. You’ll encounter lots of slippery slopes, alpine bogs, and unbridged crossings. This is where you’ll pass the toughest mile, Mahoosuc Notch field filled with massive boulders, before you reach the infamous, final 100 miles of wilderness—a middle-of-nowhere section taking you to Baxter State Park and the final, most difficult ascent on Mt. Katahdin! The northern terminus is a place where thru-hikers take in the views and appreciate what they’ve just achieved.
    Distance: 282 miles (453.8 km)

    Mt. Katahdin in Maine
  • Congratulations on completing the iconic Appalachian Trail! Once you’re ready to leave the epic Mt. Katahdin, and finally go back to civilization for more than a day, you’ll picked up from Baxter State Park and transferred to Millinocket in Maine, a 45-minute drive. Meet your group of thru-hikers and have a celebratory dinner. After spending the night in Millinocket, your tour organizer can transfer you to the nearest bus station. Airport transfers can be arrange at an additional cost.

    Mt. Katahdin sign at the top
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Meet your guides

Michelle Michaud
5.00
Michelle Michaud
Michelle Michaud is the founder and primary guide at Wandering Boots who has been hiking the Appalachian Trail since 1998. She has completed the trail in sections from '98 to '08 and then did 2 thru-hikes with one in 2014 and again in 2017. She has hiked various parts several times, and has traveled across the country hiking and backpacking in many of the country's state and national parks. Hikers are in very good hands.
Wandering Boots Adventure Tours
5.00
Wandering Boots Adventure Tours
Wandering Boots Adventure Tours
Hiking Guides
Wandering Boots wants to take away all the stress and worries of planning a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Their local, knowledgeable and experienced hiking guides are committed to helping you reach your goals.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • Logistics planning
      • Pre-trip orientation in Villa Rica
      • Supported thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail
      • Support vehicle (for storing gear, food, clothes, and supplies)
      • Shared lodging at a hostel, hotel, or a cabin once per week
      • Shared lodging in Millinocket
      • Transportation to town for resupply
      • Occasional snacks and drink at the support vehicle
      • Celebratory dinner on the last day
      • Pick-up from Atlanta to Villa Rica
      • Drop-off from the trail’s ending to Millinocket or nearest bus station
      • Shuttle to Amicalola Falls SP and Springer Mt

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Atlanta and back at the end of the hike
      • Shuttle from Millinocket to your preferred station or an airport
      • Shuttles to airports
      • Food during the thru-hike 
      • Accommodations (apart from staying in town once per week)
  • After much research, you’ve made up your mind and decided to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, but what now? There are many decisions and preparations ahead—logistics, gear, resupplies, just to name a few—but you don’t know where to get started? The whole trail measures 2,190 miles (3,524 km) in length, so carrying all your belongings, camping gear, and food every single day for 5 months is no walk in a park.

    Imagine this: you’re carrying a light backpack, doing longer mile days, not stressing about the food and resupplies, all the while getting the classic thru-hike experience of pitching a tent in the woods almost every night.

    This is where we come in! Apart from an experienced hiker joining for the first month to ensure everyone’s comfortable hiking on their own, a support vehicle will follow you all the way through. You’ll hike at your own pace and meet your support vehicle every 1-3 days. Here you’ll have lots of space for your extra food, gear, clothing, and toiletries. 

    About once a week, you’ll be transferred to a near-by town for a hostel, hotel, or cabin stay, where you can resupply, shower, and do laundry. This way, you don’t have to hitchhike or pay for expensive shuttles into town.

    This is a fantastic trip for solo travelers, as the support vehicle also serves as security—each hiker needs to check in every time they reach the vehicle or a crew member will hike back until they find them. Apart from the support vehicle serving as storage and security, you can also take showers, clean up, or take a break if you have a slight injury.

    Check out our webinar on what it takes to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Although everyone has a different experience, it’s a good idea to read what people have to say about their own time in the wilderness and what it’s like thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.

  • This supported adventure will roughly take 5 months, during which time you’ll get stronger and fitter. However, you still need to be prepared for such a demanding thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. 

    No experience is universal—among many other things, your age, health, and current fitness level determine how ready you are for the hike. Going on this supported AT thru-hike has lots of benefits that will put less strain on your body and shorten your time on the trail. Apart from carrying a significantly lighter backpack, you’ll also meet your support vehicle to resupply and have frequent access to amenities.

    There’s no shortage of books, guides, and diaries about the AT, so it’s best to read through some of them and find out just how much preparation you will need—the internet is your friend here. Check out how to prepare for the thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail and don’t miss out on these 15 tips for a thru-hiking first timer!

  • The camaraderie, trail magic, and the sheer number of hikers all make the trail accessible for just about anyone. People of all ages, from 5 to 86 have hiked the trail. 

    The hiking community varies in age, occupation, experience and fitness levels. While there are hikers in their 20s and 30s, there are even more hikers in their 50s or even 60s. The only criteria you have to fit is to have a desire to be outdoors!

    Everybody over the age of 16 is welcome on this hiking adventure.

  • This is a fantastic trip for solo travelers!

    The support vehicle serves as security—each hiker needs to check in every time they reach the vehicle or a crew member will hike back until they find them. 

    You will also meet many hikers who share the same values and goals and make friends for life!

  • There are many gear lists for thru-hiking the AT available online. However, there may be some items here that you consider unnecessary or some that didn’t make the list, but you’d still like to take them. Feel free to contact us should you have any questions or dilemmas regarding the equipment, we’re happy to help!

    Here’s a list of obligatory equipment you need to bring:

      • Backpack large enough to carry all the items you need for the day (55-65L bag)
      • Rain cover for backpack
      • Hiking poles
      • Tent (should be under 3 lbs)
      • Sleeping bag (try to stay under 2 lbs, keep in mind that temperatures can drop to 0°F during the night, Therm-a-Rest recommended)
      • Sleeping pad (under 2 lbs, Therm-a-Rest recommended)
      • Waterproof compression sack for the sleeping bag (Sea to Summit eVent recommended)
      • Water filter (Katadyn Vario or Katadyn BeFree recommended)
      • Hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Camp stove (PocketRocket or Jetboil recommended)
      • Cooking pot (titanium recommended)
      • Fuel canister (5-7 oz propane / butane blend)

    This is a list of clothing we recommend you bring:

      • Baselayer clothing, fleece layer, insulating jacket
      • Waterproof rain jacket (and pants if you prefer it)
      • Hiking (wicking) clothing
      • Hiking socks and underwear
      • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
      • Camp shoes (flip flops, Tevas, Crocs — something to walk around camp)
      • Gaiters
      • Gloves
      • Bandana
      • Sunhat or some sort of head cover

    Here’s a list of personal gear you should bring:

      • Physical guidebook (in case your phone fails you)
      • Drawstring sack to place your food in (needs to have some sort of tie at the top so it can be hung by a rope)
      • Compression sack for your clothes
      • Ziploc bags (quart & gallon) for food and valuables
      • Camp food (resupplies every couple of days)
      • Headlamp
      • Ear plugs
      • Lighter
      • Cooking gear (utensils, spices, cup, small knife)
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional but recommended
      • Charger, cable, and a power bank
      • Pepper spray — optional

    These are the toiletries and first aid supplies we recommend bringing:

      • Sunscreen and SPF lip balm
      • Personal medication
      • Toilet paper
      • Wet wipes
      • First aid kit (ibuprofen, bandaids, blister prevention…)
      • Biodegradable soap and deodorant
      • Toothbrush and toothpaste
      • Hair ties, comb
      • Bug spray
  • The maximum group size for this supported AT thru-hike is 10. It takes a minimum of 5 people for this tour to operate. 

    Since this is a big 5-month undertaking,  we will collect entries for the trip for up to 20 people. First 10 people that confirm their booking by paying the first month will get to participate on this tour, and the other 10 will join a waitlist in case anyone has to cancel their participation.

    The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

  • It is expected that the trip will soon reach the minimum number of people to run in 2024. 

    Upon registration you will have to pay a $200 deposit. Should the thru-hike not happen, you will get your full deposit back. The first month is to be paid until December 31, 2023, which is also the deadline for informing clients if the hike is going out.

  • You’re doing a northbound thru-hike of the AT, meaning that your adventure starts in Georgia. As you have a 3-day orientation prior to getting on the trail in Villa Rica, most people fly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to Villa Rica.

    AT ends in Baxter State Park, Maine. You will be picked up and transferred to Millinocket or the nearest bus station. Shuttle to the nearest airport is also available, but at an additional fee.

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all partners using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the U.S., please refer to international travel requirements in the U.S. If you’d like to check states through which the AT runs individually, please refer to travel requirements in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • Secure your spot for the following season with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you’ll be the first one to know. Pick the month that suits you best and we’ll let you know once the dates are live—don’t risk missing out on your bucket list adventure!

      • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure anytime in case the dates don’t suit you.
      • Once the set dates for the following season are live, you can confirm your booking by the end of this year by paying another 20% of the total amount.
      • The final balance is due 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.
        Once the trip has been confirmed, the regular cancellation policy applies.
      • Ensure your spot on the thru-hike with a $200 non-refundable deposit!
      • Once the list reaches the minimum number of people, you’ll have to pay a $5,000 instalment covering the first month of the hike. This instalment is due by Dec 31, 2023 and it is non-refundable once you get a confirmation email.
      • Remaining balance is due 1 month before the hike goes out.
      • If you signed up for the trip but you don’t make the final cut, you will get a full refund for the first instalment and  you can transfer the $200 deposit to another AT adventure.

    Hiking for only a month or two is also possible for a different fee. Let us know which months you’d like to join and we will offer you a price based on your preferences. Feel free to contact us for more information!

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