The usual week-long hikes cover 6-10 miles per day, taking you through accessible terrain and crossing around 40 miles total. The more challenging hikes will cross about 10 miles per day. Your days will be filled with exploring interesting sites on the trail, and nights will be spent around the campfire and under the stars. This section hike will show you the beauty of the AT and maybe even give you the motivation to do a longer hike.
Beginner-friendly hikes starting from Harpers Ferry, WV, cover between 6 to 10 miles per day (40 miles total) over the course of 6 days. This hike is ideal for beginners and Civil War History enthusiasts. Get ready to cross the AT section covering the State of Maryland on foot! Some parts might be challenging but generally, this hike has less steep inclines and declines than the Amicalola Falls hike.
Here is an example of a week-long hike to serve as a starting point.
The first day of your week-long hike is dedicated to arrival and orientation. Once you meet your guide at the agreed meeting point around 1:00PM, you’ll register for the hike and go over the itinerary and what to expect, including discussing gear and food. After a short 2.5-mile hike to stretch the legs, you’ll head to town for pizza and beer. The evening will be spent sleeping in tents. If you drive to the meeting point, your car can remain parked there for the entire duration of your hike.
In the morning, you will start hiking to the first shelter. It’s a six-mile uphill hike under the forest canopy. Filtering water along the way, you’ll camp and cook food. If the shelter (a basic, three-sided building) is open, you can opt to sleep there rather than in your tent.
After a climb to the top of Springer Mountain, you will officially be on the Appalachian Trail from this point on. An easier day of hiking, it’s eight to ten miles depending on the skill level of the hikers in the group. Another night spent in tents.
Hiking between six to eight miles, this is one of the challenging hiking days, with several steep uphill climbs and descents. Enjoy nature and wildlife along the way and spend the night under the stars.
Depending on the mileage of the previous day, this day is an easier hike in terms of terrain. You’ll get your first real view of the mountains. After hiking out of the woods you’ll shuttle back to the park to have a meal and then make your way back up to the trailhead to camp.
To maximize the fun on your final day on the trail, you will be slackpacking today. This means that you’ll only carry a daypack with just water, snacks and daily provisions. There are two options for hiking. The first option is to hike the 11 miles up and over Blood Mountain, a trip highlight with amazing views. This is a full day of hiking from 9am to 5pm. The other option is a shorter six-mile loop up and over Blood Mountain. It’s a later start with more time spent on top of the mountain enjoying the views! Once you return to the hostel, pack up and head back home.
What you get in this adventure:
What’s not included:
You need to be able to hike for full days, carrying a full daypack or backpacking pack. Each day you will hike between four to six hours or between 6 to 10 miles (9.7-16 km) per day for a total of 50 miles (80 km) each week. The terrain can be challenging—you can expect some scrambling even on the easiest trails. That said, if you are looking for adventure and up to the task of multiple days or weeks of full-day trekking, you’ll be rewarded immensely.
If you are joining hikes starting from Damascus, VA, or Erwin, TN, be ready for a more challenging terrain and pace. You will hike for 10 miles per day on average for 7-8 days, depending on the speed of your group.
Here’s a list of the general equipment you need to bring:
Your exact gear list will be dependent on the itinerary you choose and will be provided after booking by your guide.
For all week-long and custom hikes, you can rent any hiking or camping gear from your guide for an added fee of $100 per week.
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. Doing a thru-hike, though, requires a great sense of your own physical capabilities and mental stamina. Most people who stop on the trail do so because of injury, as people often set unrealistic paces and their bodies can’t keep up. For those who have successfully thru-hiked, you’ll find that they were all patient and didn’t really push themselves until they’d found their trail-legs. Take your time, set realistic goals and manageable expectations.
Everybody over the age of 16 is welcome on this hiking adventure.
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!
Groups for week-long hikes usually consist of two people for southern sections and four people for northern sections. The maximum number of hikers is 5.
All pricing is per person.
You can arrange a private trip with a guide, if you’re traveling alone or with a larger party.
Secure your spot for next year with a $200 non-refundable deposit. This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you will be the first one to know about any new upcoming dates. Pick your preferred dates without the risk of your bucket list adventure selling out!
Your exact meeting location and transportation to the trailhead will be dependent on the itinerary you choose and will be discussed after booking with your guide. You’ll typically meet your guide on Sunday for a day of preparation ahead of the hike. After your stay overnight, the guide will bring you to the A.T. trailhead.
If there is a complete thru-hike scheduled, you must be able to join the group wherever they may be unless you wish to hike outside of the hiker season. If no thru-hike is scheduled, there will be week-long group hikes offered each month from different locations.
Each month there will be several week-long hikes offered: one starting from Amicalola Falls State Park in NE Georgia to Neels Gap, and another one further north along the trail. Several hikes will begin at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, and end at Pen Mar in Pennsylvania.
The thru-hike usually begins around mid-March to the beginning of April at Amicalola Falls State Park near Atlanta, Georgia, and officially ends on top of Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine. Transportation from Baxter State Park to the bus station or Bangor International Airport will be included. Additional transportation back to Atlanta can be arranged for an additional cost.
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides 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, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Atlanta, Georgia, please refer to the Georgia Department of Public Health website.
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!