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  1. #1
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    Default Why aren't people interested in Great Eastern Trail?

    There, I asked it. What do you say?

  2. #2
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    No hiker feeds.

    Okay seriously, same can be said for a lot of other LD trails that aren't truly completed trails. The NCT comes to mind right away. Lots of unfinished trail, lots of road walks, little infrastructure/hiker services, lack of "advertising", recognition, etc. Having a planned route and some of the trail built isn't going to attract a lot of hikers. They're not the AT, PCT, or even the CDT. Add that the AT has achieved "cult pilgrimage" status.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 01-31-2016 at 12:27.

  3. #3
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    I'm getting much more involved with local trails lately. I crossed paths with the GET this fall on the Tully Trail in western MA.

    One of the problems with trails other than the AT is that they have many roadwalks and not a whole lot of vertical.

    Did the Monadnock-Sunapee trail last summer and it was fine, though again, lots of walking on country lanes, ATV trails, etc.

  4. #4
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    Or the finger lakes trail or Northville placid trail or ...............

  5. #5
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    Comparing any of these trails to the AT reveals a lot of what's wonderful and not-so-wonderful about the AT.

    They don't have the crowds or the traffic. They often don't have shelters. They often have lots of roadwalks. Compared to the AT, they're often poorly maintained, poorly marked, and subject to frequent re-routes. They travel extensively over private land.

    Because of this, some of them aren't really amenable to thru-hiking. They're meant more for day use.

    They simply don't have the massive volunteer force that ATC and its many member clubs can bring to bear. Historically, the AT is an amazing, wonderful and unique thing.

  6. #6
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    no shelters, no hostels, no feeds, no shuttles, etc.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    I'm getting much more involved with local trails lately. I crossed paths with the GET this fall on the Tully Trail in western MA.

    One of the problems with trails other than the AT is that they have many roadwalks and not a whole lot of vertical.

    Did the Monadnock-Sunapee trail last summer and it was fine, though again, lots of walking on country lanes, ATV trails, etc.
    I've day hiked the elevated portions of the Monadnock-Sunapee trail. They ask that you camp only at the six designated campsites, five of which are shelters, which for me isn't an ideal thru hike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    no shelters, no hostels, no feeds, no shuttles, etc.
    No guides (ALDHA, Awol, Nat Geo) or Guthook maps either.

    I can tell you for certain one of the weirdest and most unpleasant shelter experiences I ever had was on the Finger Lakes Trail.

    The Monadnock-Sunapee trail in southern NH has three or four shelters that are very simple but nice. The MA mid-state trail also has a few shelters of varying condition, but lots of road walking.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    I've day hiked the elevated portions of the Monadnock-Sunapee trail. They ask that you camp only at the six designated campsites, five of which are shelters, which for me isn't an ideal thru hike.
    Why not? They were nice shelters and when Rafe and I did the MST last summer we were the only ones there. We did meet two girls going the other way one afternoon, but that was it.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Why not? They were nice shelters and when Rafe and I did the MST last summer we were the only ones there. We did meet two girls going the other way one afternoon, but that was it.
    Probably only because of my own prejudices and phobias. For what it's worth sleeping in campers creeps me out as well. Maybe I'll give it a try.

  11. #11
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    Slo and I have done a few hikes together but he's more of a stickler for rules and regulations about camping.

    Wapac Trail is another one I did this summer (all 22 miles, woo hoo!). It has no official shelters or campsites. It goes through a cross-country ski area that has a shelter on it... but supposedly that shelter is only available by reservation.

    The shelter had a direct view to some house in the valley below, which made me a bit uneasy. Rather than stay at the (empty) shelter I made a stealth camp nearby.

  12. #12
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    Too many road portions for my taste. Honestly though, I would probably do it if it was more convenient for me to get to as part of day/weekend trips.

  13. #13
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    I think it's because the GET requires advanced planning. Unless there is one guide someday, it will always require more planning than the AT (and most other long trails). There *are* guides, guides for every section, but you have to figure it all out and buy many of them as opposed to dropping $20 on a single guide.

  14. #14

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    My major - indeed only - hiking experience with the GET or similar is 3 hikes on the Allegheny Trail. I planned a thruhike in 2010 and noted how much additional research was required at the time because unlike the AT, the ALT doesn't have an infrastructure of services - hostels, shuttlers, networks of fellow hikers, trail towns, etc.. But that's not a complaint - I actually enjoyed the challenge of planning a less-traveled and less-popular trail. The 2010 hike itself was torpedoed after one night (severe injury to my hiking partner) so I section-hiked more of it in 2011 and 2012. My observation at the time was - and still is - that the ALT was like the AT was 60 years ago - more road walks, less maintenance, inferior maps. Despite the attendant challenges, there was something refreshing about it.

    I suspect this is the case for the rest of the GET corridor. It's in its early stages, just like the AT was at one point. It may never reach the AT's popularity but it will have an appeal for those who want to hike more solitary trails.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonrisaJo View Post
    I think it's because the GET requires advanced planning. Unless there is one guide someday, it will always require more planning than the AT (and most other long trails). There *are* guides, guides for every section, but you have to figure it all out and buy many of them as opposed to dropping $20 on a single guide.
    There was an attempt last year SOBO by someone who was very capable and determined to convert available guide information into mapping suitable for his purposes, someone who was a previous thru-hiker and apparently in excellent shape. Yet, that individual did not even make it into the sketchier guide areas. His less previously experienced initial hiking partner made it into the 5th state before she was injured and left the trail.

    As for road walking, this page (by someone who very much should know) points out there is less of that than on the CDT or some other more often thru hiked trails: http://www.gethiking.net/2014/05/roa...ern-trail.html

    This has been interesting, any additional thoughts?

  16. #16
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    ive enjoyed the PA mid state trail portion of the GET!
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

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  17. #17
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    There are large segments of road walk or abandoned trails.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
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    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  18. #18
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    I've got a binder full of plans to hike it.

    Plans and trail keep changing.

    Maybe within the next few years I can actually get it done.
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

  19. #19
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
    There was an attempt last year SOBO by someone who was very capable and determined to convert available guide information into mapping suitable for his purposes, someone who was a previous thru-hiker and apparently in excellent shape.
    Many "experienced" thru-hikers know how to hike a long trail that is well defined, has ample guidebooks and an ample community around it. (Definitely the triple crown trails. Some of the regional trails such as the CT, LT, JMT. And arguably some of the gnarlier trails but with excellent resources such as they Hayduke to a certain extent).

    IF there is a very active Facebook group for the trail, much of the logistic challenge and planning is a lot easier, I think, as a good rule of thumb.

    Off the beaten path ones that are also off the radar? Not-so-much.

    I don't know the person you are alluding to or who it is , but I would not be surprised if that is the case.

    Just my observation that may or may not be reality.
    Last edited by Mags; 02-01-2016 at 12:43.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
    There, I asked it. What do you say?
    I actually am pretty interested in section hiking the GET. The AT has become like some sort organized cruise (you know, where if its monday this must be Belgium) where it just seems so predictable -we have detailed maps, books, beta, apps, and an entire web forum that removes virtually any chance that we might get surprised. Maybe more like a Holiday Inn than a cruise. Seems like the GET might just require some route finding and navigation and decision making. And the potential for surprises and adventure. In the meantime, it would be kinda nice if some of those road walks got a tad shorter.
    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

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