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  1. #41
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    Lots of useful info on this thread. Many gaps in what I knew and had questions about have been bridged. TU again.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Chief View Post
    Really good maps are also available from the National Geographic Map Store. The ones to look for are North Carolina maps 779 & 780. They are waterproof and cost $11.95 each. The Mountains to Sea Trail is highlighted prominently on these maps. They should also be available at REI. Instead of buying a trail guide that's out of date just go to the MST website and print out copies of the specific trail guide (area) you want. It's free and accurate.
    I just went into the local outfitters (in a town that I have recently moved to). Although they didn't carry a lot in the way of maps, they had 779 and 780.(an aside, they were great...is there anything better than having a great local outfitter equipped with staff who have actually spent time outside? The guy who assisted me recently did a thruhike on the Arizona Trail. But I digress.) I like the NatGeo maps. The idea of doing the side trails is intriguing and looks like a fun way to see the area AND compress the shuttle distance. Plus, i always have been a "blue blazer" at heart and I cannot resist side trails.. Again, thanks to you and everyone who has contributed

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Call View Post
    Amicalola to the Smokies.....
    If your focus is on these kids, I agree that Amicalola to Smokes (basically, approach trail to Clingman's Dome for 200!) will be best.

    However, it sounds like you want to go north since you already hiked this area. In that case, it might be good to go fromeither SNP north or Harpers Ferry North. Regarding these areas (which I hiked with my sons when they were between 10-13 years)... SNP - good climbs, smooth trails, great views; (about 100 miles); SNP north to HF? I haven't done it. ... However, HF north ... HF - great historical park...hiking north into Maryland... WOW - views, historical parks ,etc. PA after that? initially, cow paths, smooth hiking.. for 50 miles.... and then, you will see the ROCKS!!!!!! Good luck!

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelb View Post
    If your focus is on these kids, I agree that Amicalola to Smokes (basically, approach trail to Clingman's Dome for 200!) will be best.

    However, it sounds like you want to go north since you already hiked this area. In that case, it might be good to go fromeither SNP north or Harpers Ferry North. Regarding these areas (which I hiked with my sons when they were between 10-13 years)... SNP - good climbs, smooth trails, great views; (about 100 miles); SNP north to HF? I haven't done it. ... However, HF north ... HF - great historical park...hiking north into Maryland... WOW - views, historical parks ,etc. PA after that? initially, cow paths, smooth hiking.. for 50 miles.... and then, you will see the ROCKS!!!!!! Good luck!
    Shelb - thanks for the tips. Actually I have thru-hiked the AT and section hiked all of it from Hot Springs down to Springer numerous times. I have section hiked all of the BMT, been on some pieces of it several times. I have stayed on these trails for logistics reasons/proximity and also, I am cheap - already have the maps and guidebooks. However, I want to see new roots and rocks under my feet. The traffic on the southern AT has grown exponentially over the last several years which is one reason I moved my annual trips over to the BMT. I love the solitude.

    Here in the south, I want to hike the MST as well as the Sheltowee Trace in the future. I think I will present several 200 mile options to the kids (one or two from each of the 4 trails I have just mentioned) and let them choose. The AT does have a mystique about it, especially to beginning hikers, so if the kids want to do that that's what I will do, possibly from Mt. Rogers down to Hot Springs. However, due to familiarity and "crowds", it would be my last option. But my main goal is for the kids to have fun, be involved to a certain extent in the planning and to enjoy the hike.

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