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  1. #1

    Default End of March Weather

    Hello all,

    I'm looking to leave Harper's Ferry on March 29th and hike through the state of MD for the weekend. I live in Pittsburgh, so I know the weather can be iffy, but in general, I was wondering if anyone has experience with this time of year. Also looking to see if anyone knows of any emergency sites between shelters in case the weather gets nasty.

    Thanks in advance!

    Hangin'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hangin' Around PA View Post
    . Also looking to see if anyone knows of any emergency sites between shelters in case the weather gets nasty.

    Thanks in advance!

    Hangin'

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    Thats what your tent is for.

    Being a weekend hike, you can plan the weather too, no surprises.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

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    Unless there is a storm coming you should be fine. This whole section of the AT is "close to a town". Use a map. This is far from wilderness. Good emergency spots without going to town is the pavilions in the State Parks and the one at the little Washington monument.

  4. #4

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    I did a section last year from Front Royal to Harpers Ferry in April. It was windy during the day, and in the low 30's - upper 20's during the night. So prepare accordingly, especially for cold nights.

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    The shelters are ridiculously close together in MD and trail exceptionally easy, I have a hard time imagining not being able to at least get from shelter to shelter, regardless of the weather. If you can't hike a few miles in the rain, you shouldn't go. And since this is a weekend hike, you should have a real good idea of what kind of weather to expect just before you leave. If it looks like there will be a freak 3 foot snow storm, don't go.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    I wouldn't worry to much about hiking through MD. (The only section I have been on.) The shelters are fairly close, there are pavilions at several of the parks, lots of road crossing, etc. The only spot that might be a problem would be just south of Raven Rock where there are two stream crossings. If there is a lot of heavy rain or ice melt they could flood.

    Prepare for both hot and cold weather that time of year. I had one trip, while in the Boy Scouts, when it was nice, warm and sun during the first day only to have a front move in during the night dropping the temperatures down near freezing with rain.

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    I think it was March when we did Maryland. I remember it got down to 17 degrees one night and there were flurries during the day. Terrain is not real hard, shelters are nice.

    We did a chunk of Pennsylvania in late March/early April last year. We slacked a couple of days in snow and rain. Made the mistake of carrying borrowed daypacks that weren't large enough to carry some extra insulation - we got really cold.

    If you prepare for the forecast, and don't do dumb stuff, you should be okay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hangin' Around PA View Post
    Hello all,

    I'm looking to leave Harper's Ferry on March 29th and hike through the state of MD for the weekend. I live in Pittsburgh, so I know the weather can be iffy, but in general, I was wondering if anyone has experience with this time of year. Also looking to see if anyone knows of any emergency sites between shelters in case the weather gets nasty.

    Thanks in advance!

    Hangin'

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    First of all, welcome to WB . (I've always wanted to use that emoticon.)

    I second everybody's comments about the shelters, they're close together.

    BTW, Butler, while a nice town, isn't the 'burgh.

    Happy trails.
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerZ View Post
    First of all, welcome to WB . (I've always wanted to use that emoticon.)

    I second everybody's comments about the shelters, they're close together.

    BTW, Butler, while a nice town, isn't the 'burgh.

    Happy trails.
    Lol, if I say Butler I usually have to explain it geographically. But your right, haha.

    Thanks everyone, you've confirmed my thoughts, just wanted to make sure I'm not missing something!!

    Appreciate all of your help!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Thats what your tent is for.

    Being a weekend hike, you can plan the weather too, no surprises.
    what i was wondering is if there are any emergency shelters between the emergency shelter and the actual shelter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    what i was wondering is if there are any emergency shelters between the emergency shelter and the actual shelter.
    The only emergency shelter between shelters is whatever you carry on your back. Or maybe a hotel room
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    The only emergency shelter between shelters is whatever you carry on your back. Or maybe a hotel room
    wait, there are those things in washintgton monument state park... i thought a minute about sleeping in one. you arent allowed but i was the only person in the park 15 mins before dark. thsoe would do alright in an emergency, theres a bunch of them. every hundred feet or so i think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    wait, there are those things in washintgton monument state park... i thought a minute about sleeping in one. you arent allowed but i was the only person in the park 15 mins before dark. thsoe would do alright in an emergency, theres a bunch of them. every hundred feet or so i think.
    Don't recall them. All I remember is the milk bottle, which was closed for renovations when I went by. I suppose you could hold up in there if you really wanted/needed to.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Don't recall them. All I remember is the milk bottle, which was closed for renovations when I went by. I suppose you could hold up in there if you really wanted/needed to.
    the map shows 2. i remember there being more but i might have been delusional. i didnt get to go in the milk bottle either

    http://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/parkmaps/wmmap.gif

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    I seem to remember the milk bottle was closed for renovations cuz it was struck by lightning. Maybe not a good place to hide after all...
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    the map shows 2. i remember there being more but i might have been delusional. i didnt get to go in the milk bottle either

    http://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/parkmaps/wmmap.gif
    The map has no scale, might those shelters be at the Dahlgren backpackers campground, a couple of miles south of the monument? I got there about lunch time and continued on, while the rest of the FF crowd stopped since they could order pizza delivered. On day two. Geez, what wimps
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    The map has no scale, might those shelters be at the Dahlgren backpackers campground, a couple of miles south of the monument? I got there about lunch time and continued on, while the rest of the FF crowd stopped since they could order pizza delivered. On day two. Geez, what wimps
    no, thats a map of washington monument state park

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    no, thats a map of washington monument state park
    Huh, never knew that. Their not in AWOL. I'll probably be doing that section again myself this spring, might look for them.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Huh, never knew that. Their not in AWOL. I'll probably be doing that section again myself this spring, might look for them.
    youre not allowed to camp in them, i imagine thats why not. but theyd make an ok "emergency shelter in between shelters" lol

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    There was only one of those shelters actually on the trail. Its not much more than an over-sized bench in an open shed. I wouldn't have paid it any attention if the Rangers hadn't closed the trail for 1/2 hour while they cleared a way a small storm damaged tree that could have fallen across the trail.

    The monument or "milk bottle" is an enclosed stone staircase with a opening at the top where you can look out from the top of the mountain. Its always dark, usually damp and cold. Not really someplace I would want to try to seek shelter in. When it rains it just drains down the stairs.

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