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  1. #1
    Registered User Crossup's Avatar
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    Default Sections accessible via public transport?

    I've seen a few threads on the subject but dont have much of an idea how to find them.
    Are there enough places that qualify a list could be created?
    I've done Compton Gap to Boiling Springs and am now outside of the range my wife will shuttle me.

    So my criteria for candidates would be bus/train access to the general area and less than say 60 miles with a local shuttle service. Of course any such places would require a corresponding exit, in my case I'd be looking at 50-100 mile sections as optimal for my usual week to 10 day outings- I'm not into big miles, I prefer to leave a lot of fuel in the tank each day just in case.

    Given my criteria are pretty specific, I'd welcome responses which dont match in the hope it will help others with the same idea.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossup View Post
    I've seen a few threads on the subject but dont have much of an idea how to find them.
    Are there enough places that qualify a list could be created?
    I've done Compton Gap to Boiling Springs and am now outside of the range my wife will shuttle me.

    So my criteria for candidates would be bus/train access to the general area and less than say 60 miles with a local shuttle service. Of course any such places would require a corresponding exit, in my case I'd be looking at 50-100 mile sections as optimal for my usual week to 10 day outings- I'm not into big miles, I prefer to leave a lot of fuel in the tank each day just in case.

    Given my criteria are pretty specific, I'd welcome responses which dont match in the hope it will help others with the same idea.
    Yes, there are many places, but it will take some work to compile a list for specific 50 to 100 mile sections. Here's a start https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail...ikers-dilemma/

  4. #4

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    The towns with with most conveniant bus station stops to the trail, but split the trail into pretty big chunks:

    Marion, VA
    Harpers Ferry (actually train from DC)
    Delaware Water Gap, PA
    Williamstown, MA
    Hanover, NH
    Gorham, NH

    Other less conveniant bus stops:
    Ashville, NC or Knoxville, TN for Smokies
    Roanoke, VA - central VA
    Charletsville, VA - SNP

    and that's about it.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  5. #5

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    No, that's not it. I did all but one of my section hikes, over a period of 14 years, using a combination of bus, train, and shuttles to access start and end points. Granted, my sections were longer than 50 miles. If the OP would ask for info more specifically, he would get more useful responses. Boiling Springs is tough, but you can get to Harrisburg via Amtrak and then take a shuttle to the trail. You can get to NYC by bus, Amtrak, or plane and then take a bus to Bear Mountain. and so on.

  6. #6
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    There are many places in the mid-Atlantic region that are accessible by public transit, besides the major spots noted by Slo-go'en. The New Jersey and New York sections in particular benefit from the vast web of public transit that radiates from New York City. Besides Delaware Water Gap, you can get to the following stops, going north from DWG: Port Jervis by NJ Transit train (just north of High Point SP), NY17a by NJ Transit bus (at the Kain Rd stop .2 miles from the trailhead), NY17 and Arden Valley Rd (by Metro-North train to the Harriman stop two miles north on NY17), at Bear Mountain Inn (by Short Line bus from NYC), at Manitou across the Hudson from Bear Mountain (by Metro-North train), and, of course, the Appalachian Trail Train Station in Pawling (by Metro-North train). I did a good bit of study on this area when I lived in Philly, since I often do sections solo and needed to get places that were not well served by shuttles without using a car. Hope this helps.
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  7. #7

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    Roanoke has also had Amtrak service since 2017, with one early morning departure to Lynchburg - DC - NYC, and a late (9pm-10pm) arrival from NYC.

    Schedule

    There is connecting bus service to Blacksburg with a stop at the I-81 Exit 140 park and ride, which is less than 7 miles from the AT trailhead on VA 311.

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    Vermont is on my radar for future trips. There are several options that cover the whole state. With some local shuttles you can reach nearly the whole trail pretty easily.

    You can fly to either Albany or Boston. If Boston, then you can take the Dartmouth Coach to Hanover, NH. If Albany, you can reach the trail in multiple locations using Peter Pan bus lines. For example, you can leave the Albany, NY airport at 2:05 and be in Bennington at 3:35, just 5 miles from the trail.

    https://www.vttranslines.com/bus-schedules/
    https://dartmouthcoach.com/

  9. #9
    Registered User Crossup's Avatar
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    Good start guys, as I mentioned I hoped this thread might be helpful to many rather than just me. So far I'm already seeing

    That said my preference is to hook up to the section I've done which is centered around Harpers Ferry, which I used Amtrak to start one leg and finish two.

    So ideally going south from 100 miles north of James Fry(cant miss another shot at the Twirly Top would be one and going either direction Comptons Gap, SNP 100 miles south. Outside of those two trips, I'm down for any place that has good access via bus/train and of course modest shuttle trips. For my last trip I used Amtrak to HF and shuttled to Penn Mar so I could hike back, that was based on when the train runs vs the time I had.

  10. #10
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    Front royal again has bus service from dc although I’ve never used this. https://www.wanderu.com/en-us/bus/us...YaAsIaEALw_wcB

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    The towns with with most conveniant bus station stops to the trail, but split the trail into pretty big chunks:

    Marion, VA
    Harpers Ferry (actually train from DC)
    Delaware Water Gap, PA
    Williamstown, MA
    Hanover, NH
    Gorham, NH

    Other less conveniant bus stops:
    Ashville, NC or Knoxville, TN for Smokies
    Roanoke, VA - central VA
    Charletsville, VA - SNP

    and that's about it.
    Erwin(from Johnson city)
    Damascus(from Bristol)
    Waynesboro(amtrak nearby)

  14. #14
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    What about renting a car? Car rental places seem to be more abundant than these other options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrel29 View Post
    What about renting a car? Car rental places seem to be more abundant than these other options.
    Typically car rental places are by airports (if you can rent a car, you can usually find a shuttle provider). And to pay $20-50 /day for it to sit in a lot while you hike can get expensive. One way rentals can get really expensive.

  16. #16

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    Convenient (but long) is NYC to Katahdin. I think $185 total. Bus from NYC to Portland, bus to Bangor, bus to Medway, AT lodge shuttle pickup/stay over/shuttle to the mountain the next morning.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    The towns with with most conveniant bus station stops to the trail, but split the trail into pretty big chunks:

    Marion, VA
    Harpers Ferry (actually train from DC)
    Delaware Water Gap, PA
    Williamstown, MA
    Hanover, NH
    Gorham, NH

    Other less conveniant bus stops:
    Ashville, NC or Knoxville, TN for Smokies
    Roanoke, VA - central VA
    Charletsville, VA - SNP

    and that's about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Erwin(from Johnson city)
    Damascus(from Bristol)
    Waynesboro(amtrak nearby)
    Once you get into MA (Williamstown as mentioned above, Pittsfield also has service by train and bus) they have a fairly good local service that covers much of the Berkshires and works for many of the trail crossings on major roads.

  18. #18
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    The whites are remarkably accessible given that AMC has shuttle a system in place. There is public bus service to Lincoln and Gorham that is linked to Boston. The AMC shuttles have multiple stops in between. Add in the shuttles from hostels on either end and you can add in a couple of days in either direction.

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    I use a lot of public transport to access the trail. I start w greyhound. Not all stops show up on line. There are such things as eticket stops. And then call the city where the bus is going to stop. Look at a road map. Ask real direct questions if you need to cross state lines. My only dislike is layovers in the middle of the night. I wont do it.
    Ex. Im leaving next wk - 22hr bus ride to trail to Lincoln NH - to shuttle connect to Notch at the base of the Kinsmans. If I want, the bus stops at pinkham to take me south. But Im still working on the best way to get from all there to Rangely Maine or Andover, besides hitch.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnette View Post
    Ex. Im leaving next wk - 22hr bus ride to trail to Lincoln NH - to shuttle connect to Notch at the base of the Kinsmans. If I want, the bus stops at pinkham to take me south. But Im still working on the best way to get from all there to Rangely Maine or Andover, besides hitch.
    Once you get into Maine, it's shuttle or hitch.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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