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  1. #1

    Default Best Start Date to Do Southern Half of the AT and Avoid Rain

    Hi all!

    I am thinking of hiking the southern half of the AT, starting in GA, next year. I think it will take me about 10 weeks, give or take a bit. I should be good for 15-20 miles per day.

    I'd like to pick a start date that maximizes my chances of hiking in good weather. By good, I mean I'd like to minimize the amount of rainy days I'll have to deal with.

    I am thinking early May is probably the answer, but wanted to see what others feel. Since I live near the northern half, I am not as attuned to the weather in the southern states.


  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Lurkerville, East Tn
    Journal Entries


    Here's a climate website that might help you with your question.

    Looks like Aug-Sept-Oct has the lowest rainfall, but still quite a bit of heat.
    Really, it's heat and humidity that will make your day miserable, not rain per se. Rain can be a welcome relief.
    Of course, the trail isn't flat. The mountain elevations have a strong influence on temperature.

    If you want to minimize the heat, avoid mid-June to mid-August.
    If it were me, my choice would be the fall, aiming to get the mountains of GA NC TN, and SW VA done before things cool off too much, then work your way through VA and WV, maybe even PA before it gets cold.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Upstate NY


    This question sounds a lot like the one people doing road trips always ask, which is "If I'm going from Point A to Point B in February, which route is least likely to have weather issues?"

    The standard answer to that is wait until a couple days before you travel and see what the forecast is, as there is no guarantee any will be better than another.

    No matter what the "usual" is, just about any time can see a suddenly unusually rainy stretch.

  4. #4
    Registered User 2Hobbits's Avatar
    Join Date
    Buckingham, Virginia


    It just depends on what kind of year we have. I started in March, was cold �� a few nights but not bad, but probably walked a good month and a half with too much in the way of rain. I guess what I’m saying is you gotta pick your poison. If you start late in Ga you’ll definitely have heat issues. The rain is just something to ignore. Just a matter of the type of year we have…some are wet, some are dry. Luck ��

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