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Thread: NOBO flip flop

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Montpelier, VT

    Default NOBO flip flop

    Seeking feedback: I am an experienced backpacker, who section hiked the AT in 11 out of 14 years. I live in VT and have plenty of winter weather experience.

    Now that I am nearing retirement, I plan to thru hike NOBO starting mid April 2023. I want to follow spring wildflowers north and avoid most of the colder weather that would come with an earlier start. I also want to avoid the pressure of completing a NOBO hike by early to mid October and the congestion of trailing behind the bubble. I donít want to flip at Harpers Ferry and find myself in black fly and mosquito seasons up north.

    I think that by mid July I will be in the vicinity of Port Clinton or the Delaware Water Gap. Wherever I am, I am planning to flip to Baxter State Park (bus/shuttle to NYC/Newark, plane to Bangor, bus to Medway, and night or two at AT Lodge), summit, and then hike south. I know I need a reservation for a campsite at BSP and the AT Lodge.

    Does anyone have experience with this type of flip and have suggestions? Thanks.

  2. #2


    There's a Flip flop Facebook group that might have useful input.

    Plan to reserve that site at Katahdin Stream 4 months in advance, and that Bangor>Medway bus runs once a day so you need to craft your travel plans around that 6:30 PM connection.

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  3. #3
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    As far as Baxter, don't forget about the easy 4 mile Blueberry trail that leads from the thru hiker site to Abol Campsite just outside Baxter. You can use it as an easy alternative to the AT (but immediately after summiting). If you white blaze you will have to add a few easy miles the next day to a make loop with the AT. This avoids making a Baxter reservation at all. Did I mention easy?

    You still have the option to go back to Monson, or to meet up with a SOBO or flipper if they have room.(within their reservation)

  4. #4
    Registered User scope's Avatar
    Join Date
    Chamblee, GA


    Quote Originally Posted by rubyvermonter View Post
    Does anyone have experience with this type of flip and have suggestions? Thanks.
    Your plan sounds solid. You'd be leaving after the horde, which is great, but don't plan on having any firewood. (which may not be an issue for you, and its not for me)

    I don't have any experience with it, but logistically, I've already done it several times over on paper, or spreadsheet. Personally, I time it to be in NH/MT/MA during the fall foliage season. I'd consider waiting another 1-2 weeks if you really want to see some of the spring flowering, including rhodos and flame azalea in Ga/NC/TN. Might be just a tad early for the rhodos and flame on the Roan balds once you get there.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

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