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  1. #1

    Default Mud/Rain in July vs August

    I'm doing a nobo thru hike this summer, and was wondering whether the mud and rain are typically worse in July or August. Also, is the northern area more muddy then the south? I'm hoping to be north of Rutland within 12 days of starting, and start between late July and mid August. Personal experiences would be very helpful.

  2. #2
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    By July/August, the ground is dried out. Not to say you won't have muddy days when it rains, and for a day after that, but you won't be faced with mass quantities of mud for days on end, and won't be doing the kind of trail damage that occurs in spring. Not much difference from one month to another, maybe less bugs in August. Summer rains are hit or miss - plenty of thundershowers that might miss you, or they might not!

  3. #3

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    July and August on the LT are pretty similar weatherwise. Unfortunately, one good rainstorm creates mud on the trail for the next 5-7 days. September is usually the best time for lower rain events in Vermont.
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  4. #4

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    I give the nod to August as the drier month overall - but agree with Jeff on September being ideal. I think I've hit more mud in the south where more of the route goes around ponds and waterways, but I remember stretches of the North (as well as elsewhere) where I was worried that I had accidently lost the trail and started following a stream instead only to have my route confirmed by a white blaze.

  5. #5

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    My '07 thruhike was mid-August to mid-September with little in the way of mud. But it was a drought period, especially in the southern half where the trees looked like they were panting. I was nearly done when an all-day soaking rain finally came. 2 days later, the puddles & mud from the rain were nearly dried up.

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    Registered User tawa's Avatar
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    Its just rain--and its just mud---it is what is it is--adjust and adapt and just keep on walking.

  7. #7

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    Just hike it. It's summer in New England. It will be hot most of the time, occasionally muddy and, yes, there will be some bugs. Late in August, you may get a few cool nights--enjoy them.

    Cosmo

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    Gotta be super muddy right now. I was planning on 9 days on the trail at the end of this month but I'm thinking of pushing it off now..

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    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon View Post
    Gotta be super muddy right now. I was planning on 9 days on the trail at the end of this month but I'm thinking of pushing it off now..
    All that will do is guarantee perfect weather!

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    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    All that will do is guarantee perfect weather!
    You are probably right. Wouldn't be the first time that happened to me lol

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    Late Sept/Oct would be my choice of LT thru-hike months as I tend to agree with others about July and Aug. The LT, if I'm recalling correctly(07 SOBO LT thru-hike), was more muddy north of Killington in the higher elev. peaty green tunnel evergreen areas. LT could definitely use more puncheons. http://www.equinoxpreservationtrust.org/blog/2011/03/

  12. #12

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    I hiked the LT last August and it was pleanty wet, had a good thunderstorm at least twice a week. Thankfully, they usually came late in the afternoon or early evening and only got caught out in one.

    This year who knows? If the current weather pattern doesn't radically change soon, it will be brutal. Be prepared to get muddy and fall down a lot on slick rocks.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    This year who knows? If the current weather pattern doesn't radically change soon, it will be brutal. Be prepared to get muddy and fall down a lot on slick rocks.
    No kidding. LT near me is a mud pit. We have gotten some rain everyday for the past 2 weeks and expected to continue for another week. Haven't been on the trail yet this year, but have been up near it. Trail runner I saw the other day was covered in mud (I mean head to toe). Said she fell in it past the Laraway lookout, but it was muddy the whole way.

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    I just came back from cutting my trip short. I hiked Rte 4 to App Gap. Trail was incredibly wet but honestly not as muddy as I was expecting. It was so slick and very few spots where you can just walk. I was averaging like 1.3 MPH and I just got mentally beat down. The trail will still be there and I did get my case of Heady Topper.
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  15. #15

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    NPR reports that May and June this year in Vermont was the wettest two month stretch on record...so who knows what July and August will bring.

    We have seen plenty of hikers who are making the best of it. Shows what a good attitude will do for a fun hike.
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    Rash on trail journals is in Vermont. He posted a short video of the mud he's hiking through. I stole this photo from yesterday's uploads.

  17. #17

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    Rash and Hoosier are two of the hikers with that super, positive attitude. That mud may have slowed him down yesterday, but he hosed it off when he got back to the hostel and is just lovin' life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredmugs View Post
    I just came back from cutting my trip short. I hiked Rte 4 to App Gap. Trail was incredibly wet but honestly not as muddy as I was expecting. It was so slick and very few spots where you can just walk. I was averaging like 1.3 MPH and I just got mentally beat down. The trail will still be there and I did get my case of Heady Topper.
    Well the Heady Topper makes it all worthwhile! I have had a constant rotation of Heady in my fridge for the last year. I make a trip up to Waterbury every few weeks to stock up. I wish I could end every hiking day with a can of it

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    I totally agree that a good attitude can work wonders while hiking in the peaty mud in respect to how your LT hike goes but it doesn't help the trail either. In some of the heavily forested shady areas that see less than ideal trail drying out conditions I recall the trail more than 15 or 20 ft wide in places with multiple tracks of hikers attempting to avoid the DEEP slogging through mud in places.

  20. #20

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    I just finished northbound on Sunday. Aside from the day I left Williamstown, I was rained on every day. It was muddy slog much of the time, but I'm glad I went. There were parts where the trail was incredibly slick and where the trail had a pudding consistency - if I stepped too fast and with too much energy my foot would slide right through the mud. According to a newspaper I looked at Sunday - Lake Champlain was at record levels and May/June 2013 was the wettest two months on record in Vermont. The rain seemed to get even harder in the first days of July. July 4th was the wettest July 4th on record according to what I heard.

    Usually, I am glad when I wear low cut trail shoes - this time the choice did not pay off for me. I think having great socks (Darn Toughs) saved me from extreme foot issues - the one day I wore REI socks, my feet were in nasty shape. Overall, the miles just came a little harder - there were more places where I just had to slow down and be very careful about traction and having a firm point of contact with the ground, a rock or some other objects. Poles, of course, helped a lot as well.

    I agree with Dogwood on the trail. I haven't been on the LT in mud season - but it seemed like there was some further damage and erosion due to people avoiding the deepest mud and from people stepping on very soft water logged stretches of soil.

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