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Trail 2003 Hiker Survey
majority of survey responses we received were from northbound
thru-hikers, so these results are therefore representative
of their experiences. To date we have received 49 replies
to our Appalachian Trail survey. According to the ATC, there
were 503 hikers that reported finishing the AT in 2003.
the Appalachian Trail
every state along the Appalachian Trail is beautiful in its
own way, there are some sections that are truly breathtaking.
From our survey, we found there are definitely favorite areas
lakes with sandy beaches for swimming, plenty of moose
tracks and sightings, and home to Katahdin - trail's end.
nothing else along the AT, thru-hikers hear tales of the
Whites from day one of their journey. The first trail
above treeline, huts that offer all-you-can-eat baked
goods and work for stay, the famous Presidential Range,
and scenic value that is indescribable.
ponies, pines, rocky outcroppings, and lush greenery comes
together to create an area so beautiful it is almost unearthly.
green mountains and lonely mountaintop ski huts that are
open to thru-hikers in the summer. When you hit Vermont,
you know you've arrived.
it states, 100 miles of wilderness. Clear cold streams,
marshes, ponds, and waterfalls hidden among the pines,
and the satisfaction of knowing you've almost made it.
favorite areas along the Trail included: God's Thumbprint,
Max Patch, Georgia, Katahdin, Smoky Mountains, Roan Mountain,
the Long Trail section, Dragon's Tooth, the Mahoosuc Notch,
and the Berkshires.
you've already done it, no one really knows what to expect
before their Appalachian Trail hike. Some surprises are pleasant
and welcome. Other people decide there are aspects of the
Trail that simply don't interest them.
Surprises About the Appalachian Trail
number of thru-hikers. If you are a northbounder looking
for solitude along the Trail, you'll be hard pressed to
find it. With a little ingenuity, it is possible, though.
Trail community. Most hikers begin their trek solo, but
by the end will have made friendships that will last a
lifetime. The thru-hiker bond is like no other.
magic and trail angels. Especially in the South, you'll
find that kindness and generosity abound. Simply amazing
how townspeople will cram muddy, stinky hikers into their
clean cars, or go through the trouble of stocking a cooler
in the middle of the woods.
amount of social interaction. Simply put, it's nearly
impossible to pass another thru-hiker on the Trail or
at a shelter and not exchange tidbits such as, "How's
the water?" or "See you up the Trail!"
much it rained and how many different types of rain there
I made it.
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