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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Apr 15, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.
Looking like a mellow summer and all I'll have a chance to do is hike the AT though NH or Maine. Any beta from climber folks (yes, I trust you more than backpacker types) out there?

1) Which is better: Maine or NH?

2) Any info on feeding yourself? I could set up supply shipments, but I'd rather not - so how's the provisions situation at road crossings?

FWIW, I'll be doing this in August.

FLAG
By M LaViolette Jr.
From The Past
Apr 15, 2013
Wolverine on Predator (5.13b) Rumney.
I thru hiked southbound in 04. Both states are good in their own ways, but Maine was by far my favorite state on the whole trail, the 100 mile wilderness in particular. NH is really scenic but having to deal with the AMC huts and paying to camp at most places was kind of a drag. Plus I had already hiked extensively in NH prior to the trail.

I would advise against doing mail drops for food, I tried that method on a thru hike of the Long Trail and regretted it. Just be sure to pick up a copy of the latest AT Data Book or the Thru Hikers' Companion which will give you information on what is available at each road crossing and just go with the flow, resupply as needed. I spent about 27 days or so in Maine and resupplied three times in Monson, Stratton and Andover, with a small resupply right on the trail in Caratunk, so it's not too bad.

Don't forget when you stay at the Pierce Pond lean to to sign up for breakfast at Harrison's the night before or they will not give you breakfast, learned that the hard way.

I'm jealous, have fun.

FLAG
By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Apr 15, 2013
A third option to consider, as alluded to in the previous post: you could do the Long Trail through VT. It is quite nice, and you get to do an entire through-hike (kind of an arbitrary designation, but perhaps it counts for something?), instead of just a smaller section-hike.

As to the original question, Maine will provide more of an "out by yourself in the wilderness" experience, while NH will provide a greater dose of above-treeline, alpine scenery, albeit with the cost of more populated trails/campsite. Both should be great. Blood-sucking insects are probably worse in Maine.

FLAG
By Jake D.
From Northeast
Apr 16, 2013
I did the LT last year and have done most of NH. I have not done maine yet.

Either way i agree, don't do mail drops. You don't want to be held to a schedule. AT Guide by AWOL is the gold standard.

It depends what you are looking to do.

Rugged trail with big views, trickier camping or a bit of $ (shelters are $8/night) = NH,

from what i've read.. varied terrain, ammousuc notch is apparently the "hardest" mile of the AT with rock scrambling etc, in aug you'll probably be mingled with a lot of AT NOBO's finishing

generally less rugged trail, great shelter system (most are free. a few are $5), not as much above treeline trail or open views, pretty easy resupply = LT jakedatc.wordpress.com/ my journal and gear list

FLAG
By eeberleeber
From Ellington, CT
Apr 20, 2013
M LaViolette Jr. wrote:
I would advise against doing mail drops for food...


Ditto.

I thru hiked northbound in 01, did mail drops the whole way, and realized early on it's unnecessary. In the east it's just as easy to hitch to a grocery as any post office, and then you're not at the mercy of timing resupplies with post office hours. You don't want to have your hitch to the PO put you there 5 minutes after it closed on a Saturday. You either have to abandon your drop and buy groceries anyway or tread water until Monday morning.

I'm also jealous. You'll have a blast!

FLAG
By eeberleeber
From Ellington, CT
Apr 20, 2013
Oh, and my vote also goes to Maine. Both NH and ME are rugged and beautiful. The AT sections thru NH don't quite live up to the state's motto of "Live Free or Die". I'm a southern boy and while the NH AMC trail is nice, I have a hard time with the shelter cost and level of regulation there.

Not to slam the AMC. Maybe those NH areas demand that style of management due to misuse (either past or potential), but it's definitely something you'll notice about the general feel for that area.

And definitely carry the latest edition of the AT Data Book. That and advice from other hikers/shelter journals are plenty to guide you between the trail and towns.

FLAG
By Marc R
From Boulder, CO
Apr 20, 2013
Dog Safety
i thru hiked NoBo in 2010 and NH was definitely my favorite state with maine a close second. The whites are a particularly special range for me and i will forever consider them home. Also, camping away from the amc huts is totally doable (but do stop by for food). As far as which state to hike, nh is more spectacular because of the above treeline hiking but maine is more remote (and sunset from on top of the bigelows was the best of the trip). That also means travel logistics will be easier in nh. maine is longer, so the amount of time you have may be a factor. It really depends what you're looking for. If you can swing it, do both.

FLAG
By eeberleeber
From Ellington, CT
Apr 21, 2013
Marc R wrote:
If you can swing it, do both.

Best advice yet!

FLAG
 
By jim.dangle
Apr 21, 2013
I'd vote the Long Trail or Maine. The AMC have turned the White Mountains, a national forest, into an exclusive family resort. It's very expensive, over regulated, and crowded. I'll never forget walking up to Lonesome Lake-- where I spent a lot of time as a kid-- on a beautiful fall day and hearing a motorized generator running from the AMC hut and echoing all over the lake. Really unforgivable in mind.

Maine has some beautiful stretches. Grafton Notch, the Bigelows, Baxter, Hundred Mile Wilderness. Depending on the time frame, it won't be totally crowd free either. But definitely less of circus than the White Mountains.

I've walked stretches of the Long Trail and its very pretty and quiet. As someone else said it is self-contained so you could do the whole thing. It takes 28 days I think. The Green Mountain Club has an excellent guide. I think the logistics have been well worked out on the long trail so it is pretty easy to do.

Good luck!

Jim

FLAG
By JaminT
From Jackson, WY
Apr 21, 2013
I'd have to vote Maine, northbound, starting from Gorham near the Maine/NH border. Take your time, meander, do a couple side trails and spend a day or two in Andover and Monson. In the 100m/w, you'll camp on a huge lake that has no houses, boats, docks, or humans of any kind. You'll get to finish on Katahdin, which is epic. And the walking isn't nearly as painful as NH or Vermont. I loved, Maine, best state of the entire AT, couldn't recommend it more.

Don't do mail drops, more of a pain than its worth. There are enough small towns that are very hiker friendly and its easy to hitch a ride. Use an alcohol stove, pack light, have fun!

FLAG
By Jake D.
From Northeast
Apr 21, 2013
jim.dangle wrote:
I'd vote the Long Trail or Maine. The AMC have turned the White Mountains, a national forest, into an exclusive family resort. It's very expensive, over regulated, and crowded. I'll never forget walking up to Lonesome Lake-- where I spent a lot of time as a kid-- on a beautiful fall day and hearing a motorized generator running from the AMC hut and echoing all over the lake. Really unforgivable in mind. Maine has some beautiful stretches. Grafton Notch, the Bigelows, Baxter, Hundred Mile Wilderness. Depending on the time frame, it won't be totally crowd free either. But definitely less of circus than the White Mountains. I've walked stretches of the Long Trail and its very pretty and quiet. As someone else said it is self-contained so you could do the whole thing. It takes 28 days I think. The Green Mountain Club has an excellent guide. I think the logistics have been well worked out on the long trail so it is pretty easy to do. Good luck! Jim


NH needs a bit of the control to deal with the amount of people. Without regulation and some corralling it would be a shit show (literally in some places). There are plenty of places off the AT to hike in NH that are a lot more "wilderness". Franconia ridge, Carter/wildcat ridge and the Presi's are awesome but there is a lot more out there.

LT timeline depends on your fitness and goals. I did it fairly easily in 19 days including rest/travel days. (1.5 actual rest days, .5 days on either end for travel, 2ish .5 days resupply). I also had perfect weather, unusually dry trail and hiked with a local that got us easier resupplies.

FLAG


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