Thinking of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail as a flip-flop? Here are some tips, gear lists, considerations, and itinerary options!
Author: Kevin and Kathy
This year, we became thru-hikers. From June – November 2022, we hiked all 2,194.3 miles of the Appalachian Trail (AT). It took us 4 months and 3 weeks. To say that this experience was life-changing is an understatement.
Making it to the final state was surreal and a little anticlimactic. Had we really walked all the way from Maine?
This section of the trail included the 2,000-mile marker, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and some of the last “big” climbs of the AT.
For over 400 miles, the Appalachian Trail traverses the Tennessee and North Carolina border. TN and NC have been filled with grassy balds, big climbs, fall foliage, waterfalls, and a deep sense of Appalachian Trail community.
Entering completely new territory, we weren’t sure what to expect in southern Virginia. But, with great challenges come great rewards. The terrain and climbs in this section were harder, but the views and experiences were worth it.
Virginia has exceeded our already high expectations. The gentle switchbacks, sweeping views, grassy meadows, balds, wildflowers, and pleasant trails have been even more gorgeous than we could have imagined.
Crossing the Mason Dixon Line and getting to Harpers Ferry, the “psychological halfway point,” were huge milestones. We are having so much fun and really feel like we can make it to Georgia. It’s all downhill from here, right?
Pennsylvania has a reputation of being one of the least favorite states of the AT. Unfortunately, we have to agree with this assessment.
We are now onto the SOBO leg of our thru-hike! Time is flying by. Getting back to New York was an important milestone in our journey.