Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Adventure School

Hike the Historic Appalachian Trail and Learn Backpacking Skills

Hike a section of one of the world's greatest long distance trails while learning backcountry and backpacking survival skills


Trip Ref #10186

Adventures / Adventure School

Hike the Historic Appalachian Trail and Learn Backpacking Skills

Hike a section of one of the world's greatest long distance trails while learning backcountry and backpacking survival skills

2 nights
1 day off work
Up to 9 people
Central Manhattan

You should have at least some prior hiking experience, and be prepared to carry a backpack of approximately 35-40 pounds each day.

Learn backcountry and backpacking skills including navigation, bear safety, backcountry cooking and leave no trace

Hike picturesque scenery along New York State's section of the famous Appalachian Trail

Spend your evenings eating and sharing stories around the campfire and enjoying a spot of stargazing before bedding down in your backcountry camp



Expert, certified guides with wilderness first responder training


2 nights in backcountry campsites


All meals are taken care of


Transport between Central Manhattan and Harriman State Park


All group camping kit including tents and sleeping mats


All entry fees and permits

Not Included

Travel to and from the start point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

The Area



Central Manhattan

0645 on Day 1


Central Manhattan

Around 18:00 on Day 3 (depending on traffic)


On Day 1 you'll meet your host at the corner of Broadway and W 73rd street, northwest corner in front of The North Face store. The drive to the Park takes around 1 hour.

On Day 3 you'll typically arrive back at around 1800, however, it is entirely dependent on traffic coming into New York City, which is very unpredictable. We strongly recommend you don't make any plans for the evening or book flights departing until after 2200 - in case of delays.

Travel options

If you are flying in - there are direct flights to New York via JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports from across the US and Europe. From there you can easily make your way into central Manhatten.

What about all the carbon?

We mitigate 4x the carbon generated by all our customer flights annually through our partnership with Cool Earth.

Day 1

Campsite · Twin tent




Day 2

Campsite · Twin tent




Day 3

Departure day




What is the food like?

On this trip you will learn the basics of backcountry nutrition. Food choices will be geared toward nutrition, pack weight, and practicality on a backpacking trip. A typical menu may include oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich and snacks for lunch on the trail, and a bean and grain-based dinner. Vegetarian, vegan and most other dietary requirements can be accommodated.

What is the accommodation like?

Backcountry camping

You'll spend 2 nights at backcountry campsites on the trail

Day 1

Head to the trail


3 hours · 4 miles · 500ft up

We will start with a short drive from New York City to Harriman State Park. You will start learning backpacking skills right away. Before getting on the trail, you will take out all your gear and learn how to properly fit and pack a backpack to maximize comfort and efficiency on the trail. We will then start on a short hike past a lake, arriving at a shelter on the Appalachian Trail. You will set up camp, get water, prepare dinner, and get a good night's sleep for the next day. Throughout the trip, you will be learning and practicing the following backpacking skills:

  • What to Pack, What to Wear, Packing a Pack, Fitting a Pack, Leave No Trace, Navigation, Water Treating, Choosing a Campsite and Setting up Camp, Backcountry Nutrition, Backcountry Cooking, Backcountry Cleaning, Bear Safety, Fire Safety, Backcountry Hygiene, Staying Warm and Dry in a Tent.

Day 2

A day on the trail


6 hours · 7 miles · 1000ft up · 1000ft down

After waking up, getting water, preparing breakfast, and breaking down camp, you will set out for a beautiful hike on the Appalachian Trail. You will hike a picturesque section of the trail, going over Black Mountain and West Mountain, with views of the Hudson Valley opening up to your left and right. After a challenging 7-mile day on the trail, you will arrive at the West Mountain shelter, set up camp, get water, prepare dinner, and get a good night sleep after spending the evening around the campfire.

Day 3

Day 3


3 hours · 4 miles · 500ft up

On the final day, the group will break down camp one last time, as you prepare for a hike back out of the mountains. After a 5-mile hike, you will leave the trails behind, having gained the outdoor and backpacking skills to set you up for success in your future adventures. We will then drive back to New York City.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

What's included?

  • All of your group hiking gear, plus tents and sleeping mats

What's available to hire?

  • Sleeping bag (see optional extras for prices)
  • Backpack (50-70 litres)

What do I need to bring?


  • Rain cover or plastic bags to waterproof backpack
  • 50-70L backpack


  • Hiking boots
  • Wool socks x 6 (2 pairs a day)
  • Moisture-wicking, non-cotton base layers (top and bottom).
  • Fleece
  • Light gloves
  • Insulating top layer (puffy)
  • Insulating bottom layer such as fleece pants
  • Fully waterproof top and bottom shells (should be able to fit over your other layers)
  • Long underwear for sleeping
  • Fleece hat
  • Sun hat


  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Toiletries
  • 3 wide-mouth reusable 1-liter water bottles that can hold boiling water (or capacity for 3L of water in total)
  • Head torch
  • Sleeping bag rated to 30 degrees or lower temperature (available to rent)
  • Trekking poles
  • Light and comfortable camp shoes (optional, consider weight before packing)

You should have prior hiking experience, having hiked at least 10 miles in a single day. You will be carrying a backpack of approximately 35-40 pounds. To prepare for your trip, you should aim to do 1-2 hikes a month in the three months leading up to your trip and maintain a regular exercise routine.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. The amount to tip is entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip in the USA; your guides will rely on tips for a considerable portion of their income.

We suggest to budget for 10%-20% of the trip cost as a guideline.

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

You will learn how to treat water in the backcountry, and get all your water from natural sources.

The temperatures can vary with 50 (April) - 80 (July) degrees common during the day. The temperature can drop significantly at night, into the 40's or lower in early spring or late fall, so it's important to be prepared with gear.

You are able to leave one small bag in the vehicle but space is limited

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

All of our group adventures are especially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded.

"I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I've ever been on!" Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

From …
Transferrable Deposits

Cancel up to 60 days before departure and we'll transfer your deposit into credit for a future booking.

Free Date Changes

Free date changes up to 60 days before departure.

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