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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 skills


2 nights

Annual Leave

1 day off work

Group Size

Up to 9 people





Meeting Point

Central Manhattan



Customer Reviews

This trip is brand new





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

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.



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

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

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.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

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)
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Sleeping Bag Hire

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping Bag Hire

Per Person

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 35kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

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

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

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.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.


Private trip

Go private and split the bill with ease.

Forget complex logistics, we've taken care of all the details to ensure a hassle-free get together. All of the adventure, none of the faff.

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