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 skills

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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 skills

DURATION

2 nights

LOCATION

USA

ANNUAL LEAVE

1 day off work

SEASON

Apr-Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 9 people

MEETING POINT

Central Manhattan

ACCOMMODATION

Campsite

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

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

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.

Included

Guides

Expert, certified guides with wilderness first responder training

Accommodation

2 nights in backcountry campsites

Meals

All meals are taken care of

Transport

Transport between Central Manhattan and Harriman State Park

Equipment

All group camping kit including tents and sleeping mats

Permits

All entry fees and permits

Not Included

Travel to and from the start point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Central Manhattan

0645 on Day 1

Ends

Central Manhattan

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

Transfers

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.

Day 1

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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

Hiking

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

Hiking

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

Hiking

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.

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 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?

Bags

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

Clothes

  • 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

Other

  • 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)

Sleeping Bag Hire

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping Bag Hire

Per Person

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

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 for 2022 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. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

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 on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

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.

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