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Discussion Starter #1
I live rather close to Michaux State Forest and have always wanted to hike some of the appalachian trail but have just never done it and doing some research i figured starting close to home would be a good place to start. I have done camping trips in my youth as a boy scout an i really miss it an want to start again, my problem however is i usually work mon to fri an only have the weekends off so it limits my trips to just weekend getaways. So down to the question that requires an answer if i were to hike the appalachian trail in Michaux State Forest where would be a good place to start tht would only take say an over night trip to complete? I know everyone is different so im asking a general idea so i can get a basis of how far i can hike in a day to judge my longer trips in the future. Im 25 in fairly good shape, have plenty of camping supplies and up for the challenge. Any information will be great.
 

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I did about 30 miles leaving Friday night and hiking till noon on Sunday. We did 4 to 5 miles the first night, a little over 15 second day and then about 8 or 9 on Sunday. Definitely wouldn't do the 15 on Saturday again that was a bit rough for the first time. I'm not familiar with the area but from personal experience if you want to do a two nighter I would suggest about 25 miles and if you only was to do an overnighter I would keep it shorter than 20 probably closer to 15. That's just my .02
 

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I have a cabin off the AT and hike it all the time in Michaux Forest. If your looking for a 1 nighter (starting Saturday morning), you can park at the AT and Shippensburg Road. Hike south to Guarry Gap Shelter. (about 10 miles and not much of an elevation change) Stay the night there and next day hike south to Caledonia State Park (2.5 miles). Just have to have someone pick you up and drive you back to your car. I just did that hike with my sister last fall. You could start Friday night and hike to Birch Run Shelter (about 1 mile off Shippensburg Road) and then hike to Guarry Gap Shelter on Saturday. I've also hiked to Birch Run Shelter starting at Michaux Road and AT over Christmas break 2 years ago and last Christmas break hiked from Rt 72 south to Susquehanna River Bridge for a 2 night hike about 30 miles (got in the mid teens for temperature over night). Did that with 3 other guys and my sister. If your doing it in the summer hope you take a tent. The shelters fill up fast with weekend, section, and thru hikers. Looking to thru hike the AT with my sister starting March 2016 when we both retire. Once you get used to it you can take a big hike and hike the Black Forest Trail in norther PA. A tough hike.
If you want PM me and maybe we can meet up sometime in the future. I also help maintain the Blue Trail from Toms Run Shelter up and over Sunset Rocks back to the the AT, about 2.4 miles. You should go and buy the 2014 AT Guide Book. It will tell you mileage, camp sites, shelters, road crossings and water sources. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was more interested in the primitive camping not saying at shelters more throwing up a small tent or hammock with a bug net. I bought a nice camping pack almost like 9 years ago when me and a old highschool friend had the idea we were going to start hike the AT trail and then never did, so its in perfect unused condition figured i would need a small sleeping bag also. Im going to try just weekend trips to figure out my speed before trying any longer trips with work and all cant afford to misjudge a weekend trip into 3 or 4 days. The AT book you mentioned ill have to look that up it sounds like it would be worth it. Any other information that would be helpful to a greenhorn other then packing light learned that years ago on hikes up the mountain in hunting season.
 

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There are spots along the trail that you can stealth camp. Just need to keep a nice water supply with you.
 
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