Friday, September 16, 2011

Appalachian Trail -- for 5 Days?

Hey There!

My husband and I are interested in the AT road trip for mid-October. What is the recommended time for the trip, there and back? We have 5 days off, do you think this would be enough to get up and down, with minimal stopping to tour places? Thanks for your help!



Hey there Amanda --

Mid-October is an excellent time for the Appalachian Trail road trip, especially for the more southern portions (New England hits its "fall color" peak in late Sept / early Oct, but the Blue Ridge should be at its gorgeous peak a couple weeks later...) The exact dates of the fall foliage season vary every year, depending upon the weather, so check things out before you set off; one good starting point for info is the Weather Channel website:

Depending upon where you are starting your road trip, you could definitely see a lot in 5 days -- though I think you might have to do some freeway driving, there or coming back, to get to all the great places. The good thing is that, near the mountains, even the Interstates aren't too bad -- I-81 through the Shenandoah Valley is one of the country's most beautiful drives.

But do be aware that some of the mountain-top roads, like the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, and the wonderful Blue Ridge Parkway, make you take it slow, with speed limits as low as 35mph. And wherever you go, be sure to get you of the car and do some walking, otherwise it can all just start to blur together.

Hope you have a great trip!

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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