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Thread: 4 day backpacking trip in April?

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    Junior Member Faline's Avatar
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    4 day backpacking trip in April?

    Anyone know of a good 4 day backpacking trip that might be doable in April? (Ie.. not over the high peaks)..
    NYS, Vermont, NH, Maine.. ?

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faline View Post
    Anyone know of a good 4 day backpacking trip that might be doable in April? (Ie.. not over the high peaks)..
    NYS, Vermont, NH, Maine.. ?
    When in April? Makes a big difference! Late April you'll have some options (unless winter makes a comeback). Early April is a lot tougher...
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    Junior Member Faline's Avatar
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    early.. taking advantage of 5 days off around Easter...
    Thanks for any feedback. I know of the Pemi but probably wont head there.

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    Senior Member mirabela's Avatar
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    Some years it's pretty much out of the question anywhere in northern New England. If March does not see large accumulating snows, though, you might luck out. Four years ago we had a very early melt, and we did three days on the AT between the Main Junction (LT/AT split) and Hanover around the third week of April, and that was very nice. The trail generally stays near or below 2,000' in that stretch.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirabela View Post
    Some years it's pretty much out of the question anywhere in northern New England. If March does not see large accumulating snows, though, you might luck out. Four years ago we had a very early melt, and we did three days on the AT between the Main Junction (LT/AT split) and Hanover around the third week of April, and that was very nice. The trail generally stays near or below 2,000' in that stretch.
    This is the area I was going to suggest, actually. I've hiked in that area in April and it 's been nice (though we still hit some snow on Smart's Mountain).

    Faline - are you looking to do a loop, or a traverse?
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    Junior Member Faline's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'd have to do a loop which makes finding a route trickier. I'd rather not the hassle of trying to get a ride back to my car.

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    Junior Member Faline's Avatar
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    Maybe it makes more sense to do a AMC White mountain hut/snowshoe trip?

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faline View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'd have to do a loop which makes finding a route trickier. I'd rather not the hassle of trying to get a ride back to my car.
    Makes sense! I think the trickiest thing is managing water crossings. In April there will be still be snow melt and you will almost certainly run into some snow/ice at some point. A warm day and/or rain can making crossings harder/dangerous. Also, the forest roads will still be closed. How many miles/vertical are you looking to do each day? Are you looking to avoid road walks altogether? Do you prefer to stay at official campsites/shelters, or just camp wherever?
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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faline View Post
    Maybe it makes more sense to do a AMC White mountain hut/snowshoe trip?
    The general plan of attack for April is either stay high/on northern slopes, or stay low/southern slopes. Avoiding rotting snow makes for a better trip. It's probably best to come up with a couple plans and then watch the weather.
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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Have you considered southern New England or the Catskills? Not sure I could do four nights at Greylock or the South Taconics but you could do two at each and drive the 40 or so miles between the two. Both have one or two night loops with minimal repetition.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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    Senior Member roadtripper's Avatar
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    Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts should be doable this April. Not much snow this year.

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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Easter is the last Sunday in March so that, despite the relatively mild and dry winter, is still winter in the mountains and I'd suggest being prepared accordingly unless forecasts for the mountains at the time promises something drastically different. Keep in mind that it is the beginning of mud season when trips off the beaten path (highways), which are normally the best places, can be troublesome, if not impassable.

    You appear to have a variety of Northeast mountain experience so a bit more detail about your interests might help come up with suitable destinations. Is it a group? Are you interested in wildlife, scenic ponds or waterfalls or just getting out and stretching your legs? Of your 4 days out would you seek a base camp with day hikes from there, three different sites that eventually lead back to the car, or some combination of that?

    We are aware that everything in the Northeast is two hours from Sherbrook but what about Ottawa, how far are you willing to travel realistically? Strikes me that there are better seasons to do this if you, say, need to drive several hours to get to Maine or very far south in NH. As for AMC trips, it can be a good place to meet people and develop more experience but check it out even if that is not your objective. If some description catches your eye you might do it independently.

    My favorite places in Maine are off long gravel roads so I'd avoid that in mud season. The WMNF has some cabins that rent inexpensively and might be good base camps; Black Mountain, Doublehead Mountain and one right on the Kanc which has easy access to the many trails off the Kanc. Sawyer Pond has a leanto and tentsites and is another possible base camp especially accessible to Carrigain and Vose Spur as well as other hikes and bushwhacks.

    Enjoy whatever you decide on.

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    Junior Member Faline's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I'm mostly just looking to take advantage of 5 days off. (you're right-late March this year) So I'm open to whatever the best option is, given the less-than-ideal time of year.

    Being from Ottawa, I'm not sure what conditions are like further south.. I'm willing to drive 8 hours each way.

    I'm open to AMC huts in the snow; or sea-level no-snow backpacking.

    I was reading about those people injured in the Whites.. maybe I'm too late for winter hikes and too early for spring hikes...?
    Last edited by Faline; 03-16-2016 at 12:08 PM.

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