The early bird gets the worm. The second mouse gets the cheese. Folks who hike in winter get the snow on the Appalachian Trail.
If you're prepared, hiking in the glorious solitude of winter can be breathtaking. If you're not prepared, it can be life-threatening.
Facebook posts about newbies hitting the Trail in the winter are scary.
Please. Master simple before you try fancy. Don't be be like the hiker lost in the snow in North Carolina who had to be rescued.
[He] was an experienced hiker but became disoriented due to the extreme weather. Although exposed to the cold and elements, he was uninjured. Snow amounts were close to 24 inches during the search.
Seems he didn't check the weather forecast. Our friends at Nantahala Lodge put it best:
Every year when we drag someone out of the wintry snow, their first words are "that they did not think that the Southern Mountains would be so cold." If you use the word Mountain [to describe your trip] and it's in the middle of winter, at some point in your hike it's going to be cold.
To check the weather on the Trail -- before you go and along your way -- hit: ATWeather.org.
Enjoy the snow on the Appalachian Trail. Have a snowball fight with the bears. Live it up! Just be safe, please.
So no one has to rescue you.
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Finding ways to do Trail Magic -- random kindness toward Appalachian Trail thru-hikers -- is easy at Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire.
Published Jan 20, 2016. Snow in Georgia Heading Up the Appalachian Trail
Published Apr 11, 2013.
Published Nov 3, 2016. In Baxter State Park, the end of the Appalachian Trail, a foot of snow has fallen. However, trails to Katahdin are not absolutely closed for 2016.