New York City Commuter Appalachian Trail Primer

If you have ever dreamed of hiking the 2190 mile long Appalachian Trail, that runs from Georgia to Maine, the Fall Foliage season is a great time to check it out. Popularized by Bill Bryson in A Walk in the Woods, many hundreds of people attempt a thru-hike every year, but most don't succeed. The most popular reason: It wasn't what they expected.

If you are curious what hiking the Appalachian Trail is all about and want to get an idea of what it entails, this is the trip for you. We will teach you everything you need to know to undertake a thru-hike of the AT.

As a bonus, this trip is specifically targeted towards New York City residents (although residence is certainly not a requirement). If you live in New York and don't have a car, no worries! We meet near Grand Central Station, take the train to the trail, hike and take the commuter train back to the city.

End the prime hiking season with adventure! See a conveniently located, wild and beautiful landscape and lose weight, or more accurately improve body composition, and give the AT a try.


The Appalachian Trail Fitpacking Primer will be from September 21-28, 2013. Here is the proposed itinerary.

Your hike will cover a 50+ mile segment of the Appalachian Trail, starting from the infamous Appalachian Trail Commuter Rail stop and returning via the Manitou Commuter Rail stop. In between, expect to run into many actual thru-hikers who are "flip-flopping".


The Appalachian trail is well-marked and well maintained by a large group of volunteers. Water is usually reliable, but terrain can be rocky. Elevation changes are moderate and mileages are average so this trip is rated moderately difficult.


Weather is always an important consideration when backpacking. Fortunately, the end of September on the AT in New York State usually finds temperatures ranging in the 60s and 70s with low humidity. Please come prepared for the possibility of freezing temperatures at night and rain. Here is the historical September weather

Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg, lives in Hull, MA and has many years of backpacking experience over a variety of terrains and guides most Fitpacking trips. He is a SOLO certified Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer, and Certified Food Handler.

Jeff Wagner lives in Roswell, GA and thru-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail in 2008 (Trail Name: Jukebox). He guided the 2010 Shenandoah National Park, the 2011 100 Mile Wilderness and the 2011 & 2012 AT Primer Fitpacking trips.

Equipment List

Here is a list of equipment we suggest you bring. The list is extensive and can seem daunting, but please don't let this deter you from the trip. You can rent top notch quality gear for reasonable prices from Traverse Outfitters, Lower Gear or Outdoors Geek. It may also be possible for us to provide some gear for you at a nominal fee if you let us know far ahead of the trip. Unfortunately, we're not in the gear business so the selection of our available inventory is unpredictable. Please feel free to discuss any gear with us before the trip.


We don't believe in austere eating regimens. Backpacking is a rigorous, rewarding activity. You must feed your body in order for it perform. Your body will dictate that you eat often, so it's important to have fuel to feed it. Please check out the sample menus. This list is not comprehensive and may be altered or augmented. If you want to bring personal food, say a 5 pound chocolate cake, go for it. You'll not only hate carrying it over 50 miles through the woods, your body will reject the empty calories and prefer nutritious food.


$925 per person. This includes body composition analysis, commuter rail transportation to/from the trail, all meals eaten on the trail, permits, fees and 2 awesome guides.

Any restaurant meals eaten off the trail are your responsibility. This generally means 2 dinners and any hotel or parking charges for leaving your car in Manhattan all week.