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NYC Commuter Trip, NY

Aug 19 - Aug 25, 2021 -- $1150 ★★★

If you have ever dreamed of hiking the 2190 mile long Appalachian Trail, that runs from Georgia to Maine but have never been on the trail, consider joining us in August to see what it's like. Popularized by Bill Bryson in A Walk in the Woods, thousands 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 about what hiking the Appalachian Trail is like and want to get an idea of what it entails, this is the trip for you. Along the way, we will teach you things you should 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 -- or you're just visiting -- no worries! We meet at or near Grand Central Station (TBD), take the train to the trail, hike and take the commuter train back to the city.

Even if you just live in New York City and want to get out of town for a week, join us for a fun backpacking adventure. Our hike will cover a 50+ mile segment of the Appalachian Trail, starting from the infamous Appalachian Trail Metro North Commuter Rail stop and returning via the Hudson Line back to Grand Central Station. In between, expect to run into the later stage thru-hikers who are on their way to Maine.


Weather is always an important consideration when backpacking. Fortunately, August on the AT in New York State is warm with temperatures ranging in the 60s through 80s during the day and 50s and 60s at night. Please come prepared for the possibility of 40s at night or 90s with high humidity and a good possibly bugs (including ticks) or rain. Here is the historical August weather

Probable Trip Leaders

Don Johnson
Chris Frey


$1150 per person. You will be responsible for transportation to and from Grand Central Station as well as personal equipment restaurant meals and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 6 days of trail meals, commuter rail tickets to/from the trail, permits, campground fees and awesome guides.


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.


We will shake down your pack / equipment via email, Zoom, Skype or Facetime. You will send us lists and photos and we will make sure you are outfitted properly for this trip when you show up at Grand Central Station.

As this is an Appalachian Trail primer, you have the option of cooking your own meals on this trip with our guidance should you want to learn how to do these things yourself. You can bring your stove of choice and fuel if you are not flying. We will be able to provide Coleman Fuel / White Fuel, denatured alcohol, unleaded fuel or iso-butane if you let us know in advance. However, we will prepare all meals group-style should you prefer not to hassle with your own set-up. Plan to treat your own water. At (or near) Grand Central, we'll distribute food bags and trail mix / trail bars for you to carry.

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Arrive at Grand Central Station Railroad Terminal by 7AM with your pack fully packed (including water).

Alternate: Meet the guides at a hotel (TBD) near Grand Central at 7AM

Have a welcome continental breakfast (provided) and introduction

"Before" measurements taken

Body temperature taken to check for possible Covid fever

We will distribute food bags, group equipment and trail mix.

Take the 9:10AM Metro North Harlem train (#9619) towards Pawling

At 10:54AM deboard at the Southeast stop

At 11:05AM board another train (#9919) at the Southeast stop

At 11:22AM deboard the train at the Appalachian Trail stop

Begin the hike at the Appalachian Trail Platform, elevation 480’

Hike 3.0 miles to Telephone Pioneers Shelter, elevation 910'

Camp at Telephone Pioneers Shelter, elevation 910'

Today’s mileage: 3.0. Total miles: 3.0

Possible bailout: Appalachian Trail Railroad Station

Friday, August 20, 2021

Hike 2.8 miles to Nuclear Lake, elevation 760'

Hike 1.7 miles to NY55, elevation 720'

Hike 3.3 uphill miles to Morgan Stewart Shelter, elevation 1285'

Camp at Morgan Stewart Shelter (w/water pump), elevation 1285'

Miles today: 7.8. Total miles: 10.8

Possible bailout NY 55

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Hike 3.9 miles to NY 52, Stormville, elevation 800'

Hike 5.1 miles to RPH Shelter, Hortontown Rd., elevation 350'

Camp at RPH Shelter, Hortontown Rd., elevation 350'

Note: RPH Shelter is the only concrete sheleter on all of the 2190 mile Appalachian Trail. In 2012, we were fortunate enough to safely stay in this shelter during Hurricane Sandy.

Miles today: 9.0. Total miles: 19.8

Possible bailout: NY 52 or Hortontown Rd.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Hike 1.3 miles to Shenandoah Tenting Area, elevation 905'

Hike 5.7 miles to Clarence Fahnestock State Park, elevation 900'

Camp at Clarence Fahnestock State Park, elevation 900'

Today’s miles: 7.0. Total miles: 26.8.

Possible bailout: NY 301 or Hortontown Rd.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Hike 3.7 miles to Dennytown Rd., elevation 830'

Hike 3.7 miles to Canopus Hill Rd., Elevation 420'

Hike 0.1 miles to a reliable brook, Elevation 350'

Dispersed camp at undesignated site, practicing Leave No Trace

Today’s miles: 7.5. Total miles 34.2.

Possible bailout: Dennytown Rd.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Hike 4.3 miles to Graymoor Spiritual Life Center, elevation 515'

Hike 0.6 miles to US 9, Peekskill, elevation 400'

Hike 3.6 miles to Hemlock Springs Campsite, elevation 550'

Camp at Hemlock Springs Campsite, elevation 550'

Today’s miles: 8.5. Total miles: 42.7

Possible bailout: US Route 9

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Hike 2.2 miles to Bear Mountain Bridge (Purple Heart Memorial Brige) over the Hudson River

At an elevation of 124', this is the lowest point on the 2190 mile Applachian Trail.

Option A: Hike 2.6 uphill miles to the summit of Bear Mountain, elevation 1305'

Option B: Drop packs and day-hike 5.2 round trip miles to the summit of Bear Mountain, elevation 1305'

Option C: Walk 5.0 miles along New York Route 202 / 9D to the Peekskill Metro-North Commuter Rail Station

Option D: Take an Uber / Lyft / Cab to the Peekskill Metro-North Commuter Rail Station (included in trip cost)

End of hiking portion of the trip

Today’s miles: 12.4. Total miles: 55.1

Trip ends without having taken showers [we are looking for options to get you a shower in Peekskill]

Board any of the Metro-North Hudson Line Commuter Trains that leave every hour at 35 minutes after the hour on the Hudson Line

Dinner and awards Ceremony in Grand Central Terminal (Dinner not included in trip cost)

Despite what it says below, there is no hotel

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This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.