Road trip down the Appalachian Trail (1 Week)

With over 2,000 miles of hiking trails, there are plenty of opportunities to hop out of the car and explore the outdoors along the Appalachian Trail.

  • 31
  • 42:33
  • 2,298 mi
  • $290
Take This Trip

Created by MorganCark - April 24th 2016

The historic Appalachian trail is the world's longest, continuously-marked trail. With over 2,000 miles of hiking trails, there are plenty of opportunities to hop out of the car and explore the outdoors. The trail starts in Maine and then winds down through fourteen states, and officially ends in Georgia. Some people prepare for months to actually hike the entire length of the trail, which has been around since the 1920s, and is a permanent part of America's hiking heritage. But, it's also pretty fun to drive the Trail, which is divided into three major sections: New England, Mid-Atlantic, and the Southern Appalachias. The New England stretch of the trail takes you from Maine to New Hampshire, a bit of Vermont, and Connecticut. The Mid-Atlantic states include New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. Then you'll hit the Southern Appalachias, which include Virginia and West Virginia, then over to Tennessee and down to North Carolina and Georgia.

Laconia, NH, US

Date: June 29, 2016

1
7mi 00h 14m

Rt 112, Lincoln, NH, US

Kancamangus Highway

1
2
13mi 00h 20m

894 Rt 106 N, Belmont, NH, US

Jordan's Ice Creamery

2

Date: June 30, 2016

3
57mi 01h 26m

Wells Beach, ME, US

3

Date: July 1, 2016

4
96mi 02h 12m
Photo of Crawford Notch State Park
4.3

Crawford Notch Road, NH, US

Crawford Notch State Park

4

Date: June 30, 2016

Next up, is Crawford Notch State Park. This 5,700-acre park has loads of hiking trails, a few waterfalls and insanely gorgeous mountain views. There's also a campground onsite. And a little ways down the road is Gifford Woods State Forest Park, which also features Appalachian trail camping.

5
34mi 00h 40m

852 Daniel Webster Hwy, Lincoln, NH, US

Flume Gorge

5

Date: June 30, 2016

6
9mi 00h 10m

Franconia, NH, US

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7
249mi 04h 12m
Photo of Bash Bish Falls State Park
4.5

Falls Rd. Mt. Washington State Forest, MA, US

Bash Bish Falls State Park

7

Date: July 1, 2016

Over in Hancock, MA is the historic Hancock Shaker Village, which was established in 1791, and Bash Bish Falls State Park, home to Massachusetts' highest single-drop waterfall.

8
257mi 04h 49m
Photo of Red Caboose Motel & Restaurant
3.6

312 Paradise Ln, Ronks, PA, US

Red Caboose Motel & Restaurant

FastBook
$

Click to discover a
great deal!

8

Date: July 2, 2016

For a quirkier place to sleep, there's the Red Caboose Motel & Restaurant in Ronks, PA, which is located on 10 acres in Amish Country. Here you can sleep in a historic train car and caboose, which comes with flat-screen TVs, and some come with their own private deck. There's also an onsite country restaurant, petting zoo and buggy rides are also offered. Be warned, the Red Caboose Motel closes in winter.

9
0mi 00h 01m

301 Gap Rd, Ronks, PA, US

Strasburg Rail Road

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10
38mi 00h 51m

100 W Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA, US

Hersheypark

10

Date: July 3, 2016

11
52mi 00h 60m

1120 Pine Grove Rd, Gardners, PA, US

Appalachian Trail Museum

11

Date: July 3, 2016

Next up is the Appalachian Trail Museum in Gardners, PA, which has been dedicated to protecting the legends and stories of the community of hikers who work to preserve and protect the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail, since its creation in 1923. The museum is located along Pennsylvania’s Pine Grove Furnace State Park. The museum itself was built over two hundred years ago, and at that time was used as a grist mill. Today it’s across from one of the most famous points of the Appalachian Trail, the Pine Grove General Store, which is traditionally the half-way mark, and where hikers stop to attempt the famous ritual of trying to eat half a gallon of ice cream in one sitting. Today the museum currently exhibits over 13,000 images of hikers who have passed though the area over the years, and they also have a trail shelter built by famous hiking legend Earl Shafer. In 1948 Shafer was the first person to hike the entire trail and has gone down in hiker glory.

12
22mi 00h 37m
Photo of Gettysburg National Military Park
5.0

1195 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA, US

Gettysburg National Military Park

12

Date: July 4, 2016

From Gardners, head south to Gettysburg. Gettysburg National Military Park is probably the most important battlefield in America, commemorating the turning point of the Civil War. There's so many exhibits and a fantastic driving tour of the park. Plus, Gettysburg is a beautiful historic town to spend the day.

13
21mi 00h 24m

15, Thurmont, MD, US

Cunningham Falls State Park

13

Date: July 7, 2016

If you want to get out to stretch your legs, head to Cunningham Falls State Park in Thurmont, MD, which is home to a 78-foot tall cascading waterfall, Maryland's largest. Washington Monument State Park in Middletown features a 34-foot tall monument, and is just 4 miles from the town of Boonsboro, another great town to visit while on the Appalachian Trail.

14
68mi 01h 17m
15
26mi 00h 38m

Lothian, Maryland, United States

15

Date: July 4, 2016

16
14mi 00h 21m

Annapolis, MD, US

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17
90mi 01h 30m
Photo of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
4.5

171 Shoreline Dr, Harpers Ferry, WV, US

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

17

Date: July 8, 2016

Then drive down to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, located smack dab where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet. This historic town has hiking and a charming downtown district that will make you feel like you're stepping back in time to the 1800s.

18
0mi 00h 03m

1290 W Washington St, Harpers Ferry, WV, US

Anvil Restaurant

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19
43mi 00h 60m

Skyline Drive, Luray, VA, US

Skyline Drive

19

Date: July 6, 2016

Another must-stop along the route is the 110-mile Skyline Drive, which runs the entire length of Shenandoah National Park, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL: The best time to drive down the Appalachian Trail is in the fall. Many places are seasonal along the route, and some are closed in winter, also some roads will be closed seasonally as well. Summer can be hot, but autumn is pretty much perfect. From September through mid-November the leaves will be changing and provide a gorgeous backdrop to your journey.