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Backpacker Magazine – November 2012

Trail Mix: Great November Hikes in the East

Your region's go-now guide: Explore New York City, hike four states in 24 hours, and perfect days in NC, GA, and NH.

by: Graham Averill (Max Patch), Nathan Pipenberg, and Rachel Zurer (Mt. Ascutney, New York City)

Yellow Birch in Harriman SP (Photo by Superstock/ AGE Fotostock)
Yellow Birch in Harriman SP (Photo by Superstock/ AGE Fotostock)
Mt. Ascutney (Photo by Tim Seaver)
Mt. Ascutney (Photo by Tim Seaver)

Bragging Rights
Four-State Challenge

Hike 42.9 miles on the AT in 24 hours, in the process traveling across the borders of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. It’s a rite of passage for many trail-hardened thru-hikers (especially the young guns), but you can get a leg up by tackling the rolling miles in cool weather and low-traffic season, rather than when most northbounders are passing through in spring. Tyler Schultz, a 2011 thru-hiker who returned to knock out the challenge after summiting Katahdin, recommends hiking the trail from north to south, so you can do the cliffy southern bit in daylight. Park a car in Harper’s Ferry at the intersection of Shenandoah Road and US 340. Take a second car to Pen-Mar Park in Waynesboro, PA, and get going before dawn (Schultz started at 3:30 a.m.). Near the end of the hike, you’ll pass your car before you get to the Virginia border. Don’t stop! To finish the challenge, cross the Shenandoah River and knock out 2.4 miles out-and-back on the AT/Loudoun Heights Trail to reach your fourth and final state line (Virginia). Trip ID 1903734

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