So in my previous post you guys got to read about my first of four thru hikes happening in 2015, The Benton MacKaye Trail. Now, on to hike #2 - The Finger Lakes Trail!
The Finger Lakes Trail runs approximately 560 miles from Allegheny to the Catskills across the southern part of New York State. (I’ve seen figures ranging from 546 to 558, so approximately 560 is what you’ll hear from me!) We are planning to hike this trail eastbound from Allegheny to the Catskills. Large parts of this trail actually use the same footpath as the North Country National Scenic Trail, which is 4600 miles from North Dakota to the Adirondacks in New York. We chose this trail for a variety of reasons - it’s close to home so we can save money on hotels, traveling, and resupply being the main one.
If you’ve followed this blog in the past year you know that we’ve done a lot of really enjoyable hiking on the Finger Lakes Trail, especially recently. This trail is well-loved and incredibly well-maintained by individuals and even the Adirondack Mountain Club on the branch trails. We have done a lot of hiking on the branch trails as well, which total nearly 400 miles! For an end-to-end hike, however, only the main Finger Lakes Trail has to be completed.
I think this trail will be the most difficult of the four trails we have for logistics and planning. I have purchased the end-to-ender’s guide from the Finger Lakes Trail Conference already, but we’ll definitely needs maps and we’re planning on helping to make a more cohesive guide book for future hikers after this trek. This trail is also going to be the longest of the four we are planning on hiking at nearly 5 weeks of active hiking time, so getting resupply boxes and bounce boxes together will be crucial, if not for nutrition, but also for reasons of being rural and in towns that aren’t quite used to thru hikers like some of the other long distance trails we have hiked in the past.
I’m very much looking forward to hiking across New York State, which is very much like hiking across the greener parts of Pennsylvania or northern Virginia. New York in the south is surprisingly beautiful and not as rugged as Upstate in the Adirondacks. Stay tuned next week for announcement number 3!