But in hiking circles, a flip flop actually refers to an alternate method of completing a long distance trail. That is - not going from end to end but rather hiking the trail by alternate starting and end points.
The trails are getting busier. Already there are rumors of over 3000 starting the Appalachian Trail down in Georgia this year. And that number will likely increase as Hollywood makes known the trial
|I finished my southbound hike at Harper's Ferry. It was great.|
For most AT hikers, the flip flop normally consists of jumping off at Harper's Ferry, WV for the trip north. The hiker hikes to Katahdin, returns to Harper's Ferry and heads south during the fall season for a finish at Springer Mnt, usually round early November. A flip flop has the advantage of not only missing the huge masses of thru hikers flowing from GA but also the enjoyment of seeing the trail in good weather, usually without the snows, cold, and other issues. And great fall colors in the south if you end there.
Some other alternate ways for a flip flop hike are as follows (from the ATC website)
Harpers Ferry, W.Va., north to Katahdin; Harpers Ferry, W.Va., south to Springer Mountain.
HEAD-START FROM DAMASCUS, VIRGINA NORTHDamascus, Va., north to Katahdin; Damascus, Va., south to Springer Mountain.
Summary:Allows you to start earlier than some options, but you can expect cold weather much of he first month, and a solitary hike on the final leg southbound from Damascus.
Recommended Itinerary: Start in Damascus mid-April, hike north to climb Katahdin mid-September; resume hiking south third week of September, finish on Springer Mountain beginning of November.
HEAD-START FROM NY/CT NORTHSouthern New England north to Katahdin; southern New England south to Springer Mountain.
CLASSIC FLIP-FLOPSpringer Mountain north to Harpers Ferry, W.Va.; Katahdin south to Harpers Ferry.
More Information on the Hiker Festival:
Appalachian Trail Conservancy Flip Flop Kick-Off Weekend