Late flip-flop 2020


Hi all,

My flip-flop hike was originally intended to start NOBO at Rockfish Gap in mid to late April. But things change and now I am having a late start (late-May/Early-June).
After some consideration, I believe that starting NOBO in New York (the train stop near Pawling) will be the best alternative.That should still have me summitting Katahdin in late-July/early-August), and flipping back to NY to finish at Springer in November.


  • ahead of the NOBO bubble
  • easier beginning than traditional SOBO, allowing me to get my trail legs
  • warmer start in NY than SOBO from ME in June
  • not fighting for thru-hiker spots in White Mountains huts in July
  • most of the NOBO bubble should have passed NY (or be spread out enough not to worry) by the time I flip in August
  • should join up with the SOBOs heading south
  • reach VA in late August after the hottest months


  • will only be seeing the faster NOBOs and unlikely to create any lasting tramily
  • the NY start is more difficult, and with longer distances between camping sites and lean-tos than further south
  • Smoky Mountains roads start closing in late-Oct
  • hiking more uphill than downhill (as my flip-flop start is close to the lowest point on trail)
  • ???

Hiking “with” other people is not my idea of fun, although I will probably appreciate familiar faces in the evenings as time wears on. This is one reason why I want to start further north, as the bubble should have reached Shenandoah by end May, and I really don’t want to fight for space.
By the time I am SOBO, I should be fast enough to keep up with some of the SOBOs and establish some connections then.
I really don’t see many down sides to this.

Feedback welcome from people who know the AT.


I may see you up there about the same time. My itinerary has me there about the first of June.
Good Luck and Happy Trails.

1 Like

Yes. I’m looking forward to finally meeting up.
If I start before you get there, you are sure to catch up.


Covid-19 has everything messed up.


Since ATC suggested Flip-Floppers not start their hike because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, I postponed starting April 26th. I’m considering doing the Southern half, from Harpers Ferry to Springer, beginning in September and then doing from Harpers Ferry to Katahdin next year.