I have hiked some of the AT. I have done all of CT and VT, and some of MA and NY. Its great. I am fortunate to live within a short drive to some access points to the AT. I learned from doing weekend trips, but my advice to someone who has a long journey just to get to the trail is be prepared way in advance (which you are obviously are starting to do).
There are a ton of resources for which you can get info. Unless you sit down with a person who has heavy experience, you have to do your research homework and build upon that
.maps, supplies list, Emergency preparedness..etc.
the AT site http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c. ... 3/Home.htm
This site may also help http://www.fred.net/kathy/at.html
. They have good resources to start with.
The trail has many entrance/exit points. This gives you the opportunity to plan between points, and be able to get more supplies etc. Some people locate post offices along route and have supplies waiting, some people plan on going to designated stores on certain exits
.and on and on.. Again, there is way to much to list here.
One thing I will say is you will meet some VERY nice people. Some days you will see NO ONE. You can obtain a map that locates lean-tos along route. In the shelters, there is generally a log book, and it is very interesting to read some of the stories at night. I read one where a guy broke his leg, and he was waiting for days until a trail monitor (volunteer) came upon him, most stories are more positive though. When you meet someone, you will know right away if they are new or a veteran of the trail. Either way, they always have advice.
You will really enjoy your time. Just plan way in advance. There is really a lot of specific information for people like you. Dig and youll find it. Hope you enjoy it, stay safe.