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  1. #11
    Senior Member louisfb's Avatar
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    If we went in April it would need to be the second week. April 7 - 11th. Not sure I could drive all night Sat night and hike Sunday but we could always meet there Sunday at Amicolola Falls State Park. ($5 to park you car in a safe lot) Doing the approach trail from the state park to the top of Springer where the AT starts would add an extra day but save a $50 shuttle fee. Springer to Neels is 32 miles. Figure 10 miles a day would be good on this part of the trail.

    --louis

  2. #12
    My 12 year old son and I did the approach trail to Neel's Gap a few weeks ago. 10-12 miles a day isn't too bad.

  3. #13
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisfb View Post
    If we went in April it would need to be the second week. April 7 - 11th. Not sure I could drive all night Sat night and hike Sunday but we could always meet there Sunday at Amicolola Falls State Park. ($5 to park you car in a safe lot) Doing the approach trail from the state park to the top of Springer where the AT starts would add an extra day but save a $50 shuttle fee. Springer to Neels is 32 miles. Figure 10 miles a day would be good on this part of the trail.

    --louis
    Pulled my Pocket Profile of the area, and it looks like it wouldn't be too hard to do in a 3 to 4 day trip. Figure the approach trail (which, admittedly, I've heard bad things about; it's ~2000 ft of climb in eight miles or so) would be the first day (Sunday), ending at Springer. Honestly, I'd prefer to eat the $50 and just take the shuttle to the top, but...

    Day two (Monday) we'd be able to either go to Hawk Mt. Shelter (7.8 miles), Justus Creek (13.8 miles), or Gooch Mountain (15.1 miles). Personally, I'd vote for Justus Creek; it seems pretty easily doable, especially after a day to stretch my legs first.

    Assuming we start at Justus Creek on day three (Tuesday), we could hike to Gooch Mountain Shelter (1.3 miles), Woods Hole Shelter (13.2 miles), Slaughter Creek (13.7 miles), or Blood Mountain Shelter (no water; 14.5 miles). Personally, I'd vote for Slaughter Creek, as it has water and is the smallest hike out on day four (Wednesday).

    Assuming we start at Slaughter Creek on day four (Wednesday), we would have a 3.3 mile hike to Neels Gap and then either get in the car (if parking is available at the Byron Reece trail head and we shuttle from one car to the other on the first day), call a shuttle (not sure who offers them there), or possibly get parking at Goose Creek Campground and then hike the 3.5 mile road walk down to retrieve the car.


    ~~


    If we skip the approach trail and start at Springer, our options change a bit.

    The first day (Sunday), we can do a short hike to Three Forks campground (4.3 miles, mostly downhill), Hawk Mountain shelter (7.8 miles), or Justus Creek (13.8 miles). Personally, I'd vote for Hawk Mountain, just to get our legs under us and ensure that we have enough daylight after shuttling cars and such.

    Assuming we start at Hawk Mountain, day two (Monday) has the options of Justus Creek (6 miles), Gooch Mountain (7.3 miles), Gooch Gap (8.7 miles), Woody Gap (12.3 miles), or Jarrard Gap (17.9 miles). Personally, I'd vote for Gooch Gap or one of the mountains directly thereafter (to avoid the traffic flowing through Woody Gap)--the issue is that my Pocket Profile is showing a stretch without water from Gooch Gap to Woody Gap. Don't know if you want to camp away from water or not.

    Assuming we start at Gooch Gap on day three (Tuesday), we could hike to Woods Hole Shelter (10.5 miles), Slaughter Creek (11 miles), Blood Mountain Shelter (no water; 11.8 miles), Flatrock Gap (13.2 miles), or even Neels Gap (14.2 miles) itself.

    Anyway, that's what it looks like right now. Thoughts?
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  4. #14
    Senior Member louisfb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post

    If we skip the approach trail and start at Springer, our options change a bit.

    The first day (Sunday), we can do a short hike to Three Forks campground (4.3 miles, mostly downhill), Hawk Mountain shelter (7.8 miles), or Justus Creek (13.8 miles). Personally, I'd vote for Hawk Mountain, just to get our legs under us and ensure that we have enough daylight after shuttling cars and such.

    Assuming we start at Hawk Mountain, day two (Monday) has the options of Justus Creek (6 miles), Gooch Mountain (7.3 miles), Gooch Gap (8.7 miles), Woody Gap (12.3 miles), or Jarrard Gap (17.9 miles). Personally, I'd vote for Gooch Gap or one of the mountains directly thereafter (to avoid the traffic flowing through Woody Gap)--the issue is that my Pocket Profile is showing a stretch without water from Gooch Gap to Woody Gap. Don't know if you want to camp away from water or not.

    Assuming we start at Gooch Gap on day three (Tuesday), we could hike to Woods Hole Shelter (10.5 miles), Slaughter Creek (11 miles), Blood Mountain Shelter (no water; 11.8 miles), Flatrock Gap (13.2 miles), or even Neels Gap (14.2 miles) itself.

    Anyway, that's what it looks like right now. Thoughts?
    I am fine with skipping the approach as I have done it on a day hike before and it was bad enough without having 20lbs strapped to my back. Hawk Mtn sounds good on day 1. I think I would plan for either a longer hike on day 2 or planning to hike a short bit on day 4 before catching the shuttle back from Neels. Last year there was a bear canister requirement some where in that section as well. I need to check and see if that is still in effect.

    --louis

    --louis

  5. #15
    Senior Member louisfb's Avatar
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    Here it is from the ATC site:

    Georgia

    Bear canisters seasonally required for camping between Jarrard Gap and Neel Gap
    A new U.S. Forest Service rule requires approved bear-resistant storage containers for overnight camping on a 5-mile stretch of the A.T. in the Chattahoochee National Forest between Jarrard Gap and Neel Gap, between March 1 and June 1 each year. This stretch is located between points 26.7 and 31.7 miles north of the southern terminus of the A.T. at Springer Moutain, Georgia, and includes Woods Hole Shelter, Slaughter Creek Campsite, and Blood Mountain Shelter. “Bear canisters” should be used to store food, food containers, garbage and toiletries. For more information, call the Chattahoochee - Oconee National Forest at (770) 297-3000.


    We may just want to not camp in this section so we don't have to carry a canister.

    --louis

  6. #16
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info on the bear cans. I think we'd be best served by avoiding camp thereabouts, as well.

    If we pushed on further the second day, and camped at Jarrard Gap, just before the road, we would be outside the required area (for obvious reasons, hanging our food would be a good idea). That'd be a big 17.9 miles that day, but it would set us up for a short 5-mile hike out.


    Or...we could hike to Rock Spring Top (6.8 miles) and camp there that night if we wanted to extend things and then hike back to Neels on day four (2.8 miles). It would avoid the bear can requirement.
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  7. #17
    Senior Member louisfb's Avatar
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    I am thinking:

    Day 1: Hawk Mountian
    Day 2: Woody Gap (Or the general area)
    Day 3: Neels

    I will check my guide when I get home. I don't know how busy it will be there but we will be in the tail end of the bubble that time of the year.

    --louis

  8. #18
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Seems okay to me. Nice, easy pace (assuming we can either get a ride from the outfitter at Neels or park one of the cars there).
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  9. #19
    UrsaMajor1887's Avatar
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    Interesting. I have been wanting to do the GA section (well the whole thing, but that won't happen any time soon). When the dates are set in stone, I'll consider.
    "When you see something wobble, push it."
    - Unknown

  10. #20
    Senior Member louisfb's Avatar
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    I will confer with the boss (wife) on the dates if FLRider thinks they will work for him.

    As for parking a car at Neel's, there is a lot a little north of there but I hear it fills quickly on the weekend. The other option is to get a shuttle from Neel's back to Amacolola Falls. I don't think you can park at Mountain Crossings at Neel's Gap.

    The parking near Neels is at the Byron Reece Trailhead. http://www.georgiatrails.com/gt/Byro...e_Access_Trail We could meet at this parking lot early Sunday morning and catch a shuttle back to Springer.



    --louis
    Last edited by louisfb; 02-12-2013 at 15:32.

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