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  1. #1

    Georgia AT trip planning help

    I really need some help planning a Georgia Appalachian Trail hike in March. I will be leaving out of Tampa, Florida and would like to do a 3 day 2 night hike (and hang obviously). I would like to limit the daily mileage to 6-7 miles so I can go at a nice scenic leisurely pace. My only other requirement is that there be some sort of water source along the way that I can filter/boil/UV blast, etc.

    I would prefer to take 1 car, but can take 2 if necessary.

    My plan is to leave FL on a Thursday morning and spend Thursday night either in a campground or a mile or so into the trail off in the backcountry somewhere. From there I would do a full hike Fri, Sat, and Sun.

    If anyone has any advice or can help it would be great. I am completely lost and will be going around the middle of March (14-15th).

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    First off...your trip sounds really exciting! So if you're wanting to hike the AT for your whole trip, I think your best bet is to purchase one of the AT thru-hiking guides. There are many guides to choose from, but off the top of my head (and I'm sure others will recommend more guides), the ALDHA Thru-Hiker's Companion has everything you need to know about the AT from Georgia to Maine. By "everything" I mean mileage, water sources, nearby town features, road crossings, etc. You would be able to see what is possible mileage-wise as compared to water sources which to me was always the main factor in planning where I camped.

    You can download an e-copy of the guide for $8.00 I think here:

    http://www.aldha.org/comp_pdf.htm

    This way, you can see which section has what you need for the time frame and mileage you want to hike.

    Also, the guide lists hostels in the area and if you start from the Springer Mountain area, then you've got a few choices for shuttles so you would only need 1 car.
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  3. #3
    Thanks! I'll have to check that out. I was planning on buying a guide and a detailed map eventually anyways so I'll buy it now. I wanted to get an idea from people who have done something similar, because I've discovered from my previous hikes that reality is never like the trail maps!

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    Boy that's the truth...trail maps so often show a little "climb" and like 2 hours later you're cussing while throwing your pack up a cliff! Because the AT is so popular, you'll have no problem finding the info you need in the guidebooks.
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  5. #5
    New Member Green Giant's Avatar
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    Georgia AT trip planning help

    Sounds like a cool trip. That date is the "official opening" of the AT in GA, so there will likely be others to meet/hike with. The trail in GA is beautiful, but can be a bit tough. There is A LOT of water on the section that you will be walking on, and you should have no trouble with the pace you are planning. I think you will cross water at least 10 times in those two days. There are several well marked shelters and camp areas along the way- but you can hang anywhere you like.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Giant View Post
    Sounds like a cool trip. That date is the "official opening" of the AT in GA, so there will likely be others to meet/hike with. The trail in GA is beautiful, but can be a bit tough. There is A LOT of water on the section that you will be walking on, and you should have no trouble with the pace you are planning. I think you will cross water at least 10 times in those two days. There are several well marked shelters and camp areas along the way- but you can hang anywhere you like.
    Can you recommend a specific route that is best? Is it a good idea to go in 1 car or should I definitely take 2?

  7. #7
    New Member Green Giant's Avatar
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    Georgia AT trip planning help

    At 7 miles a day, if you start at the Springer Mountain parking lot, you should make it to Woody Gap. The last 8 or so miles are either really uphill or really down hill. A slow pace is a good thing. Anti-gravity Gear sells great very lightweight, waterproof section maps of the AT for about $4. They are loaded with all the info you'll need.

  8. #8
    New Member Green Giant's Avatar
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    Georgia AT trip planning help

    Two cars will let you travel all three days in one direction. One car will have you walking about 10 miles in and ten miles back to your car. There is what is called the Approach Trail to the AT at Amicalola State Park. I would avoid that and drive to the Springer parking lot. It will allow you to start on the true Southern Terminus of the AT and avoid a pretty strenuous hike. (The approach trail is 8.5 miles of uphill.) other than that, there is no other route, so to speak. You're either on the trail headed north, or on it headed south.

  9. #9
    Thanks for the info. I'll have to take 2 cars or maybe arrange some sort of shuttle service or something so I can save on gas $$.

  10. #10
    New Member Green Giant's Avatar
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    Georgia AT trip planning help

    As for what route to get there by, I'm not sure from Florida. I would Googke directions to Amicalola State Park. I would also Google directions to Springer Mountain parking lot from Amicalola. It's about 30 minutes up springer mountain from the park entrance. I have more detailed directions coming from Atlanta if you'd like.

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