My husband and I had similar experience in Acadia, Maine. Thought we would have to go slow for the kids who were boy 13 and girl 11- ha- they were way ahead of us-
I am a 42 year old man in pretty decent shape. You should include similar info when asking questions like how long will it take? Just too many variables! If you average about 2 miles/hour it should take 3 or 4 days. Starting from the parking area 1 mile north of Springer, you should walk south to Springer to see the official start of the A.T. Of course then you have to turn around and go that mile again as you start your trip north to Neel's Gap. Your day 1 would probably end somehere around Hawk Mountain Shelter. It's a great shelter with a nice stream down the side trail behind the shelter. Night 2 after a long day of hiking would get you close to Woody Gap at state road 60. Day three would take you over blood Mountain and finish at the Walsi-Yi Center, at Neel's Gap.
The terrain is up for 1 mile, then down for 1 mile. That is followed by lots of ups and downs. But nothing longer than about a mile until you come to Blood Mountain. that is a steady up for 5 miles, followed by a steady down for 2-3 miles. Tons o' fun!
Not sure what you mean by the start of the A.T. But a popular thing is to start at the Amicalola State Park and hike the 8.25 mile blue blazed approach trail. It takes you right to the top of Springer Mountain and the official start of the A.T. There is a shelter 1/4 mile past the summit of springer or you can continue on 3 more miles to the next shelter (I forget the name of that one).
Good Luck! JB
I would say you can do it in three days but I would set aside four. There are no real major climbs. You have Blood Mountain on your last day but that is not too bad.
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