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  1. #41
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    As many others have suggested, consider hiking from AFSP to the Hike Inn. You'll need reservations in advance. They serve dinner and breakfast at specific times only. It's a green inn and pretty cool. You can get to the approach trail, then AT from there. You can ask for a bag breakfast if you want to leave out early.
    "Later"...traps all.

  2. #42
    Hometown GA-ME 2008 baxter's Avatar
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    I hiked from Amicalola, because I wanted to do what I considered a "traditional" thru hike. The night before my start, I stayed at the lodge with my wife, woke up and had a big breakfast, kissed my wife good bye under the arch,and hiked to Maine.
    ..guess I'll keep a livin' till the day I die...

    www.trailjournals.com/chuck2008

  3. #43
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    Can I buy cooking fuel at the falls?

  4. #44
    Registered User Capt Nat's Avatar
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    Winter Haven, FL
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    Don't do it! You'll be struck by lightening!!!!

  5. #45
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    No.................................

  6. #46

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    On my AT thru-hike I started at the Amicalola Visitor's Center, signed in at the Visitor's Center register, did the pack weigh-in at the Visitor's Center and started hiking up the Approach Trail at 2:00pm. I hiked-up to and arrived at Springer Mountain at 6:30pm and met up with some of the people who would become great friends of mine (even though I'd just met them that evening). Quite a few of them had come up the Approach Trail also (they'd arrived just after I did on Springer Mountain that evening). Since it's only a 4.5 hour hike, yes it's uphill most of the way, the Approach Trail is not that big of a challenge that you'd want to avoid it.

    Also, the Approach Trail allows you to see the Falls (there's also a bridge going over the river associated with the Falls as I remember). It was a nice hike and I'd do the Approach Trail since it's what, maybe 6.5 miles long or so? Ha, pretty short miles considering you're taking on a 2,175 mile challenge.


    Datto

  7. #47
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    03-14-2003
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    Knoxville Tennessee
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    I usually tell hikers to hike the approach trail even though it doesnt technicallly count toward your thru hike. Here is my justification....

    a) You start with a 1 mile vertical hike that will give you an idea of what you are in for, and you have a place to drop additional gear as you realize jus thow heavy your pack is, it is a nice hike up beside the falls, your family can join and exit at the lodge.
    b) It not a bad 8 mile hike that is pretty representative of what the trail is like in GA, NC, and TN.
    c) Its 8.5 miles, which sets you up to spend the night at Springer Mtn Shelter. The folks at the shelter that night will share a special bond. You will meet a lot of people on the trail, but you will 'start' with just a handful.
    d) if you are feeling good, you have the option of hiking on to Stover Creek or Three Forks. If you are not feeling good, you can stop short at Black Gap.

    Have a great hike. Maybe we will see you along the trail.
    ----------------
    SMHC Trail Maintainer
    Volunteer in the Park (VIP) GSMNP

  8. #48
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    san diego
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    Quote Originally Posted by RED-DOG View Post
    In my oppinion every would be Thru-Hiker needs to start under the ARCH WAY and hike the Approach trail to springer i did the Approach trail on all my thrus and loved it, I hope some time in the future that the Approach trail would be considered part of the AT. RED-DOG


    +1............

  9. #49
    Registered User Biggie Master's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Nat View Post
    Don't do it! You'll be struck by lightening!!!!
    you don't have to worry about lightening if you just keep Capt Nat at least 50 yards away. BTW Capt - you're my new trail hero.
    Biggie

  10. #50
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    The approach trail was part of the original AT when it ran to Mt. Oglethorpe.
    Nothing wrong with hiking it.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  11. #51
    Registered User Donde's Avatar
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    10-27-2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox97GaMe View Post
    I usually tell hikers to hike the approach trail even though it doesnt technicallly count toward your thru hike.
    I usually tell hikers if they are stressing about was does and does not count, they are missing something. Do it/ don't do it, whatever, but if the only reason not to do it is because you don't want to waste 8 miles hiking a trail that lacks white blazes, maybe you should reevaluate how much you like hiking before going on a 2200ish mile hike.

  12. #52
    Registered User Donde's Avatar
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    To be clear I meant you as in "one" not as in Ox

  13. #53
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    Just got back from a four day hike from the falls to Neels. The falls was so cool and impressive.

    It makes you appreciate the awesome wonder of nature and geology. Standing there on a crisp, cold 33 F degree morning, quick and hard breath turning into smoke, and watching the power of the water flow, shaping the rocks is vision of the past, present, and future. I'm glad I did the approach trail.

    Had been to Springer many times, and parts in between Neels on day hikes, but never the falls. I'd recommend the approach trail if your goal is to experience the best of the natural world.

  14. #54
    Registered User Donde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchi Veloce View Post
    Just got back from a four day hike from the falls to Neels. The falls was so cool and impressive.

    It makes you appreciate the awesome wonder of nature and geology. Standing there on a crisp, cold 33 F degree morning, quick and hard breath turning into smoke, and watching the power of the water flow, shaping the rocks is vision of the past, present, and future. I'm glad I did the approach trail.

    Had been to Springer many times, and parts in between Neels on day hikes, but never the falls. I'd recommend the approach trail if your goal is to experience the best of the natural world.
    Yeah that he/she isn't missing a thing

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow n' Steady View Post
    As I plan my 2013 thru hike, I find that I am debating with myself about where to begin. I would like to hear from you about your experience at the start of your thru hike or section hike on Springer. What advice can you give me for the best possible start? Thanks.
    I chose to start with the approach trail from Amicalola Falls SP and was glad I did. It is a personal choice. HYOH, I say!
    Find the LIGHT STUFF at QiWiz.net

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  16. #56
    Registered User Rock Lobster's Avatar
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    If it matters, most of the thru-hikers I met last summer (while SOBO from Harper's Ferry) seemed to consider it a badge of honor. I heard several use the fact that they hiked to approach trail to justify a short blue or yellow blaze. As one hiker put it: "Climbing 600 stairs covers up a lit of sins..."

  17. #57
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    You want regret doing it... you may regret not doing it...
    I wouldnt want to start anyother way

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