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fastfoxengineering
01-06-2018, 21:37
There's a plethora of info out there on getting to springer mtn. Im having a hard time going through it all.

I can get a ride to Manchester Airport in NH. From there I can fly to Atlanta for a fair price of about $100.

Once I get to ATL I can take the MARTA and then get a shuttle to the trail. Also, I know some kind souls are willing to give hikers a lift from ATL to Amicalola.

Is it viable to travel to ATL, get to Amicalola and reach a camp site all in one day without stressing out too bad?

If so what would be the ideal time to arrive into ATL.

I want to start my hike March 30 or April 1st.

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swjohnsey
01-06-2018, 22:23
Maybe better to start on a week day, a little earlier, a little later.

fastfoxengineering
01-06-2018, 22:42
Maybe better to start on a week day, a little earlier, a little later.I could prob start a a few days prior. However I'm just trying to make my plans for when I get into GA. I'll need to hit up a store for some fuel and such.

What would be a good time to get to ATL if I wanted to start hiking the same day?

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bigcranky
01-06-2018, 23:02
There is a shelter for thru-hikers right behind the ranger station at the state park (at the beginning of the Approach Trail), or if you get a shuttle to the top of the mountain, there are excellent camp sites right at the start on the top of Springer. So if you get an early flight, and have a shuttle lined up, it's possible to be camped on the trail that same day if nothing goes wrong :)

I'd want to be in Atlanta well before noon if I planned to be hiking that day. Yeah it's only a two hour drive to Springer but traffic can be a bear. Also consider that you'll need to get fuel after you land in Atlanta. Some of the shuttle drivers will stop at REI. (You can't carry or check any sort of fuel on a plane.) This can take some time. MARTA also takes a while if your shuttle is picking you up at the northernmost station.

Other options: there is the lodge at the state park, and also a campground. The lodge is not inexpensive, but it's nice and has a good view. Both are right on the approach trail.

In years past I'd enthusiastically recommend the Hiker Hostel to spend the night before beginning a hike -- it was a great deal for the shuttle, a place to stay, a great breakfast, and a ride to the trail, and it would give hikers some breathing room. I thoroughly enjoyed my stays there. But with the new ownership they've changed the rates and I'd want to see some reviews from this year's hikers.

Do think about avoiding April 1st as a start date - it's *very* popular and the trail will be *very* crowded, both that day, and basically every night for the first couple of weeks since the majority of hikers will hike the same distance each day (to the next shelter.) Starting in the middle of the week on a date that doesn't mean anything (e.g. "April Fools Day" "March Forth" or the first day of spring) would make it easier, even though there will still be plenty of people on the trail.

Good luck and happy trails :)

fastfoxengineering
01-06-2018, 23:35
There is a shelter for thru-hikers right behind the ranger station at the state park (at the beginning of the Approach Trail), or if you get a shuttle to the top of the mountain, there are excellent camp sites right at the start on the top of Springer. So if you get an early flight, and have a shuttle lined up, it's possible to be camped on the trail that same day if nothing goes wrong :)

I'd want to be in Atlanta well before noon if I planned to be hiking that day. Yeah it's only a two hour drive to Springer but traffic can be a bear. Also consider that you'll need to get fuel after you land in Atlanta. Some of the shuttle drivers will stop at REI. (You can't carry or check any sort of fuel on a plane.) This can take some time. MARTA also takes a while if your shuttle is picking you up at the northernmost station.

Other options: there is the lodge at the state park, and also a campground. The lodge is not inexpensive, but it's nice and has a good view. Both are right on the approach trail.

In years past I'd enthusiastically recommend the Hiker Hostel to spend the night before beginning a hike -- it was a great deal for the shuttle, a place to stay, a great breakfast, and a ride to the trail, and it would give hikers some breathing room. I thoroughly enjoyed my stays there. But with the new ownership they've changed the rates and I'd want to see some reviews from this year's hikers.

Do think about avoiding April 1st as a start date - it's *very* popular and the trail will be *very* crowded, both that day, and basically every night for the first couple of weeks since the majority of hikers will hike the same distance each day (to the next shelter.) Starting in the middle of the week on a date that doesn't mean anything (e.g. "April Fools Day" "March Forth" or the first day of spring) would make it easier, even though there will still be plenty of people on the trail.

Good luck and happy trails :)Thanks for the info, just what I needed. I looked into the Hiker Hostel but it's a little pricey for me.

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soumodeler
01-06-2018, 23:47
Agreed about being in Atlanta before noon. 2 Plus hour ride to Springer depending on traffic and stopping for fuel, although I believe some shuttle drivers sell fuel themselves. The REI is an easy stop regardless.

If you are on trail by 3, you can easily make either the Springer shelter or Stover Creek before it gets dark.

Expect 50-80 (or more) other people starting April 1st, so major crowds for the first few weeks. I would highly recommend a late April start unless you have a hard deadline for finishing.

Slo-go'en
01-06-2018, 23:58
Obviously, you want to get there as early as possible - but not too early since you want to hit REI on the way, check when the Atlanta store opens and that will be your guide line.

No doubt you will not be the only one looking for a ride to Springer on that date. Contact the various shuttle drivers and see if they have a time lined up to pick up multiple passengers. Depending on traffic, the ride can take several hours.

There are several camping options depending on what time you get to the park. You might be able to make it a ways up the approach trail, or if you get a ride up to the FS42 parking lot, even Springer shelter.

Venchka
01-07-2018, 10:37
Donít overlook Walmart for fuel. Either gas canisters or HEET.
Wayne

fastfoxengineering
01-07-2018, 16:03
Donít overlook Walmart for fuel. Either gas canisters or HEET.
WayneAll good info, thank you very much. REI won't be necessary. I just need some HEET so whatever is fastest.

Do alot of outfitters on the AT still sell alcohol by the ounce? I'm only carrying a 5oz container. I don't need to carry anymore.

Thinking it's gonna be wasteful if I can only buy bottles of heet along the way

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lonehiker
01-08-2018, 10:12
Check hiker boxes first for your Heet. If none there then buy and leave your excess. In 08 many hostels/businesses did sell alcohol by the ounce but, if I recall correctly, it was just as cheap to buy a container of Heet and leave excess for someone else.

illabelle
01-08-2018, 10:29
Another possibility for fuel is to eat no-cook foods for the first few days, then pick up some fuel at Mountain Crossings, the hostel/store just north of Blood Mountain. There's nothing in Atlanta that you need. Just get out of town as quick as you can.

Water Rat
01-08-2018, 10:36
Just a thought for your planning... April 1st is also Easter this year. Something to consider for park traffic.

Goingforalittlewalk
01-08-2018, 19:04
Glad you asked the question. ... the info is good for me too... thanks

Singto
01-22-2018, 03:57
If I remember correctly, the old Hiker Hostel program was around $79. It appears the new owners want more than $200.

Nycauburn
02-07-2018, 22:01
2-2.5 hrs best case scenario. But that is via car from the airport. Are you checking a bag? Can take a bit sometimes in atl. Say you take Marta to northsprings stop(last stop) plan on 1.5 hrs in case you have to wait on correct train at Lindbergh station. Then you are 1.5 to amicolola if your ride is there ready to go. It's all uphill to Springer from there. Better campsites are north of the Springer parking lot.

Nycauburn
02-07-2018, 22:13
Also for others info, you can take Marta to sandy springs station and walk a short distance to REI. But there are plenty of stores along the road north, Walmart, etc...

You can take either northbound train from airport, but the northsprings train is what you need. There are just more of the other train. If you take a doraville train, get off at Lindberg and wait for a northsprings train. Lindberg is fairly close to highway as well, so your ride might pick up from there.