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Countyline
04-11-2018, 13:49
Section hiking solo NOBO in May and have decided (I think) to skip the approach trail. Can I assume that for a reasonable fee someone will drive to the to the parking lot at Springer? If not, I will have to take time off the end as time is limited. Thoughts?

tiptoe
04-11-2018, 14:39
Springer may be iconic, but the falls at Amicalola are a whole lot more scenic. Yes, you can get a shuttle to Springer, but why skip a really nice starting point?

Countyline
04-11-2018, 15:01
Springer may be iconic, but the falls at Amicalola are a whole lot more scenic. Yes, you can get a shuttle to Springer, but why skip a really nice starting point?

I get that and that has been the debate rolling around in my head for months. But I want to make it to the NOC in 13 days with one Zero and one Nero. Not sure I could pull that off if I do the approach trail.

tdoczi
04-11-2018, 15:05
Springer may be iconic, but the falls at Amicalola are a whole lot more scenic. Yes, you can get a shuttle to Springer, but why skip a really nice starting point?


maybe the compromise position the OP should consider would be spending an hour or two seeing the falls before getting that ride to (close to) springer.

Uncle Joe
04-11-2018, 15:23
Ron Brown is up there seemingly daily: Ron's Appalachian Trail Shuttle - 706-669-0919.

MuddyWaters
04-11-2018, 16:27
I get that and that has been the debate rolling around in my head for months. But I want to make it to the NOC in 13 days with one Zero and one Nero. Not sure I could pull that off if I do the approach trail.

Well, your planning about 11.7 mpd for 11.5 days of hiking.

Hike 12.4 for 11.5 days, and you can do approach too.

Thats about 21 min more hiking per day on avg.

The 8.8 mile approach is 7.8 less than springer, since you have to backtrack to summit from fs42. Its literally 5 hrs avg.

Your avoiding 5 hrs out of 13 days. Btw, the falls are the highlite of ga.. these are all very doable #s for anyone in shape and reasonable pack.

If you cant add the approach, your not going to make it to noc anyway. That 8 miles wont break it for you. If you dont WANT to hike it, fine. No need to. If you do, go for it.

Christoph
04-11-2018, 16:34
Definitely don't skip the arch and the falls. The stairs can be fun, but the rest it worth it. You'll make it with time to spare, there's plenty of opportunity to catch some miles on the 1st section and lots of places to camp (if you aren't planning a shelter area to shelter area type hike).

Longboysfan
04-11-2018, 16:52
Springer may be iconic, but the falls at Amicalola are a whole lot more scenic. Yes, you can get a shuttle to Springer, but why skip a really nice starting point?

Don't miss the falls and the stairs.

Gambit McCrae
04-11-2018, 17:11
I am so glad another "Approach Thread" has been created. Never knew so much was to be said about an uphill 8.8 miler that connects 2200 miles of trail to a parking lot. Why in the world the AT has not been changed to terminate at the arch behind the visitor center is beyond me

Lone Wolf
04-11-2018, 17:18
skip it. and get a shuttle from 1 of the dozens of shuttlers

capehiker
04-11-2018, 22:12
To answer the OP- yes you can get a shuttle. There are dozens of threads with names and numbers to help you. Also- I would do your schedule as well if I were you. The falls can wait another day. You want to hike the AT, not the approach trail.

Riocielo
04-13-2018, 14:47
To answer the OP- yes you can get a shuttle. There are dozens of threads with names and numbers to help you. Also- I would do your schedule as well if I were you. The falls can wait another day. You want to hike the AT, not the approach trail.

Agreed. Return to the falls when you have the time to fully enjoy their beauty, instead of rushing past them to get to where you really want to be.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

rickb
04-13-2018, 16:12
Skip it.

The AT is far more the the sum of its parts.

Those falls like most any single feature, view or vista will hardly be missed in the long run, but I expect your 13 day trip will stay with you for a lifetime.

If you find yourself with a spare 21 minutes a day, spend it looking at the stars or a squirrell or soaking your feet or some other far more worthy endeavor.

Elaikases
04-13-2018, 21:58
I am so glad another "Approach Thread" has been created. Never knew so much was to be said about an uphill 8.8 miler that connects 2200 miles of trail to a parking lot. Why in the world the AT has not been changed to terminate at the arch behind the visitor center is beyond me

I've kind of wondered that myself.

Having hiked the approach trail on a section hike, I'm good with not doing it again.

But I almost feel it deserves its own essay entry.

https://whiteblaze.net/forum/forumdisplay.php/364-Articles ...

FreeGoldRush
04-14-2018, 00:11
By all means HYOH, but here are the reasons to do the approach trail.

Most of the approach trail was part of the AT before they moved the start to Springer.
It is an important memory for those who have written about their thru hike. They seem to give it special attention.
It's not that hard after the stairs. I've hiked it round trip several times as a day hike.
When meeting thru hikers on the approach trail they often have that "what have I done?" look in their eyes. It's fun when they share their optimism and excitement about what is to come.

MuddyWaters
04-14-2018, 00:57
Approach is just normal southern AT. After stairs
Falls are highlight of GA really.imo. particularly after heavy rain.

Took me under 4 hr to do approach.
Rest of day is downhill and ez anyway after springer
I started about 11am, still managed 17 mi the first day to end at Hawk mtn shelter, with plenty daylight left. Ate at stover creek, then walked to Hawk afterwards. So did another young kid with much heavier pack.

peakbagger
04-14-2018, 05:15
Skip the approach trail and then after you have done a thru hike you have an excuse to go back and revisit the approach trail.

Uncle Joe
04-14-2018, 09:37
I am so glad another "Approach Thread" has been created. Never knew so much was to be said about an uphill 8.8 miler that connects 2200 miles of trail to a parking lot. Why in the world the AT has not been changed to terminate at the arch behind the visitor center is beyond me
I know BigFoot covered this in a video and apparently it would literally take an act of Congress to move it.

Last Call
04-14-2018, 16:17
Never understood why someone would skip the Approach Trail.... Do Everest climbers skip Base Camp?

Lone Wolf
04-14-2018, 16:25
Never understood why someone would skip the Approach Trail.... Do Everest climbers skip Base Camp?

never understand why someone would skip the creeper trail, wesser creek trail, etc., etc., etc.

peakbagger
04-14-2018, 18:56
Same reason folks skip the logical approach (and departure trails up Katahdin from the east side.

shelb
04-14-2018, 19:19
..... Why in the world the AT has not been changed to terminate at the arch behind the visitor center is beyond me

Agreed! The approach trail is worth it!

Last Call
04-14-2018, 21:07
Same reason folks skip the logical approach (and departure trails up Katahdin from the east side.

Actually it needs to be officially extended to Flagg Mountain, Alabama....

PaulWorksHard
04-15-2018, 14:41
I get that and that has been the debate rolling around in my head for months. But I want to make it to the NOC in 13 days with one Zero and one Nero. Not sure I could pull that off if I do the approach trail.
Where and why do you want to do a zero? Is the zero more important than the approach trail?

If you are in decent shape and have a reasonably light weight pack 13 days to NOC should be very easy. Amicalola is a beautiful section of the hike I can't see why you would skip it.

Countyline
04-16-2018, 11:09
Where and why do you want to do a zero? Is the zero more important than the approach trail?

If you are in decent shape and have a reasonably light weight pack 13 days to NOC should be very easy. Amicalola is a beautiful section of the hike I can't see why you would skip it.

This will be my first attempt at a hike of this length since I was a much younger man. I've only been able to do dry runs of 2 or 3 days at the most. So it's not so much that I "want" a zero as much as I think I will "need" the zero.

tiptoe
04-16-2018, 11:55
From where I sit, you are still a "much younger" man. You won't know your capabilitiies until you get out there and try. Should you fall short of your goal, you can always find a shuttler to help you out.

lonehiker
04-16-2018, 12:45
This will be my first attempt at a hike of this length since I was a much younger man. I've only been able to do dry runs of 2 or 3 days at the most. So it's not so much that I "want" a zero as much as I think I will "need" the zero.

It is your hike so zero when you feel you need/want it. There is no particular reason to do the approach trail so do what you feel comfortable with. If you want to skip to have that extra day for your hike it sounds like you have a good plan.

Another Kevin
04-18-2018, 16:53
I know BigFoot covered this in a video and apparently it would literally take an act of Congress to move it.

If there were a good reason, a normal Congress would rubber-stamp it. (The last couple or three sessions haven't been normal, they've been two groups of great apes screaming at each other and flinging poo across the aisle. It doesn't seem to matter who has the majority.)

I seem to recall reading that the original rationale was that getting to the Trail should be a miniature adventure all by itself - that's why both ends are on mountain tops. If the architects intended it to be otherwise, they'd have laid it out the way the architects of the Northville-Placid did - from train station to train station. (Neither station is still in service; the one in Northville is now under the waters of Great Sacandaga Lake.) Even when the Trail started at Mount Oglethorpe and included today's Approach Trail, it started at the summit, not the highway.