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trippstrat
07-20-2018, 12:56
I am considering hiking from Springer Mountain to Gooch Mountain in the next couple of weeks or so. Iím not that new to hiking but am to the Appalachian Trail. Iím looking to begin early morning at Springer Mountain and end at Gooch Mountain early afternoon the next day. Is this easily doable for an intermediate hiker? Also, is there anywhere to park near Gooch Mountain and get a shuttle back to Springer? Any thoughts / ideas, good tent camping sites or other suggestions would really be appreciated. Thank you!

illabelle
07-20-2018, 13:16
According to www.atdist.com that's a distance of 15.7 miles (assuming you're not doing the approach trail from Amicalola). For a two-day hike that's pretty reasonable. Of course, you'll need to add or subtract from that distance in order to finish at a road crossing. Looks like there's a forest service road at 12.2 miles and some other road GA60 at 20.5. I suggest you call shuttler Ron Brown (phone number below) to discuss. He knows that area very well and can help you complete this section successfully. If you prefer, you can browse the whole list of shuttlers (https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/at-shuttles.php) and find another name.
Ron Brown, shuttler
706-636-2825 (home)
706-669-0919 (cell)

It always amazes me how people can hang around WB for years and never say a word. Your third post, and you've been here 9 years as of yesterday! Happy WB anniversary.

trippstrat
07-20-2018, 14:06
Thanks Illabelle. Very helpful information. I will give Ron Brown a call. Yes, Iíve been a member for years and have been interested in the AT for a long time, just hard to find the time to get away from work and family! Hopefully this will be the year! Thanks.

Gambit McCrae
07-20-2018, 15:38
Round it off to 20 miles and get off at woody gap. talking 10 hours of walking for 2 days, and your shuttle cost will be significantly cheaper then getting out at the forest service road

+1 for Ron Brown, he is one of the best on the trail

capehiker
07-20-2018, 16:13
Round it off to 20 miles and get off at woody gap. talking 10 hours of walking for 2 days, and your shuttle cost will be significantly cheaper then getting out at the forest service road

+1 for Ron Brown, he is one of the best on the trail

Concur with Gambit. The first 6 or so miles are all down hill. Easy hiking and the tread of the trail is easy. Fill up on water at Hawk Mountain Shelter and have lunch then finish day 1 at Justice Creek campsite. Finish the next day at Woody Gap. Have fun!

trippstrat
07-21-2018, 22:45
Thanks for the replies. It sounds like hiking to woody gap is the best way. Appreciate all the help.

cneill13
07-22-2018, 10:15
Make sure to take the side trail to Long Creek Falls. Around mile 6 on the AT heading north i think. It is a great lunch stop. Rumors that the Creek Indians slaughtered some of DeSotos soldiers there. There is a large rock with inscriptions on it.

FatMan
07-22-2018, 18:21
Gooch Gap / FS 42 AKA Cooper Gap Rd is less than 1.5 miles further north of Gooch Mtn Shelter. Most all shuttle drivers service that location.

SweetTea26
08-01-2018, 16:51
The Georgia Appalachian Trail Club has installed or is in the process of installing bear proof metal food bins at all shelters and improved campsites. so you won't have to worry about hanging your food at least :D

CapnJaxJeff
09-07-2018, 04:41
Hi Folks! I’m backpacking and hiking the AT for the first time with a group of 12 folks. I’m the Chapter Chair for the Florida Trail Association Trailblazers. I’m an experienced backpacker but leading a group of 12 FTA Members (mixed experience from beginner to experienced backpackers) and planning to arrive on a Friday at 3 p.m. ish at Gooch Gap and ending at Springer on Sunday by 2 p.m. I figured that 15 miles would work well with some side trips. So any suggestions and advice on sights and logistics would be appreciated! I figured we would park several vehicles at Springer and shuttle to Gooch with a few vehicles and gear. Thank you from the Florida Trail Trailblazers!

rmitchell
09-07-2018, 08:06
Hi Folks! I’m backpacking and hiking the AT for the first time with a group of 12 folks. I’m the Chapter Chair for the Florida Trail Association Trailblazers. I’m an experienced backpacker but leading a group of 12 FTA Members (mixed experience from beginner to experienced backpackers) and planning to arrive on a Friday at 3 p.m. ish at Gooch Gap and ending at Springer on Sunday by 2 p.m. I figured that 15 miles would work well with some side trips. So any suggestions and advice on sights and logistics would be appreciated! I figured we would park several vehicles at Springer and shuttle to Gooch with a few vehicles and gear. Thank you from the Florida Trail Trailblazers!

Sounds as if your plans are already set, but that sounds like a large group.

I hope you plan to hike and camp in two or more dispersed units to avoid impact.

Check ATC guidelines.

Slo-go'en
09-07-2018, 09:08
Gooch gap is accessed via USFS road 42, which also accesses the parking lot a mile short of Springer Mt. This is a fairly rough 10 mph dirt road, so it can take a while. I think there is a pull out for one or two cars a Gooch gap. I've also seen people camp there. A better plan would be to park at GA 60, a few miles north of Gooch.

There is not much to see on that stretch other then woods. There is one limited view between GA 60 and Gooch shelter (which you miss if you use FS42), the small waterfall at Long creek falls (its a short ways off the AT) and an other limited view at the summit of Springer.

Keep in mind Gooch is a very popular weekend destination and a group of 12 is going to really strain the area. You will have to disperse around the area in tents.

CapnJaxJeff
09-07-2018, 11:34
Thanks Slo!

It sounds like GA 60 is a better way to go. Is there parking there? Any way to identify it with GPS?

Is this a good plan direction wise? I thought starting at Gooch and ending at Springer wouldn’t be too challenging for the newer folks and a great finish with some elevation. Am I not planning for enough length/duration? I thought 15 miles was good from Gooch to Springer?

We wouldn’t be camping at Gooch. We would get in 4 or 5 miles and then look for some spots. I’m a LNT Trainer so minimal impact is always my first thought.

Coming from flat Florida this will be a treat for everyone.

SteelCut
09-07-2018, 12:46
Gooch Gap to Springer is 17 miles plus 1 mile to backtrack to parking at FS42 from Springer terminus.

I'd recommend Gooch Gap to Justus Creek Friday afternoon (mile-marker 14.3) which is 3.7 miles. Saturday would be go to Hawk Mountain tentsite area at mile-marker 7.4 which is a 7 mile day and then onto to Springer on Sunday for 7.4 mile day.

Be aware that the is no water for 7 miles between Justus Creek and Hawk Mountain.

CapnJaxJeff
09-07-2018, 12:59
Fantastic SteelCut!

Thank you for the guidance!

scope
09-07-2018, 14:06
Hi Folks! I’m backpacking and hiking the AT for the first time with a group of 12 folks. I’m the Chapter Chair for the Florida Trail Association Trailblazers. I’m an experienced backpacker but leading a group of 12 FTA Members (mixed experience from beginner to experienced backpackers) and planning to arrive on a Friday at 3 p.m. ish at Gooch Gap and ending at Springer on Sunday by 2 p.m. I figured that 15 miles would work well with some side trips. So any suggestions and advice on sights and logistics would be appreciated! I figured we would park several vehicles at Springer and shuttle to Gooch with a few vehicles and gear. Thank you from the Florida Trail Trailblazers!

Personally, I'd like finishing at Hwy 60, Woody Gap, more so that finishing at Springer. There's also the added benefit of going to Big Cedar if you have time. Its 1 mile north of the gap and is the best view in GA, IMHO. The gap is as high as Springer and typically has a good breeze, nice after a decent hike. The views at the gap are as good or better than Springer. Woody Gap is a large lot, but fills quickly. Probably ok for a handful of cars at 3pm Friday, maybe not. Same with the Springer lot, not as large but good size and may or may not have enough room for 4-5 cars.

However, with such a large group, I think staying Friday at Gooch Gap makes sense. Its side of the road parking there, but should be plenty, and its a relatively large flat area that can accommodate several tents, or hammocks. Plenty of space at Hawk Mt shelter, too, so that makes a good stopping point.

Guess you know to take water from essentially Gooch shelter to Hawk Mt shelter, about 7m? Otherwise, from Hawk to Springer there is plenty. Not much to "see" along the way but plenty to experience for the journey.

Basically, I think you're plan is good, and if you get done a little early, congregate at Woody Gap and go up and have some lunch at Big Cedar. Have fun!

scope
09-07-2018, 14:08
p.s. keep in mind its close to an hour drive between Springer and Gooch Gap.