PDA

View Full Version : Section Hike Georgia USFS 42?



Kevin1or1000
09-03-2018, 20:50
Hello,
Iíve got a 5 day window to make Springer to Blue Mountain. Day 6 (morning finding a trail head for pickup)
Should I use USFS 42 Trail head and backtrack to Springer or use the approach trail.
I will need to find parking at 42.
Trip is planned for end of April.
What do you all think would be time best spent as I would Like to clear as much of Georgia as possible. In this trip but just not sure if I can leg more than what Iíve planned. Itís a 12 hours drive to get there and need to make the most of the time I have to get closer to home. My goal is minimum 100 miles in 2019
Any help Would be great.

MuddyWaters
09-03-2018, 21:32
Blue mtn?

You are talking about hiking to unicoi gap. About 52 mi .
You must .hike road to road. Plan it that way.
All depends on you.

Easy for some, not so for others. Add approach and its 61 mi. 3 day hike for some.

5 day is a slow pace

Slo-go'en
09-03-2018, 23:11
Considering the extra time it takes to drive up to the parking lot on FS42 and adding the time to do the in the in and out to tag the Summit of Springer, I don't think you save that much vs starting from the parking lot at the Amicalola Lodge. Plus it's much easier to get to the Lodge then it is to the FS42 parking lot, which could factor in the cost of a shuttle back. You'll need some place to stay the night before and the Lodge is a good place to do that. But be sure to make reservations, as the end of April is still a busy time there.

If your in any kind of decent shape, 5 days to Unicoi should no problem. Maybe even a little farther to Dicks Creek gap, which is a better place to end due to the Top of Georgia hostel being right there. (make reservations there too).

LittleRock
09-04-2018, 12:30
There's a big parking lot where the trail crosses FS42. Parking should be no problem.

You could probably make it to Dick's Creek Gap in 5 days.

Expect lots of company in April.

ramdino
09-04-2018, 13:08
Littlerock is right about crowds. Shelters areas likely to be maxed out. Organized campsites too. I did Springer to Mtn crossing about that time this year and it was packed. Trail itself might to bad. Check out https://youtu.be/DpBZSCRa0cw

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Kevin1or1000
09-04-2018, 15:16
If the shelters and organized sites are full I assume you get water on your way by and find a place to put a tent and hang your gear?

What is the consensus about approach trail vs backtrack to tag Springer from 42? No shuttle required. I will leave vehicle for duration and have pickup on other end.

It is really feasible to knock out GA in 5 days?
No resupply and traveling with one other who will cut the mustard.

Thoughts are appreciated.

Kevin1or1000
09-04-2018, 15:19
I forgot to mention that I will be car camping the night before I hit the trail so I have 5 full days on trail. Iíll drive in on a Tuesday evening to FS42. On trail Wednesday-Sunday hiking to a trail head for pick up mid morning Monday

LittleRock
09-04-2018, 16:19
Depends on your fitness level. I did Springer to Dick's Creek Gap in 5 days (actually 4 1/2 because I continued on to Plumorchard Gap Shelter on Day 5). I'd consider myself roughly average fitness among hikers.

If you aren't sure if you're up for it, go put on a full pack and walk 15 miles. If you wake up the next morning and feel like you could do it again, you're good to go.

No need to car camp if you park at FS42. The summit of Springer is about a mile from the parking lot, and there's a shelter nearby. Just camp up there for the night.

MuddyWaters
09-04-2018, 16:58
No crowds at ​end of april near springer
Just a few stragglers. Its good time to hike GA.

Slo-go'en
09-04-2018, 17:59
No crowds at ​end of april near springer
Just a few stragglers. Its good time to hike GA.

Oh yea, I was there end of April last year (started the approach trail on April 29th - that's pretty late in April) and it was standing room only at all the shelters, tent sites and hostels. There are plenty of stragglers - 100's of them.

The shelters are full, all the tent sites around the shelters are full and every place to put a tent in between is full. You either have to get up early and stop early at the very next shelter to score a good spot - either in the shelter or a tent site nearby, or if you hike all day and show up late you have to settle for a really bad place to put up a tent.

It took me 7 days to do the Approach trail and to get to Dicks Creek gap, but the weather sucked - rained pretty much everyday - plus I had a wicked chest cold compounded by allergies. I was definitely dragging much more then usual. It was so bad I decided to go home from Hiawassee instead of heading for Virginia. Of course 3-4 days after getting home, what ever was ailing me went away. Had the weather been better and in better health, 5 days would have been no problem.

No need to carry a full 5 days of food. You can resupply at Neel Gap with enough to get you through the next 2 days.
Finding the forest service road in the daylight is hard enough, finding it in the dark could be a challenge. You can also camp at the state park, that might be a better option if arriving late.

MuddyWaters
09-04-2018, 19:23
Oh yea, I was there end of April last year (started the approach trail on April 29th - that's pretty late in April) and it was standing room only at all the shelters, tent sites and hostels. There are plenty of stragglers - 100's of them.

.

That would be a significant change from last time i walked ga in spring a couple yrs ago ( maybe 3?). Most thru get started by mid april. There were only maybe 1/2 dozen at shelters last week of April just a couple yrs ago, a few more tenting. The herd was only 1-2 weeks ahead, but the dropoff was precipitous.

Kevin1or1000
09-04-2018, 21:54
Alright you guys are awesome. So what I've learned is...April is gonna be busy (expected but limited due to time), FS42 to Springer summit is best option for me, 5 days and I can knock Georgia off the list. Here is what I've got in mind. Looking for some help to even the mileage up a little better. Your guys opinion on this tentative plan? Let me have it.

Day One - Springer to Hawk, Day Two - Hawk to Neels Gap, Day three - Neels to Low Gap, Day Four - Low Gap to Tray Mtn, Day Five - Tray Mnt to Bly Gap.

Day Six-Get to a Trail Head/Road Crossing for Extraction. Which would be? somewhere off 64?

Slo-go'en
09-04-2018, 23:11
Hawk to Neel would be a big day. Stopping at Lance Creek and going to Neel on day 3 is more realistic.

You get to Neel Gap early enough to take advantage of the amenities and continue on to one of the campsites a mile two north of the gap. If you stay at say Swaim Gap, it's a relatively easy day to Blue Mountain shelter. Blue to Tray is a work out with two big climbs in the way. But once past Tray, it becomes easy again for 5-6 miles so it could be worth pushing on to the campsite at Sassafrass Gap. That would make the hike out to Dicks Creek gap a bit shorter, but it's not too bad a hike from Tray.

There is no near-by road access to Bly gap. You either turn around and go back to Dicks Creek or continue on into NC, with the nearest road another couple of days north. So, most hikers exit at Dicks Creek gap and continue on from there next time.

LittleRock
09-05-2018, 12:00
Here is my daily mileage from that section. Day 4 was the toughest for me.

Day 0 - Arrive at FS 42 late afternoon, hike 1 mi to Springer summit, stay at Springer Mtn Shelter
Day 1 - Springer Mtn Shelter to Gooch Mtn Shelter (15 mi)
Day 2 - Gooch Mtn Shelter to Blood Mtn Shelter (13 mi)*
Day 3 - Blood Mtn Shelter to Low Gap Shelter (14 mi)
Day 4 - Low Gap Shelter to Tray Mtn Shelter (15 mi)
Day 5 - Tray Mtn Shelter to Plumorchard Gap Shelter (15 mi)
Day 6 - End hike at FS 71/Deep Gap, NC (11 mi)**

* This was before the bear canister requirement. Today bear canisters are required if you are staying overnight anywhere between Jarrard Gap and Neels Gap.
**FS 71 is the first road the trail crosses in NC, approximately 7 miles past Bly Gap

generoll
09-08-2018, 20:53
You know your capabilities, but I'd say that's pretty ambitious.

foxsable
10-24-2018, 21:26
Here is my daily mileage from that section. Day 4 was the toughest for me.

Day 0 - Arrive at FS 42 late afternoon, hike 1 mi to Springer summit, stay at Springer Mtn Shelter
Day 1 - Springer Mtn Shelter to Gooch Mtn Shelter (15 mi)
Day 2 - Gooch Mtn Shelter to Blood Mtn Shelter (13 mi)*
Day 3 - Blood Mtn Shelter to Low Gap Shelter (14 mi)
Day 4 - Low Gap Shelter to Tray Mtn Shelter (15 mi)
Day 5 - Tray Mtn Shelter to Plumorchard Gap Shelter (15 mi)
Day 6 - End hike at FS 71/Deep Gap, NC (11 mi)**

* This was before the bear canister requirement. Today bear canisters are required if you are staying overnight anywhere between Jarrard Gap and Neels Gap.
**FS 71 is the first road the trail crosses in NC, approximately 7 miles past Bly Gap

So, if I do this in 7 days, including the approach trail, we should be fine, right? IN May.

FreeGoldRush
10-24-2018, 22:08
So, if I do this in 7 days, including the approach trail, we should be fine, right? IN May.

Just some thoughts... 1) Be in good hiking shape. That's not a couch to trail schedule. Lots of elevation change. 2) deep gap is down a long forest service road. 3) Might as well drive on up to the Albert Mtn. fire tower while on those forest service roads to deep Gap. It's an awesome view and you will be so close. Although it is a bit further down on the AT than you will be hiking, there is parking a few hundred yards from the fire tower. 4) starting at the top of the falls and hiking to springer is certainly reasonable. It's 8 miles and you avoid the slow, bumpy ride down the forest service road to springer.

foxsable
10-24-2018, 23:14
Just some thoughts... 1) Be in good hiking shape. That's not a couch to trail schedule. Lots of elevation change. 2) deep gap is down a long forest service road. 3) Might as well drive on up to the Albert Mtn. fire tower while on those forest service roads to deep Gap. It's an awesome view and you will be so close. Although it is a bit further down on the AT than you will be hiking, there is parking a few hundred yards from the fire tower. 4) starting at the top of the falls and hiking to springer is certainly reasonable. It's 8 miles and you avoid the slow, bumpy ride down the forest service road to springer.

We were actually going to end at Dick's Creek, I just got confused with all the similar names. OOps.

scope
10-29-2018, 15:41
Hello,
I’ve got a 5 day window to make Springer to Blue Mountain. Day 6 (morning finding a trail head for pickup)
Should I use USFS 42 Trail head and backtrack to Springer or use the approach trail.
I will need to find parking at 42.
Trip is planned for end of April.
What do you all think would be time best spent as I would Like to clear as much of Georgia as possible. In this trip but just not sure if I can leg more than what I’ve planned. It’s a 12 hours drive to get there and need to make the most of the time I have to get closer to home. My goal is minimum 100 miles in 2019
Any help Would be great.

Couple of clarifications and questions...

Blue Ridge Gap, right? That being the nearest FS road crossing near the Ga/NC border which would seem to fit your goal as a Ga section hike.

The approach trail adds 8+m as opposed to less than a mile compared to the backtrack at US42. There is parking at USFS42 as its a popular trailhead, obviously. The herd should be through earlier in April, but you never know what you're going to get.

100m goal including other trips than this one, right?


If the shelters and organized sites are full I assume you get water on your way by and find a place to put a tent and hang your gear?

What is the consensus about approach trail vs backtrack to tag Springer from 42? No shuttle required. I will leave vehicle for duration and have pickup on other end.

It is really feasible to knock out GA in 5 days?
No resupply and traveling with one other who will cut the mustard.

Thoughts are appreciated.

Correct, camp anywhere you can. I hammock, so I have an advantage there, but there are plenty of tent spots along the way. I'd be glad to give my version of a good itinerary given where I know sites are and aren't. Given you want to do this in a certain time limit, I'd take on full water at something like 3pm and hike to a camp from there, whether or not there's water at that camp or not.

Feasible in 5 days, yes, but if truly doing all of Ga, that's 75m not including the approach trail, the backtrack at Springer, as well as the presumed backtrack to either Blue Ridge Gap or all the way back down to Hwy 76, the closest paved road. Math says thats 15+m per day. That's above average for Ga, and during a time when you don't have the luxury of extra daylight like you do in later May and June.


I forgot to mention that I will be car camping the night before I hit the trail so I have 5 full days on trail. I’ll drive in on a Tuesday evening to FS42. On trail Wednesday-Sunday hiking to a trail head for pick up mid morning Monday

Given that you're coming in Tues night from that distance, I'd stay at one of the hostels instead of trying to setup your car camp in the dark. Then them shuttle you in the morning and hike back to your car. Unless you had a specific car camp place in mind?


...Your guys opinion on this tentative plan? Let me have it.

Day One - Springer to Hawk, Day Two - Hawk to Neels Gap, Day three - Neels to Low Gap, Day Four - Low Gap to Tray Mtn, Day Five - Tray Mnt to Bly Gap.

Day Six-Get to a Trail Head/Road Crossing for Extraction. Which would be? somewhere off 64?

First off, Hwy 64 is 35m from Bly Gap. So that's why I was trying to clarify above about Blue Ridge Gap.

You've got two days in there over 20m. Not likely to be happnin'. The whole Ga/NC border thing is a bit arbitrary and is a logistical quirk. Personally, I think you could still say you hiked Ga and stop at Dicks Creek Gap at Hwy 76, which is what I think you're gonna have to do. If you hike Sobo, you might still be able to go all the way to Amicalola from Dick's Creek, though that would still be challenge. Just my opinion that you gain a little speed doing the same section Sobo, not including the Approach Trail which you definitely do gain Sobo.

I'd call the Top Of Ga Hostel and ask them the same questions, as they likely get sectioners like you with similar questions all the time. Would seem to make logistical sense to stop there and leave from there on your way from/to DE.


So, if I do this in 7 days, including the approach trail, we should be fine, right? IN May.


We were actually going to end at Dick's Creek, I just got confused with all the similar names. OOps.

Yes, very doable. About 12-13m per day is pretty close to average for most folks in Ga.