View Full Version : GA vs. PA

03-19-2003, 14:16
My wife (I'll dub her "OverPrepared") and I had the idea to do a seven night backpack trip from Springer during the last week in March to get away from the cold and snow here in Delaware. Well, when we had the idea we also had cold and snow here in Delaware. :rolleyes: Reading these forums has given me to understand that we won't be alone in GA!

Anyway, we've done quite a bit of backpacking on the AT in PA, particularly from Port Clinton north/east. If anyone can compare the terrain/difficulty of the trail in GA to the sections around the Pinnacle/Hawk Mtn./Bake Oven/Lehigh I'd appreciate it.


03-19-2003, 16:24
Well they both have their ups and downs:)
If I recall right, Pa. had more level terrain but the rocks were bad. Georgia is either up or down, nothing level.

03-19-2003, 17:40
Myself, and I'm sure that others have discovered that the trail between Springer and Fontana Dam is tough. There's some good hills there! A lot of climb. And, high elevation to boot. I think that Bly Gap is the only gap that I recall climbing up to go into rather than going down in to it. I wouldn't underestimate this section of trail. PA is much easier.

03-19-2003, 17:57
Originally posted by Don'tGotOne

If anyone can compare the terrain/difficulty of the trail in GA to the sections around the Pinnacle/Hawk Mtn./Bake Oven/Lehigh I'd appreciate it.


Apples & Oranges really. PA has seen glaciation, GA has not. More ridge walking in PA. More ups & downs in GA.

Why limit yourself to those 2 areas. VA is alot closer than GA and offers endless possibilities. GA is WAY crowded in March. I would avoid it during that timeframe. Damascus to Atkins would be wonderful. Shenandoah National Park is closer to your home and offers lots of side trails.

By-the-way, it could snow at altitude anywhere along the AT in late March. If you're hiking to get away from snow, you might end up disappointed.

Whatever you choose to do, have fun.

03-19-2003, 20:17
Georgia is a beautiful state, and is very well maintained, but probably one of the hardest sections south of NH. PA even with the rocks in the north is pretty easy compared to GA. But I love Georgia...awesome state to hike in.

03-19-2003, 22:22
Ga is harder , both are great. But your right ,lots of people!

03-20-2003, 12:08
You may already know this but the ATC does a "state by state" description of the trail, and they actually give difficulty ratings, too. Go to http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hike/trail/index.html
They rate Pennsylvania 2-3 in the south and 3-4 in the north. Georgia gets a difficulty rating of 6.

As for my own personal experiences, I would say Georgia was more physically demanding (sore knees from climbs) and Pennsylvania more mentally demanding. I had to watch my feet more in PA due to the rocks, saw more roads & pollution in PA, and there was less "views" to break things up. However, PA had its own beauty (as you know) and I had my best town experiences in PA -- the people were great!

03-31-2003, 12:36
Just wanted to thank those of you who replied to my original inquiry. OverPrepared and I ended up going with the general consensus -- we aborted our GA plans and went to VA instead. We hiked in the George Washington National Forest from Rockfish Gap down to the Tye River and back, spending seven nights on the trail and hardly seeing anyone. The weather was fabulous!

We made a loop at the Southern end of our hike by taking the Mau-Har trail instead of going back over Three Ridges on the way back. For those of you who have the opportunity I'd suggest you check out the Mau-Har -- a beautiful trail that follows the cascades of Campbells Creek. Also, the trail maintenance and shelter work (although we didn't stay in the shelters) of the Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club was exceptional. Nice privies!