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Toli
03-06-2011, 21:37
If you have done it, whats your opinion on it??? Does anyone know the elevation gain??? I've heard that it was going to replace the AT from Long Creek Falls to just before Slaughter Gap... Any truth to that???

thelowend
03-06-2011, 21:46
I seriously doubt that will happen... it is a very difficult trail relative to normal southern AT conditions. Haven't hiked it yet but this (elevation guide) is enough to show that it is probably way too much for most hikers to handle in the first hundred miles of hiking.. Here is the elevation guide.. I think it can be credited to Sgt Rock? I wish I could remember who posted this.. do a search and you will find much more about the DRT here..

thelowend
03-06-2011, 21:47
I also HOPE it doesn't happen. I've heard it's a very good wilderness trail in that it isn't beaten to death like the AT (not a bad thing.. but when I want to be alone, I want to be alone) and it needs to stay that way as there are very few options like such in GA.

Toli
03-06-2011, 21:52
@Thelowend... I was told that it was built in the early 80's to replace that section... Sorry for the confusion... I just did the DRT/AT Loop and it was deff "The toughest 60 miles in Georgia"... Thanks for the info...

thelowend
03-06-2011, 21:58
=) no worries. I just got a little.. panicked there for a second.

Phreak
03-07-2011, 00:23
DRT is a tough trail especially if you hike it NOBO.

TheChop
03-07-2011, 00:41
Toughest hike I've done. Doesn't compare with anything in the Smokies. It is straight up and straight down and it goes over every mole hill and half mountain from the Toccoa River to Coosa Bald. Did it NOBO from Springer to Neel's and then headed SOBO on the AT. The AT in that section was a piece of cake. I wasn't in terribly good shape but it was huff up a mountain for a few minutes, stop to catch my breath, up again for a few minutes. Get to the top. Go straight down. Get to the gap between them. Go straight up. Water is not prevalent either really. Had to climb 250 ft straight down into a gully once for water and that was a blue blazed water trail.

It is a helluva challenge and very rewarding if you like challenging yourself. A really true accomplishment when I made it up Coosa. I seriously doubt they would ever make it into the AT. Those folks with 80 pound packs would never make it to Neel's Gap.

Toli
03-08-2011, 17:28
This is what the AT Guide(12Th Edition) sez:Built in the 1960's by the Georgia AT Club when the Historic(and present)route of the AT was threatened with extinction by a proposed extension of the Blue Ridge Parkway from NC into Georgia.The road was never built due to the 1968 designation of the AT as a National Scenic Trail... @ TheChop... The drop-out rate would be OFF the charts... lol... @thelowend... THANKS for the graph!!! It looks tough EVEN on paper...

Sierra Echo
03-08-2011, 17:32
You should ask Dances with Mice your questions. He is in charge of maintaining a section of that trail.

Toli
03-08-2011, 17:40
@Sierro Echo... How do I get in touch with him???

Sierra Echo
03-08-2011, 17:43
He posts on this forum. Look him up on the members list and send him a PM. He is a really nice guy~!

Dances with Mice
03-08-2011, 18:00
This is what the AT Guide(12Th Edition) sez:Built in the 1960's by the Georgia AT Club when the Historic(and present)route of the AT was threatened with extinction by a proposed extension of the Blue Ridge Parkway from NC into Georgia.The road was never built due to the 1968 designation of the AT as a National Scenic Trail... @ TheChop... The drop-out rate would be OFF the charts... lol... @thelowend... THANKS for the graph!!! It looks tough EVEN on paper...
Eggs Zachary.

The DRT was laid out in a bit of a hurry by a young man named George Owen and who, as far as I know, is still a young man and active in the Benton Mac Trail Club.

George told me he just wanted to get the path laid out and blazed, figuring that if it became the AT route then the GATC could put on the finishing touches later. So he laid it out almost strictly on the ridge, peak to peak to peak.

The last few years have seen some relos on either side of GA-60 and west of Wolfpen Gap but the challenging part, the arc between the BMT - DRT split and Coosa Bald is with very few exceptions still following George's original route. That would be the part of the DRT that does not coincide with any other trails.

It is a wilderness trail that the GATC maintains to keep open and blazed. I marked some water sources, but other than that the trail is rough, rugged, isolated, challenging and recommended for backpackers with some experience. There are no plans to change any of that.

It is what it is.

Dances with Mice
03-17-2011, 19:56
N. GA Hikers - here's a chance to hear about the DRT from Mr. Owen himself...


History of our Local Trails - The AT, the Benton MacKaye, the Duncan Ridge, and Fires Creek Trails

Presented by: George Owen, Richard Sullivan, and Ron Hamlin

Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center (GMREC) Auditorium - Blairsville, GA

Community Council Outreach Seminar

March 25, 2011

10:00 AM 12:00 Noon

Did you know that thousands of people come to North Georgia every year from all over the world just to hike on our famous local trails? Find out why they come and why so many people love the Appalachian Trail (AT). Learn why the AT is here, who built it, and where it goes. Who was Benton MacKaye and why is a trail named for him? Learn the strange but true reason why the Duncan Ridge Trail was built and who designed it to be such a rugged and difficult trail. Discover the unique beauty of the Fires Creek Trail and how to access it. Understand the value of these special trails to our local economy and culture. Learn who maintains these trails, why they do so, and how you can help! Hear about the history and future of these trails and how you can help protect them for future generations. Hiking experts George Owen, Ron Hamlin, and Richard Sullivan, representing the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, the Benton MacKaye Trail Association, and the Mountain High Hikers will team up to answer these questions and more, as they share with you unique information about these special places.

No registration required, seating limited to the first 100 persons.

Location: GMREC Auditorium, 195 Georgia Mountain Experiment Station Rd., Blairsville, GA

Directions: From the Blairsville city square, go 3.4 miles south on US 19/129, turn left on Experiment Station RoadYou know - at that state agriculture research station between Mtn X & Blairsville. I'm thinking about going myself. I've already worked too many Fridays this year.

Toli
03-17-2011, 20:47
Thanks for the heads-up... Hope to see you there...

Snowleopard
03-17-2011, 23:50
Another thread on the Duncan Ridge Trail led me to this post by Dances with Mice, which is among the best posts I've read on WB:
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showpost.php?p=80580&postcount=8

Once I had trouble pitching a tent because Ladyslipper orchids were blooming in all the cleared areas. Great wildflowers in spring, violets even cover the trail in some places.
...
I kept coming onto vistas and admiring the views, but there was something unusual that I couldn't place. Being the quick study that I am, it only took me a couple days to figure it out: Spring was already in the valleys and you could see a clear line on the mountains below which the trees had leafed out but above it the trees were still bare. You could tell exactly where Spring was! And for a little while the Trail dipped down into a gap and the Trail was right on that line - every tree below me had fresh leaves but the trees around me didn't yet. I was literally Standing On Spring!
I've never been there, but Dances with Mice has convinced me with this post to go there someday. If anyone goes to Mr. Owen's talk, thank him for me.

When is spring on this trail?

Dances with Mice
03-18-2011, 09:44
Another thread on the Duncan Ridge Trail led me to this post by Dances with Mice, which is among the best posts I've read on WB:
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showpost.php?p=80580&postcount=8

I've never been there, but Dances with Mice has convinced me with this post to go there someday. If anyone goes to Mr. Owen's talk, thank him for me.

When is spring on this trail?Thanks. Most of the wildflower pics in my gallery were taken on my spring hikes on the DRT. Maybe the last week in March but definitely the first two weeks in April are prime time, but that goes for all of N. GA - the mountains seen in the distance on the DRT are the Blue Ridge. Likewise the views trail-west from the GA AT south of Blood are of the Duncan Ridge.

erichkopp
03-21-2011, 01:04
I did an out-and-back day hike on the DRT - 5 or 6 miles in and then back out. It was absolutely brutal. This thread makes my legs hurt. But I had a great time all the same.

gatc-blazer
05-09-2011, 10:49
FYI - the GATC organized a "challenge hike" on the DRT April 9th 2011 from Three Forks to Wolfpen Gap (~30 miles). We had one lady hiker finish it in 11:30 hrs. I maintain the DRT with Dances with Mice. My section is from Slaughter Gap to Mulky Gap. It is a challenging and tough trail as noted.

general
05-09-2011, 18:32
from rhodes mtn to slaughter gap is an ass whipper. 6 mile days ain't bad in there. i never really thought the DRT/BMT section was all that difficult though.