View Full Version : First overnight on the AT

06-13-2011, 01:13
We are planning a short 2-day 1-night trip as our first overnight on the AT or the BMT. We have two kids 12 and 11 who are probably going with us, hence 1-night (the 11 year old is a girl who is unsure about sleeping in the dark woods and is undecided to this point). We are looking for advice on which section in Georgia would be a good start. We have hiked from Springer up 3 or 4 miles on both the AT and BMT but just for dayhikes. Also hiked Roosevelt SP and Kennesaw Mtn. both in Ga. Going in June, in tents either on the AT or BMT and either a loop or an end to end hike. We are close enough to take 2 cars if needed. We have looked at Three Forks northward to Hwy 60. Any suggestions or recommendations??

06-13-2011, 01:37
To save yourself a little time and money on taking two cars, you could go to the Hiker Hostel in Dahlonega and get them to shuttle you in to the area you want to hike, then either have them pick you up at the end and take you back to your car (parked at the HH) or have them shuttle you in and you could hike to your car. The HH has very reasonable rates and if you use them, you know your car is safely parked back there. Also, they can be reached by cell phone in case you have to hike out early (if someone isn't happy on the trail at night) from most places on the trail in that area. (go to Hikerhostel.com to check them out.)

For a "starter" kind of hike, you could do almost anything in the area of Springer to Hightower Gap. If you hiked in to Stover it's really a short hike, and if you spent the night there and someone wasn't happy it would be a really short hike out. If things went well, then the next day is a bit longer, but the plus side there is the Long Creek falls, which would be a great cooling off place to spend some time.

Have you checked the AT trail guide? If you spend a little time with it, you can read enough to find out which section in GA would appeal to you the most. With kids, I'd go for the water attraction at Long Creek.

06-13-2011, 07:19
Be aware, unless you are a guest at the Hiker Hostel, they no longer do shuttles. Tried to get a shuttle from them for a section hike from Springer to Woody pior to Memorial Day weekend. No go unless I was an overnight guest. You still may want to call and talk to them...maybe it was just me? :)

06-13-2011, 12:36
Park at Neels Gap and get a shuttle to Woody Gap. It's only ten trail miles, but it's a substantial climb over Blood Mountain and the payoff is a wonderful view from the top if you have good weather. You can set up tents at the Slaughter Creek campsite, or there are a couple of tent sites at Woods Hole Shelter. Plan to spend some quality time on the morning of day 2 on top of Blood Mtn.

You may be able to arrange a shuttle through the outfitter at Neels Gap. Or call the shuttle providers listed at the ATC website or in the various guidebooks.

06-13-2011, 22:04
Whatever you decide, just take it slow and make sure the kids have fun. The first few hikes can make or break a kid when it comes to hiking. Keep their packs urber light, and let them decide when to take a rest.

For the 11 year old. Use a night light if the dark is the issue. A small led lantern can run every night for a week without changing batteries.

Good luck and have fun!!!

06-14-2011, 03:18
Also - it's important to have trail food and basically eat that all along the hiking to provide energy. It needs to have something that they like that provides both quick energy (sugars - like M&M's) and protein (peanuts, cashews, dried fruit). I think that's as important for kids as anything. It also keeps them "busy" while they're hiking.

06-14-2011, 09:52
Right, constant feeding is the key to happy hiker kids. And adults, for that matter. When my kid started to get cranky, a handful of M&Ms or some beef jerky made her perk right up.

06-14-2011, 10:20
Right, constant feeding is the key to happy hiker kids. And adults, for that matter. When my kid started to get cranky, a handful of M&Ms or some beef jerky made her perk right up.

+1 I always hike with a bag of candy incase of moral emergencies. it's unbelievable how much a kid will do for skittles.

06-14-2011, 10:21
*** haha Morale, not moral.

max patch
06-14-2011, 12:32
Park at Lake Winnfield Scott. Take the Jarrad Gap Trail to the AT. Hike N on the AT. Take a break at Woods Hole Shelter. Continue N on the AT and camp at Slaughter Creek campsites at the foot of Blood. (Optional side trip - hike up Blood to the Shelter and sit on the large rocks. Return.) Take Slaughter Creek Trail back to Lake Winfield Scott. Go swimming in the lake. Lake has a sandy beach and a dock out in the lake you can swim to. Change/shower and go home refreshed. This is my favorite day hike in the summer on the AT in GA.

06-14-2011, 16:44
*** haha Morale, not moral.

I preferred the first version....

06-14-2011, 22:30
Thanks for all the replies. We're still planning but will probably just go one night the first time. The way it looks my 11 yr old daughter may bow out this trip but my wife and I and our 12 yr old son are going. My daughter's concern is the 90 degree weather we're having.

06-15-2011, 00:15
Be aware, unless you are a guest at the Hiker Hostel, they no longer do shuttles.