View Full Version : Hiking from Springer mtn to Neels gap in 3 days

03-13-2012, 00:24

I am fairly new here and was suggested by another member that this is the place to ask questions that I have in regards to AT.

I am planning to park my car at Neels gap and take the shuttle up to FS42 to start my hike from Springer to Neels gap. From what I have been reading here, it is very doable. Now for the question, I would like to know ideal place to stop and camp each night. Because I would have to basically cover 10 miles a day and the way shelters are spaced out, to my knowledge I wouldn't be near the shelter by the end of each 10 miles. If someone here can throw me a suggestion, it would help me out tons. I am leaving on 3rd week of March. Pretty excited.

Also, how important are the bear bag? It is even necessary for 3 day trip to the Mountain?


03-13-2012, 01:44
I've done this section a few times. Last time I did it I stopped at Hawk Mountain shelter the first night. I camped at a place with a fire ring just past Gooch shelter the second night (maybe 1/2-3/4 mile before Woody Gap), and then stayed at the hostel at Neels Gap the third night. There's plenty of water on this section except for the stretch from Hawk Mountain to Justus Creek, which is really just a nice hike.

I would definitely bring something to hang your food. I've never had any problems with bears (I'm more worried about mice or raccoons getting my food), but I've met several people who've had food taken by bears on Blood Mountain. With something like that, it's just another 1/4 pound max to hang your food. I'd rather do that and eat than not carry the weight and 'maybe' lose my food.

This is just my input though. It seems that quite a few people never hang their food and don't have any problems.

03-13-2012, 03:58
1st night either at Hickory Flatts Cemetary, there is a big pavillion there, or Hawk Mountain Shelter, 2nd night at Gooch Gap shelter, and if a 3rd night is needed at Slaughter Gap or the Blood Mtn shelter. Check out www.atdist.com (http://www.atdist.com).

03-13-2012, 05:03
It's not a bad section, but from Hawk Mountain to Gooch Gap has a few bumps (Hightower, Horse, Cooper Gaps, etc), I've done this section in 3.5 days and 2 days. You could hike to Hawk Mountain on day one, then camp up on Big Cedar Mountain on night 2, then hike to Neels Gap on day 3. Keep in mind that you have to use a bear canister in one 4 mile section, just before Blood Mountain I believe, so avoid camping there perhaps. Blood Mountain 'shelter' is a mess, don't stay there unless you really like skunks and mice : )

There are tons of campsites in Georgia, basically at every height of land and every single gap, there is no reason to stay at the shelters, they are going to be absolutely slammed with thru-hikers in late March anyhow. The only reason I would go for the shelters would be to use the privy or the bear cables.

You NEED to hang your food, the bears in Georgia will be out and looking. Look at the 'PCT Method' of bear bagging and you will be fine. Also, get a 13 litre Sea to Summit roll-down stuff sack so your food doesnt' get soaked at night.

Have a blast!

03-13-2012, 16:24
Night 1 Sassafras Mtn
Night 2 1/2 mile past Woody Gap.