View Full Version : Easiest Southern section of the trail

11-11-2012, 10:46
Hi all! I love this site and have learned alot here!!!

I am looking for your thoughts on what you felt was the easiest section of the southern states ie. NC, GA, TN.? The last couple of years my mother, brother and I have been doing 5 day sections of hikes so this isn't our first time out. I am planning a 5 day for sometime next March. My mother will be turning 66 and though she is not in the greatest of shape she still loves getting out and "relaxing" in the woods/mountains. We aren't looking to do distance we just enjoy being out there so if we do 1 mile or 5 miles a day we are happy.

Thank you in advance for comments/suggestions!! I really appreciate it.


11-11-2012, 12:15
42 miles between Rt. 321 outside Hampton, TN and Damascus, VA. It's not flat -no extended part of the AT in the South is - but it's noticeably easier than any other 40 mile section. There are some ups and downs but they're neither steep nor long.

11-11-2012, 14:02
in addition, the short AT section on the sidewalks thru downtown Hot Springs, NC is a nice walk. There's easy access to food and drink... Smoky Mtn Diner, Dollar Store, Hot Springs Massage, bars, Bluff Mtn Outfitter, library, post office and more.

11-11-2012, 15:55
If you want to go hiking for a week in March, I hope you can be flexable about the exact timing to work around bad weather. The later in the month the better the chance of having at least a couple of good days in a row. It can still be very cold and very stormy all of March. And if the sun is shinning there is no shade, so don't forget the sun block.

If you want to bring you mother along who "isn't in the best of shape", I'd postpone the trip until at least the end of April or early May to ensure better and warmer weather. That would also be about the right time to do the Hampton to Damascus section, although there will also be a lot of thru-hikers there at that time.

11-11-2012, 16:06
Standing Indian Loop is pretty easy.

11-11-2012, 17:57
That early in the season? Maybe just go Springer to Neels

11-12-2012, 09:18
Thank you all for the comments! I really appreciate it :) As for the cold we are prepared but we are looking towards the last week of March :) We all carry around 25-30lb packs.

We have done Springer to Neels for our first trip. That was a nice starting point.
We just did the Max Patch to Hot Springs this past September, that was our prettiest hike so far.

Hampton to Damascus sounds very nice. I will suggest that to my brother and mom.

Thank you all again and hope to see you on the trails.


Spirit Bear
11-12-2012, 10:26
Personally I think the first four miles from springer down to three forks is super easy, it is a gradual downhill and after the first mile the trail is real smooth. It's rocky from springer down to the parking area.

Woody gap to Neel's gap is pretty easy. You do go over the highest summit on the AT in Georgia in this section but overall it is easy to moderate hiking northbound. Big Cedar mountain is a steady climb but it is right out of the gate, then a gradual decent for a couple miles then a gradual climb for 6 miles or so o the base of blood mountain. The climb up blood northbound is easy to moderate in my opinion. The climb southbound up the mountain is very steep and hard though.

The rest of the AT in georgia is pretty much up and down. Also there is a section past hogpen gap that is fairly easy to moderate.

Ive only hiked the trail in Georgia so far but I have it down pretty good now.

11-12-2012, 19:16
This is great! My son and I are going to start doing the AT in pieces and my mother wants to do a section with us. Now we have something to plan!