View Full Version : Springer Mountain - logistics on picking up a thru-hike

08-24-2013, 12:57
Picking up "Moby's Dick" in mid-October upon completion of his SOBO thru-hike. Any thoughts, considerations, restaurants or guidance one can offer me so the pickup goes smoothly. Thanks in advance.

max patch
08-24-2013, 13:23
Decide if pickup will be at Springer or Amicalola Falls State Park. AFSP is an additional 8 mile hike, but is a better place to hang around for whoever gets there first. AFSP is on all paved roads, Springer involves 6.5 miles on a good forest service road.

He can tell you from Hiawassee (if he goes to town) or Neels Gap when he will arrive almost to the exact hour. I don't have cell service at Springer; he may or may not.

I have always thot that the Smith House in Dahlonega would be a perfect place for supper after finishing a SOBO. Family style AYCE southern food.

There is a WalMart in Dahlongea if he needs to buy some traveling clothes. I didn't have anyone picking me up so I needed to buy jeans and a t-shirt to travel home in.

The Ace
08-24-2013, 14:35
My wife and I had wanted for twenty years to eat at the Smith House in Dahlonega. Finally did it two years ago and was disappointed beyond belief. Lot’s of variety and all you can eat. But 100% of the vegetables were out of cans, and the desert was a piece of store-bought short bread with canned strawberry topping. KFC has better fried chicken. Not even this very hungry hiker could enjoy it. The owners are obviously living off its earlier reputation, but Google the most recent reviews. Sorry to bash, but you have been warned.

As an alternative, check out the square in Dahlonega. The balcony on the Front Porch on the square is a lovely place to sit on a mid-October afternoon in Dahlonega. The service is slow, but who is in a hurry on such a day. Decent broiled trout followed by the best key-lime pie I ever had.

My other favorite place that I like to do after a hike that ends at Neel’s Gap is Turner’s Corner Cafe (southwards on Highway 19 (but not to be confused with Turner’s Corner Grocery Store). It’s back open after a number of years, but only on selected days. Average food, except the pan-fried trout after a hike is quite good -- a double order even better.

Some low cost, but decent motels are out South Chestatee towards highway 19. Some around B&Bs also. Amicalola Falls is a good place to kill some waiting time, as is the campus of North Georgia College. Once around the square is a fifteen-minute stroll, with only a handful of shops – bookstores, crafts and such. There is a festival on the square the third week in October -- I always seem to just miss it.

Hill Ape
08-24-2013, 15:00
Simplest for you is pick up at amicalola. You're equidistant from dahlonga and Ellijay. Mid October is the Apple festival here, it's worth it

Hill Ape
08-24-2013, 15:01
+1 on the trout suggestion, almost anywhere

max patch
08-24-2013, 15:32
The guys finishing up a thru. As good as it is, he is not going to appreciate a trout perfectly pan fried in butter. Think quantity.

The Ace
08-24-2013, 16:11
Okay, so don’t let him eat a DOUBLE order of the fresh mountain trout sautéed in the lemon caper beurre blank sauce with the grey shallot reduction, followed by TWO large slices of the graham cracker crusted key-lime pie that is made daily at the home of a local cook who actually developed her own recipe when she lived in Key West a few years back. And, forget about the Erdinger Weizen-Bock served in 16-ounce glasses. Instead, take him to the local Chinese buffet and let him eat all of the Moo Goo Gai pan that he can stand. And, instead of preceding his meal with an appetizer consisting of the Thai chili calamari sauteéd with cilantro and roasted garlic, buy him an egg roll, and a Bud Lite. Make sure that he gets TWO fortune cookies. Bon appetite! :) (All in fun!)

08-24-2013, 17:16
Thanks for your input. Other than pictures, have not seen him since June 2 when we hiked Baxter together. He passed Harpers Ferry earlier this week (#21 SOBO) and for sure will need traveling clothes upon completing the trail. Thanks again for your recommendations.

08-24-2013, 21:15
If it were me, I'd want to spend my last night on Springer, and then hike down the Approach Trail in the morning to Amicalola Falls State Park and meet my family. But I know that a lot of hikers get to the summit and want to get into town, so they have their families waiting at the road crossing about a mile before the summit (heading sobo.) Plus they can have their families walk the last mile (it's flat) and celebrate with them. That would be cool, too.

The road up isn't bad, though a low clearance sedan might have some problems depending on the time of year and weather. There is a small parking lot where the AT crosses the road. It can be a little tricky to find the right roads to get to the top, but it's very doable.

Sandy of PA
08-24-2013, 21:42
I hiked down the approach trail to Amicalola Lodge. Cleaned up there a got a great nights sleep before catching Amtrak back to PA.

08-24-2013, 21:47
Gustavo's Pizza in Dahlonega is some of the best I ever had and you can polish that off with dessert from the fudge shop across the street.