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  1. #1
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    Default Hiking Springer Mtn. to Neels Gap on Thanksgiving Break...

    My wife and I are planning to hike from Springer Mountain to Neels Gap in 3 days beginning on Thanksgiving (November 26)... We are parking our car at the Byron Reece parking lot and shuttling down to FS42 at Springer Mountain, skipping the 8 mile approach trail. We'll hike up Springer Mtn. sign the register and back track adding an extra mile making it around 33 miles total. We've been training our "trail legs" and I feel will be able to hit 33 miles no problem in 3 days...

    ...I'm just worried about the weather... is late November a good time to hike... I can handle cold just fine... but miserable rain is different and I know December is a rainy month in the North Georgia Mountains... has anybody hiked this section around Thanksgiving, and if so, what can I expect?

  2. #2
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    You'll just have to wait until a few days out and check. The weather could be lovely or it could be miserable -- it's that time of year. I love hiking in November, but the weather can be iffy sometimes.

    You might want to check on hunting seasons and whether you will need to wear blaze orange. You could call the state park.

    Good luck and have a great hike.
    Ken B
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    Our Long Trail journal

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    You'll just have to wait until a few days out and check. The weather could be lovely or it could be miserable -- it's that time of year. I love hiking in November, but the weather can be iffy sometimes.

    You might want to check on hunting seasons and whether you will need to wear blaze orange. You could call the state park.

    Good luck and have a great hike.
    Yeah... I'll just prepare for the worst and hope for the best...

    Thanks for the tip on the hunting season, bigcranky... I think I read somewhere that they do ask you to dress "brightly".

  4. #4
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    like others said, weather in north GA mountains that time of year can be unpredictable. Expect below freezing nights. We get these frontal systems come thru the southeast in the fall/early winter, that can change the weather from Indian-summer gorgeous .... to crappy cold & wet, rain... 30s and 40s temps....sometimes sleet & freezing rain. I've hiked north GA in November and December...and like what Ms. Gump told Forrest....

    you never know what u gonna get

    just watch the weather forecast, and make sure you have dry clothes for night and a good hardshell jacket

  5. #5
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    I'll save you a call - wear your blaze orange.

  6. #6
    Registered User just dad's Avatar
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    I agree with Bigcranky and Praha4. I have hiked GA the last several Thanksgivings. While the weather can be blissfully nice, recent years have been on the cold side -- with night time lows reaching the teens or even single digits at higher elevations. Last year I recall that we had snow flurries when we began Thanksgiving morning at Amicalola Falls State Park. The year before I recall it was wickedly cold before the weekend was over. Please also remember that you do not have a lot of daylight that time of year.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by wdskinner77 View Post
    My wife and I are planning to hike from Springer Mountain to Neels Gap in 3 days beginning on Thanksgiving (November 26)... We are parking our car at the Byron Reece parking lot and shuttling down to FS42 at Springer Mountain, skipping the 8 mile approach trail. We'll hike up Springer Mtn. sign the register and back track adding an extra mile making it around 33 miles total. We've been training our "trail legs" and I feel will be able to hit 33 miles no problem in 3 days...

    ...I'm just worried about the weather... is late November a good time to hike... I can handle cold just fine... but miserable rain is different and I know December is a rainy month in the North Georgia Mountains... has anybody hiked this section around Thanksgiving, and if so, what can I expect?
    We're doing blood mountain that weekend. Maybe we'll cross paths.

    Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    We have had a very wet November so far but temps have been seasonally warm. Footing has been awful with all the wet leaves. Unfortunately that is meaningless for two weeks from now. As others have said be sure to check the weather before you leave.

    Here is a link to our weather station at Grassy Gap, the halfway point on your hike.

    http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/...2&sp=KGASUCHE4

    And it is hunting season so wear some blaze orange. Good chance I'll see you on the trail. Look for the dog with the blaze orange vest. Enjoy your hike!

  9. #9
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    Some great advice.... I'll be sure to wear the orange... and I'll just have to wait for the forecast a day or two before I go... I don't really trust those extended forecasts at all (hell, I barely trust the next day forecast)... thanks for the link FatMan, maybe I'll bump into you and/or dervari on the trail.

    Thanks for the help guys.

  10. #10

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    We've hiked in North GA & NC the last couple of Decembers. While it has been cold...anywhere from single digits to 30's, the weather can vary like everyone is saying. Each time we've had clear sunny skies one day to rain/sleet/snow the next. I usually find myself checking the forecast multiple times during the week before my trips but in the end just be prepared and go. You just have to be prepared for cold and wet whether you get it or not. Agree with blaze orange. I purchased a bright orange pack cover so I get double use out of it.

    Like Praha4 said, "you never know what you're gonna get", but that's the adventure of the trail. Enjoy the good weather and embrace the suck when it gets bad and know that that's when you'll have the best stories.

  11. #11
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    We'll be a day behind you. Who are you using for a shuttle?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by it_mike View Post
    We'll be a day behind you. Who are you using for a shuttle?
    We're using Ron Brown (from the AWOL AT Guide; 706-669-0919)... seems like a real nice guy.

    It looks like the weather is gonna be on our side so far.... I don't wanna count my chickens though.

  13. #13
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    Looks like you have hit the jackpot. Those hiking this week are in for some wonderful weather. If anyone was considering getting out this week pack up and hit the trail. It doesn't get any better than this in late November in GA.

  14. #14
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    Yeah, I've been anxiously checking the weather every day for the last 15 days (back when the extended forecast had the rain chance at 70% and 80% for 2 of the days... I don't know why I check so far in advance - it changes every day), but it looks like it should be a fairly pleasant trip.

    One more quick question: What kind of foliage can we expect? Are there still a variety of colors on the trees?

  15. #15
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    I just did a short loop yesterday from Springer and around the Benton MacKaye back to the Springer parking lot. A short jaunt to test out my back after throwing it out. Anyway, most of the foliage is down. You will still see some colors from the overlooks as you gaze down at the lower elevations, though. But about the only leaves you're going to see are on the evergreens and Rhododendrons. It might get chilly. I saw some ice on the rocks headed to Springer. But it looks like the forecast is for slightly warmer nights than we've had the last few days. FWIW, water was flowing pretty good in the creeks too.

  16. #16
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    The weather looks great for this weekend

    http://www.mountain-forecast.com/pea...forecasts/1153
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpolk84 View Post
    I just did a short loop yesterday from Springer and around the Benton MacKaye back to the Springer parking lot. A short jaunt to test out my back after throwing it out. Anyway, most of the foliage is down. You will still see some colors from the overlooks as you gaze down at the lower elevations, though. But about the only leaves you're going to see are on the evergreens and Rhododendrons. It might get chilly. I saw some ice on the rocks headed to Springer. But it looks like the forecast is for slightly warmer nights than we've had the last few days. FWIW, water was flowing pretty good in the creeks too.

    Yeah, I guess we're a little late for much color.... thanks for the tip on the water... I'll probably ditch my 3 liter bladder (my pack is a little too full... I'm carrying more stuff so my wife can have a lighter pack) and just use my pump and water bottles.

  18. #18
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    Our first section on the AT. Enjoy yourself and have fu !


    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed that is the only thing that ever has."
    - Margaret Mead, Anthropologist

  19. #19

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    So, how did it go?

  20. #20
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    Default How was your hike?

    We went the week after you and did the same section, Springer to Neel's. We had an amazing time!!!! It was our first section hike and the week prior, we did the Approach Trail. Can't wait to get back to there!!!!!

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