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  1. #1
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    Default Daughter and i are section hiking Springer to Neels in late March...will it be a zoo?

    I mean like a giant swarm of humanity?
    It will be her first hike on the AT. I want her to see some virgin growth, north Geogia.
    But i dont wanna be there if there are so many hikers it isnt enjoyable...
    thanks guys
    -sloan

  2. #2
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    late march will be slammed with hikers. not fun

  3. #3
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    I’ve been out there in the thick of it, the shelters are filling up early but if you are staying away from those areas for camping it is manageable. Might look at BMT as an alternative.

  4. #4

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    I will be there march 15th this year just to see the zoo. I plan on tenting away from the shelter sites, but I also plan to see hundreds of greenwoods
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  5. #5
    Registered User Turtle-2013's Avatar
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    I had a great time hiking with the new thru hikers in Early April 2015 ... As long as you understand that the shelters will be full, as will many of the camping easiest locations, it can be great fun ... and this from a guy that generally hike solos, or nearly so. In truth, I enjoyed that the thru hikers were "finding their way" instead of just blowing past. With the right attitude it can be a great experience, even if after you think ... ok, I've been there, done that. Either way, Have Fun!!!

    Ron
    aka Turtyl

  6. #6

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    Just keep in mind that in addition to the sea of humanity, or what passes as humanity, it's still winter up there. Everything is dead and the only color is brown. And the weather can be rotten if your timing is bad.

    You'd be better off going in mid May when the flowering bushes, trees and wild flowers are blooming. It's really pretty that time of year. It will be significantly warmer which means less to carry and significantly less other hikers crowding the campsites.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  7. #7

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    Also, in addition to the hundreds of prospective thrus, it is also spring break season for many high schools and colleges and there will be scores of these folks as well - then add to that the enormous number of day hikers and weekenders from Atlanta and you have a very overcrowded chunk of trail. Although, FWIW, a surprising number of people are fine with this.
    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

  8. #8
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr115 View Post
    I mean like a giant swarm of humanity?
    It will be her first hike on the AT. I want her to see some virgin growth, north Geogia.
    But i dont wanna be there if there are so many hikers it isnt enjoyable...
    thanks guys
    -sloan
    Virgin Growth?
    The Albright Grove in GSMNP. I was there in February after about a 1 foot snow dusting. A magical place. Totally deserted due to the snow.
    http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/albrightgrove.htm

    Good luck.
    Wayne

  9. #9
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    Thanks guys. We (hopefully) wont be sleeping in the shelters.
    I guess i just need to have an "open" attitude about it all....

  10. #10
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Watch your daily mileage. Y’all will have to camp either side of the 5 mile stretch where bear canisters are required for overnight stays.
    Why not just go up to North Carolina and/or Tennessee where the herd won’t be so huge?
    Wayne

  11. #11
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    Am definitely open to that, Wayne. Yall like Dick's to Unicoi? (I did that section with
    Wifey years ago and we had a swell time)
    -sloan

  12. #12

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    shelters were full and campsites were very busy the first week of March last year up to NOC.

  13. #13

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    You might want to consider the Benton MasKaye trail as an alternative to avoid crowds. It only has 2 shelters in its 300 mile length.

    http://www.bmta.org/

  14. #14
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    Yes, the trail in late March is a zoo. The correct answer for meeting your goals has been provided by gpburdelljr. However, it should be noted that there is very little growth in late March unless we have a warm winter, which so far is not the case.


    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    You might want to consider the Benton MasKaye trail as an alternative to avoid crowds. It only has 2 shelters in its 300 mile length.

    http://www.bmta.org/

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatMan View Post
    Yes, the trail in late March is a zoo. The correct answer for meeting your goals has been provided by gpburdelljr. However, it should be noted that there is very little growth in late March unless we have a warm winter, which so far is not the case.
    I think he was referring to virgin forest growth, of which I don't think there is much of any left and not along the AT anyway. There are small pockets of virgin forest here and there, mostly where it was inaccessible to the loggers. Which makes it inaccessible to hikers too without a lot of effort.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  16. #16
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Virgin Growth?
    The Albright Grove in GSMNP. I was there in February after about a 1 foot snow dusting. A magical place. Totally deserted due to the snow.
    http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/albrightgrove.htm

    Good luck.
    Wayne
    When was the last time you were in Albright Grove?
    I'm afraid I find the loop depressing because over the last several years, many of the giant hemlocks have died.
    Unfortunately I never got around to hiking Albright Grove before the hemlocks started dying.

  17. #17
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    Stover Creek. old growth

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Virgin Growth?
    The Albright Grove in GSMNP. I was there in February after about a 1 foot snow dusting. A magical place. Totally deserted due to the snow.
    http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/albrightgrove.htm

    Good luck.
    Wayne


    I thought Albright grove was disappointing. Maybe all the bigguns have already fallen.

  19. #19
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    No guys. I havent been to the southern end in 10 years at least...Are all those big
    beautiful trees gone?!

  20. #20
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr115 View Post
    No guys. I havent been to the southern end in 10 years at least...Are all those big
    beautiful trees gone?!
    I hiked Albright Grove for the 1st (and so far my only) time about 3 years ago. There were two or three downed giant hemlocks I had to climb over/around, and all the way around the grove where (then) still standing dead carcass of giant hemlock trees.

    It was about 5-7 years ago that I started to notice the dying giant hemlocks in the park. Didn't know what species they were back then, but I remember the 1st being ones along Deep Creek trail.

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