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  1. #1

    Default Justus Mountain re-route?

    Hey all, I am just confirming that the trail currently goes around Justus and not over it. I have read that the re-route is a temporary thing to allow the trail to heal, and I'm just wondering if there is a timeline for having the trail go back to going over the mountain? We'll be going up there in about a month or so.

    Also, has anyone stayed at Justus Creek or Devil's Kitchen lately and if so, how crowded was it for tenting? Many thanks in advance...

  2. #2

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    The trail currently goes around it. Not sure what your trip segment is, but I just did Springer to Neels and tenting was abundant in that 31 miles, even with all the thru hikers starting
    AT Shuttle List
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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

  3. #3
    Leonidas
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    Locally at least, trail reroutes for that purpose generally last years. This one went into place last year and I don't think they announced an end date.
    AT: 471 mi

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  4. #4

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    So, does this make it any easier?
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    So, does this make it any easier?
    I've hiked through there before and after the re-route. The re-route is pretty smooth and easy, but the mountain wasn't tough either. It's a non-issue. Minor blip in your day.

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    Registered User cneill13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    I've hiked through there before and after the re-route. The re-route is pretty smooth and easy, but the mountain wasn't tough either. It's a non-issue. Minor blip in your day.
    I disagree. The back to back combo of Sassafras and Justus was an ass kicker. They pussified another section of the Georgia trail. The Duncan Ridge Trail is also being rerouted to an easier contour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cneill13 View Post
    I disagree. The back to back combo of Sassafras and Justus was an ass kicker. They pussified another section of the Georgia trail. The Duncan Ridge Trail is also being rerouted to an easier contour.
    The 2015 trail data compared to 2019 shows Springer to woody Gap is now 0.6 miles shorter. Both years showed a total incline of 5200 feet over that section. Getting this from atdist.com. Doesn't seem correct. maybe they don't have the reroute in their 2019 data.

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    Too bad, but completely understand how this happens. Each year seems to see more AT thru hikers, and the GA section gets hard usage. I always liked that Sassafras & Justis section. Just another reason to try the BMT.

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    Default Justus Mountain re-route?

    I believe the re-route was done to avoid looking at some newly constructed or soon to be constructed houses...at least that's the reason one of the folks who worked on the trail told me.

  10. #10
    Leonidas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Praha4 View Post
    Too bad, but completely understand how this happens. Each year seems to see more AT thru hikers, and the GA section gets hard usage. I always liked that Sassafras & Justis section. Just another reason to try the BMT.
    We were told at the ATKO that the BMT is now an approved alternate start for those who are/were concerned about 2000-miler completion.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'

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    I do not speak for the GATC, but I do trail maintenance on both the AT and Duncan Ridge, including helping build the Justus reroute, so I do have some knowledge on this topic.

    The Justus reroute is not temporary, nor is it to make hiking easier or improve the view.

    The old trail over Justus is a "fall line" trail, meaning it goes essentially straight down the ridge line. Such trails are unsustainable, especially under heavy foot traffic. Water runs straight down the trail and erodes it. Thevtrail ends up rocky as the dirt washes away, with gullies channeling the water and further increasing erosion.

    The reroute is a "side hill" trail, which is far more sustainable. By allowing the water to flow across and off the trail, erosion is minimized, keeping the trail in better shape.

    It's all about providing a trail which will last for generations so we can all continue to enjoy our hiking experience.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by skater View Post
    I do not speak for the GATC, but I do trail maintenance on both the AT and Duncan Ridge, including helping build the Justus reroute, so I do have some knowledge on this topic.
    The Justus reroute is not temporary, nor is it to make hiking easier or improve the view.
    The old trail over Justus is a "fall line" trail, meaning it goes essentially straight down the ridge line. Such trails are unsustainable, especially under heavy foot traffic. Water runs straight down the trail and erodes it. Thevtrail ends up rocky as the dirt washes away, with gullies channeling the water and further increasing erosion.
    The reroute is a "side hill" trail, which is far more sustainable. By allowing the water to flow across and off the trail, erosion is minimized, keeping the trail in better shape.
    It's all about providing a trail which will last for generations so we can all continue to enjoy our hiking experience.
    This has been done in other locations on the AT in recent years, not just Georgia. The south side of Roan Mtn and the climb up from Watauga Dam come to mind.

    IMO, the climb over Justus Mtn was a PUD. The re-route won't detract from the AT experience.
    It's all good in the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JC13 View Post
    We were told at the ATKO that the BMT is now an approved alternate start for those who are/were concerned about 2000-miler completion.
    lol approved by who?

    this reminds me of the post that once claimed that aqua blazing shenandoah was an officially allowed alternate route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skater View Post
    It's all about providing a trail which will last for generations so we can all continue to enjoy our hiking experience.
    while what you say is undoubtedly true from a sustainability standpoint, if the entire AT (or all hiking trails in general) progress to being "side hill" trails I will cease to enjoy hiking. i would guess many others would feel similarly

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    while what you say is undoubtedly true from a sustainability standpoint, if the entire AT (or all hiking trails in general) progress to being "side hill" trails I will cease to enjoy hiking. i would guess many others would feel similarly
    No offense but so often there is no unblocked view or rain/mist/fog that I can’t really tell the difference. Have enjoyed both types of hiking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethesis View Post
    No offense but so often there is no unblocked view or rain/mist/fog that I can’t really tell the difference. Have enjoyed both types of hiking.
    its not even just about the view. i find "side hill" trail terrible to walk on. whether theres a view at the top or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cneill13 View Post
    I disagree. The back to back combo of Sassafras and Justus was an ass kicker. They pussified another section of the Georgia trail. The Duncan Ridge Trail is also being rerouted to an easier contour.
    Same here. When my wife and I sectioned this area the Sassafras & Justus was tough! Justus Creek was a welcomed stop! We cameled up and rested a bit before trekking on!
    Section and Day Hiker

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    its not even just about the view. i find "side hill" trail terrible to walk on. whether theres a view at the top or not.
    I'm curious why you find side hill trail "terrible". I'm not judging, just seeking to understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skater View Post
    I'm curious why you find side hill trail "terrible". I'm not judging, just seeking to understand.
    for one they are, with rare exception, not very well made (which is weird given how theyre supposed to be more sustainable). theyre often unlevel, so youre walking constantly with one leg hitting ground that is a few inches lwoer than the other. doing that for miles sucks.

    for another, they tend to not go up or down in an orderly fashion. they go up 100 feet, down 50, up 75, down 45, up 100, down 25, etc etc. it gets old fast.

    lastly, and in really bad spots worst of all, they loop and contour around every little nook and cranny in the side of the hill if theyre there to be walked around. it makes the trail go on forever and you never seem to be getting anywhere. the most egregious example of this sort of trail i've encountered on the AT would be the trail on the north side of salibury going up into the taconic. the trail on north side of the susquehanna river near duncanon and a spot a little ways south of mt roger's headquarters as you come down out of the highlands. that one is especially egregious WRT to points 2 and 3.

    if i'm hiking up hill then lets get on with and go up the hill. fiddling around on the side of it for miles is boring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    for one they are, with rare exception, not very well made (which is weird given how theyre supposed to be more sustainable). theyre often unlevel, so youre walking constantly with one leg hitting ground that is a few inches lwoer than the other. doing that for miles sucks.

    for another, they tend to not go up or down in an orderly fashion. they go up 100 feet, down 50, up 75, down 45, up 100, down 25, etc etc. it gets old fast.

    lastly, and in really bad spots worst of all, they loop and contour around every little nook and cranny in the side of the hill if theyre there to be walked around. it makes the trail go on forever and you never seem to be getting anywhere. the most egregious example of this sort of trail i've encountered on the AT would be the trail on the north side of salibury going up into the taconic. the trail on north side of the susquehanna river near duncanon and a spot a little ways south of mt roger's headquarters as you come down out of the highlands. that one is especially egregious WRT to points 2 and 3.

    if i'm hiking up hill then lets get on with and go up the hill. fiddling around on the side of it for miles is boring.
    to be fair and by way of contrast, the new trail on the north side of bear mountain is side hill trail done well that it is enjoyable to hike on. so it can be done. but it rarely is, understandably, a lot of work went into that trail.

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