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  1. #1
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    Default May 2021 trip - georgia section



    Hello!

    New to the AT here! There are three of us planning on venturing out to complete the Georgia section of the trail this upcomming spring. I was just looking to hear from those who have traveled this section... What were your favorite parts of Georgia? What is worth mentioning?

    Thanks in advance!
    I am really looking forward to this.

    - JESS

  2. #2

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    Nice rolling stretch of trail through Georgia, I would plan for 1 week and logistically it is better to stop at dicks creek vs deep gap however Ron Brown does not mind driving to deep gap if you would like to finish the entire state. otherwise push on to Standing Indian.

    Helen GA is a fun stop.
    There just isn't a lot of iconic stuff to see in GA. Pretty straight forward - highway/ road crossings every 20 miles or so. Unicoi gap to Dicks creek will be your most difficult stretch.
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the feedback! This is helpful since as of now we are unsure of exactly how/where we are exiting the trail. Also, how does one get in touch with Ron Brown?
    I will note the Helen, GA stop!
    As of now, we are shooting for eight days to complete.

    - JESS

  4. #4
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    May is an awesome time to hike the trail in Georgia.

    Georgia is the epitome of "long green tunnel." The trail doesn't cross any pastureland. With the exception of the occasional road or mountaintop vista, you're in green. I love that about the trail.

    If you start from near the top of Springer Mountain, the first day is mostly easy, which is a real treat. After that it's rolling - some tough climbs and jarring downhill stretches. Blood Mountain and Neels Gap are certainly highlights, as are the spring birdsong (if you know birdsongs), flowers, and lush leafing-out of hardwoods.

    David Brill's wonderful As Far as the Eye Can See, about his 1979 thru-hike, includes some wonderful passages about Georgia and the southern Appalachians. The books opens with his account of a tremendous storm at Tesnatee Gap, not far north of Neels Gap. You might also step back a generation further to read Earl Shaffer's Walking with Spring. When Earl did his through hike in 1948, the Appalachian people still lived along the trail, hunting, working, gathering herbs.

  5. #5
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    Dan,

    Thank you for the information! So helpful and enlightening. I've read and watched quite a bit of material regarding the AT but I will make sure to include those to my mental library.
    ' Long Green Tunnel and all the lush ' <--- that sounds beautiful. Cannot wait to experience it first hand.
    As far as markets and stores go in GA, can we rely on coming across a place to restock at least every 3 days?

  6. #6

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    The Short answer is Yes. The longer answer is that the only resupply option ON the trail in GA is Neel Gap.

    You can resupply at Neels but it is a little pricey.

    From there another 3 days should get ya to Helen or Hiawassee. And from there to the car

    Ron Browns info click below on AT Shuttle list.
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  7. #7

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    My favorite part of the Georgia section was camping next to the river at Justus Creek around mile 14. The official tent sites are up the hill and around the corner, but there is an logging road or trail that goes right along the creek providing a great spot for camping and it's been used plenty so it's not like you're doing damage to plants or anything. Also, instead of putting a random number up like "we're going to do 9 miles per day," maybe try to make a longer day in the area between Hogpen and Unicoi as that is probably the easiest section, and as mentioned, the part between Unicoi and Dick's Creek has a lot of up and downs, so maybe cut your expected mileage in that area a little bit. We also found good camping with easy water at Jarrard Gap (mile 26 and last spot before bear canister requirement through Neel Gap), the cheese factory site around mile 56 and Sassafrass Gap around mile 62. Feel free to reply or PM me if you want any other info, I just finished the GA section over several section hikes.

  8. #8
    Registered User hobby's Avatar
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    Long Creek falls is a short side trip on your first day, about a mile north of Three Forks. Beautiful!

  9. #9
    Registered User greentick's Avatar
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    Sectioned Jarrard gap to Springer in May several years ago. Got everything from cool to hot, dry to humid to torrential rain over a 2 overnighter hike. By time we were recovering our vehicles (we self-shuttled) driving the forest roads, there occurred one of the most impressive lightning storms I've ever seen. Great hike.

    That green is so fresh that time of year - beautiful.
    nous dťfions

    It's gonna be ok.

    Ditch Medicine: wash your hands and keep your booger-pickers off your face!

  10. #10
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    I appreciate all the feedback. I shared all of this information with my two partners!

    What hostels / stores / stops do you recommend the most while in Helen, GA. We plan on staying there on the fourth night of our section hike.

  11. #11

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    I signed up for an account just so I could reply to this thread. I am also planning a section hike of Georgia for this upcoming May (exact time TBD). Iím what most people (here) would call new to backpacking... Mostly just 3-4 one-night adventures so far (finally getting my gear in order so Iím not lugging like 40+ lbs anymore!). Planning a 2-nighter of Eagle Rock Loop in Arkansas in October, and then onto the AT in May.

    My tentative plan was to park at Deep Gap and shuttle to Amicalola... But I see a comment above that this may not be the best option? I would love, if possible, to complete Georgia, just for the psychology of it, if nothing else. Thanks for any words of wisdom.

    (Edit: Also, how long in advance would you recommend reserving a shuttle?)

  12. #12

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    Deep gap is sort of out of the way, a long drive around the mountains. Getting back to Amicalola from Hiawassee is much easier, quicker and hence less expensive then from Deep Gap. Dick's Creek to Muskrat shelter is a tough day.

    Typically, it's 3 days to Neel gap, buy some food, stay at the hostel. 3 more days gets you to the Hiawassee. Half a dozen limited views along the way, mostly a walk in the woods - with a lot of up and down.

    A week out should be sufficient for a shuttle. By then you know for sure your timetable and that you are indeed going.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  13. #13

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    Thanks, Slo-goíen, that makes a lot of sense. A quick Google Maps of Amicalola to Dicks Creek is 63 miles by road... but 100 miles to either Deep Gap or Standing Indian. I get the logic here.

    Since my post Iíve done some reading in the forum of others who have wanted to do a Georgia section hikeóthis has been helpful.

  14. #14

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    BTW, early May is good because the wild flowers, trees and bushes are starting to bloom and it is very pretty. Plus the weather has settled down.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  15. #15

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    I heard an AT official mention in passing that there was a major rerouting of the Georgia section of the AT.
    Did I hear correct? If so, will there be a revised Georgia trail guide in time for spring 2021?
    Perhaps it would simply be a matter of using the existing guidebook and maps to the extent that you can, and simply follow the white blazes in those areas where the book no longer makes sense.

    I hiked the Georgia section a long time ago, parked below Amicalola Falls, letting the park rangers know my itinerary.
    Ended my hike at the base of Standing Indian at a forest service campground, getting a ride back to Georgia from my parents.
    Those days are over. Sharing a ride with other hikers is the path going forward for me.

  16. #16
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    Try to camp near Blood Mountain. The sunrise there is one of the best in Georgia. If you donít want to camp on top, then camp at Slaughter Creek on the south side, get up early and hike to the top for the sunrise. The hike up the south side, nobo, is easier than the other way.
    Between Hogpen Gap and Unicoi Gap, take note of the spring on the south side of Chattahoochee Gap. It is the source of the river. I still enjoy my photo taken years ago with my feet astride the Chattahoochee at that point, with my hiking staff wider than the river.
    Enjoy lunch on that rocky overlook a few miles south of Woody Gap. I havenít been there in years, but for many years I enjoyed day hikes to that spot. Just a few miles north of there,
    if time allows take a side trip down to Lake Winfield Scott.
    I love Georgiaís big green tunnel, but it does have some highlights.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    Default

    Im also planning this section in May - Just not sure of the week as of now. I will watch the weather and hike when the weather is nice!
    Enjoy your hike!
    Doug

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by RamblinMark View Post
    I heard an AT official mention in passing that there was a major rerouting of the Georgia section of the AT.
    Did I hear correct? If so, will there be a revised Georgia trail guide in time for spring 2021?
    Perhaps it would simply be a matter of using the existing guidebook and maps to the extent that you can, and simply follow the white blazes in those areas where the book no longer makes sense.

    I hiked the Georgia section a long time ago, parked below Amicalola Falls, letting the park rangers know my itinerary.
    Ended my hike at the base of Standing Indian at a forest service campground, getting a ride back to Georgia from my parents.
    Those days are over. Sharing a ride with other hikers is the path going forward for me.
    Where'd you hear this, RamblinMark? Anyone else hear news of this?

  19. #19
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    I haven't heard of any major trail changes in Georgia.

    Perhaps the AT official you were talking to was speaking of a historic change, such as omitting the original end section to Mt. Oglethorpe (in the 1950s) or the threat of a change when there was talk of parkway on the Swag of the Blue Ridge (I think in the '60s).

    The only significant change to the Georgia section in recent years was taking out the final climb before Justus Creek, routing the trail off the ridge crest to create a more moderate descent to the creek. That was done sometime between 2010 and 2015, I think.

  20. #20
    Registered User Blazeman's Avatar
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    Sorry to be late to party here but been traveling a lot. Always want to share info since I learned a lot from reading others posts before my hike.

    Just did Springer Mountain to Dicks Creek Gap first week of June. Staged car at Dicks Creek Gap and drove 2Nd car to Springer Mountain to start hike. Did the 69 miles in 6 days, which was 1 day ahead of schedule. The Georgia section of the AT is really rocky. So hiking poles are highly recommended.

    Dropped off re-supply box the day before the hike start at Mountain Crossings (Neels Gap). This is 30 miles into the hike so perfect place to re-supply. They ask for $1 donation to hold the box. I gave them $5 for my box!

    Started at Springer Mountain parking lot. Left packs in truck and hiked to Springer Mtn and back to parking lot. So 2 mile loop. At 5 miles you hit Long Creek Falls, great place to stop for lunch. Hiked to Hawk Mountain Shelter. Plenty of space for tents there.

    2nd day (started in the pouring rain!) Hiked to Woody Gap. Which crosses GA 60. According to research this place was supposed to (key word “supposed to”) have tent sites NOBO on trail 300 ft on the right and another tent site up the hill behind the lower sight. Well this place sucked because it had rained that morning so lower site had standing water and upper sight was overgrown with vegetation. There was a separate trail with blue blaze just past privy so I ventured down it and found a couple stealth camping spots so we camped there for the night. (Adapt, Improvise and Overcome)

    3rd day hiked to Neel Gap and picked up re-supply box at Mountain Crossings. Great place to stop and get something to eat and drink! Also bought some Cliff shots and GU. From there we hiked about another mile to Bull Gap, which has a pretty big area for tent camping. There is water here but have to hike down a hill to get to it.

    4th day we hiked to Low Gap Shelter. At Hogpen gap there is an AT plaque that is a nice pic opportunity.

    5th day we made a change in plans since we were supposed to hike about 11 miles to Rocky Mountain campsite but got word on the trail a storm was supposed to move in. We had been tent camping, so decided to hike to Trey Mountain Shelter to hopefully we could stay in the shelter. The place was awesome since 1) we were first ones there so we could get into shelter 2) it was like hanging out in the clouds since they had settled over the mountain. Made the air cool and a bit eerie. (ended up being really windy that night with little rain)

    6th day hiked out to Dicks Creek Gap.

    So what we learned:
    1. Avg. speed was about 1.7 to 2.2 miles an hour
    2 Get up early and head out on the trail. Pack your stuff, make bfast, and get on the trail. We were in the trail by 6:30 every day. This allows you to get you hike done and have time to recharge, if you want to stay in shelter you get there early to claim a spot and if necessary make adjustments to your hike plan.
    3 Pack snacks to eat on the trail. Brother-in-law packed lots of cooking meals but not enough trail food. Hence the Cliff Shots and GU at Mountain Crossings.
    4. Get the Guthook app. That is one awesome app. You can quickly tell things like where next water source is and how far the next shelter is, etc.
    5. Turn your phone on Airplane mode to save the battery. I charged my phone at Mountain Crossings (they have outlet on side of building by picnic tables). But other than that my phone lasted all 6 days.

    Hope this helps and best of luck on the trail.

    Blazeman

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