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Thread: Approach Trail

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeywrench View Post
    Opinion: The Approach trail is the proper way to begin a NOBO thru-hike. Only pansies skip the Approach Trail.
    Thats a load of steaming crap.

    I like the approach; most of it used to be the AT. But it don't matter if you start there, FS42 and backtrack a mile to Springer, or FS42 and hike the BMT SOBO to Springer.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Praha4 View Post
    ...A local shuttle driver, Wes Wisson, has quite a few great stories about wannabe thru hikers he has shuttled over the years.
    ...
    He was Bill Bryson's shuttler. For that reason, I obtained a shuttle from Wes when I section-hiked from Springer to Rt. 64 in '04 so that I could ask him about Bryson & Katz.

    I started my hike via the Approach Trail but like Bryson, I started at the Lodge, not the bottom of the Falls. Hiked it again this past February 28.

  3. #23

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    Lone Wolf, I sent you a PM regarding a shuttle this Friday. Thanks.

  4. #24

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    I'm glad I did a search before starting a thread to ask opinions of the "necessity" for the approach trail.

  5. #25
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    The only way I've ever left Springer is via FS 42. I've never understood the need to hike "the trail before the trail". I mean, go for it - but it's not the AT any more than any other side trail that intersects with the AT.

  6. #26

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    I wish the AT started at AFSP so we wouldn't have to revisit this discussion every year.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    I wish the AT started at AFSP so we wouldn't have to revisit this discussion every year.
    Get the admins to sticky this bugger to the top.

    I'm quite happy to see folks like you, 10-K, and Lone Wolf in the approach-trail-isn't-necessary camp. You guys seem like you're fairly hard core--not to be confused with a**hole--about some things, but reasonable. Seeing that you don't have the MUSTDOAPPROACHTRAILORDIE mindset makes me feel better about thinking "Why bother, it's not part of the AT?"

  8. #28
    Registered User moocow's Avatar
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    I did the approach trail to gain an appreciation for what was ahead. And I gained appreciation with a side of humility. I started in good shape (for an American). I had done my fair share of Texas and New Mexico trails, all of which were flat. I was dropped off at the visitor's center at 8:30 in the morning, and I got to the top of the falls at 10:00. I remember the sign at the top of the falls saying something like an average of four hours to Springer. I fought for every second, every inch of the trail that day. Most of the day involved me stopping every 10 feet. I was excited when I found a fairly flat stretch where I could fight the pain of 100 feet of non-stop action. Day-hikers passed me like I was hiking in reverse, and I pretended that I had been taking a planned snack break. I finished the approach at 5:30 in the evening. No one was there, so i took an arm extended self-shot of me at the Springer sign as the sun was starting to go down. I stumbled to the Springer shelter just in time to set up my tent and get inside before dark. No dinner, no water. I was so worn that I told myself I would do that stuff in the morning. My legs could barely support the weight of me, and I was glad I had made the last minute choice to buy some trekking poles. But I remember being excited because I had wanted Springer so much that I had been willing to fight through the most pain I had ever experienced before. I didn't think, nor do I think today that the approach was necessary. And laying in my tent that night I was humbled as I thought, "okay, tomorrow I begin".

  9. #29

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    The Approach Trail seems difficult, but I wouldn't want to start any other way. I just wish that the miles were included!!

  10. #30
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Don't you think there are enough hills ahead to gain appreciation? People always say that and I can't figure out what they mean.... Does adding 1 more hill to climb really do anything?

    Full disclosure: If I were ever at AFSP, bored with nothing to do I'd probably hike up it just so I could say I have but never in my wildest dreams would I make it part of an AT hike.

  11. #31

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    Again, it doesn't matter where you start, but the approach used to be the official AT so its more than just any other blue blaze.

    I think you should start based on whats easier for the person dropping you off.

    Many people are afraid of the approach as they have heard on certain hiking forums (hmm, which one?) that is is "difficult". Thats a crock, its no harder or easier than anything else in GA.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    Again, it doesn't matter where you start, but the approach used to be the official AT so its more than just any other blue blaze.

    I think you should start based on whats easier for the person dropping you off.

    Many people are afraid of the approach as they have heard on certain hiking forums (hmm, which one?) that is is "difficult". Thats a crock, its no harder or easier than anything else in GA.
    How did the approach become unincluded in the official trail?
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by atmilkman View Post
    How did the approach become unincluded in the official trail?
    The AT used to start at Mt Oglethorpe which was 20 miles S of Springer. The current approach trail was in this 20 mile section. In 1958 the southern terminus was moved to Springer because of "development" (i.e. chicken farms) around Mt Oglethorpe which degraded the hiking experience.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    The AT used to start at Mt Oglethorpe which was 20 miles S of Springer. The current approach trail was in this 20 mile section. In 1958 the southern terminus was moved to Springer because of "development" (i.e. chicken farms) around Mt Oglethorpe which degraded the hiking experience.
    Thanks. I hate to be a bother but can the old trail that started at Mt Oglethorpe still be hiked today?
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by atmilkman View Post
    Thanks. I hate to be a bother but can the old trail that started at Mt Oglethorpe still be hiked today?
    not legally. It is private property and posted closed, no tresspassing and such.
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
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  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by atmilkman View Post
    Thanks. I hate to be a bother but can the old trail that started at Mt Oglethorpe still be hiked today?
    No. You can't even get to the top of Mt Oglethorpe without permission, and the trail has long since been reclaimed.

  17. #37

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    Thanks guys, appreciate it. I find history of the trail interesting. Thanks again.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  18. #38
    Registered User moocow's Avatar
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    10-K, I think that underlying it all, that was the reason why I did it - because everyone does say that it gives you an appreciation for the trail. It was more about what I thought was tradition. I'm glad I did it, but I will say that I restarted the trail in April and drove straight up to the FS42 parking lot. I got more than enough appreciation in February. And I also figured out that the awe of the AT was what I was really after and all I needed, not the approach.

  19. #39
    jersey joe jersey joe's Avatar
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    I hiked the approach trail because of Bryson's book and how he wrote about it. Also, it was a convenient place for my brother to drop me off.
    Also...The arch makes a good picture and you can weigh your pack at the office/store.

  20. #40

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    On average though it depends on the hiker him/herself, from the Arch and hiking the Approach Trail to the summit takes about how long? 5-6 hours? given good weather...

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