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  1. #1
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    Default Springer Mountain to Gooch Gap late June

    Hello there. So I'm planning to do a quick 3 day 2 night hike. This is my plan:

    Day 1: Park at Gooch Gap and get shuttled back to Springer Mountain. Hike to stover creek shelter.

    Day 2: Stover Creek shelter to Gooch Moutain Shelter.

    Day 3: Hike out to car at Gooch Gap.

    I've done about 7 or 8 section hikes but none anywhere near this area. Usually I go in April or October. I'm assuming I'll need some bug spray. Does anyone have any words of wisdom about this area? Tips or suggestions are welcome. Things to not miss et cetera.

    Doesn't look like I'll need reservations at these shelters, unless I misread that on the Georgia AT site.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

  2. #2
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    If you go midweek in June, you'll probably see very few other hikers in that area. No reservations needed for shelters. Plenty of water up there from what I've heard, but camel up at Hawk Mtn shelter spring because you don't see any water north of there until Justis creek, and you have the Sassafrass Mtn and Justis Mtn climbs. It will be plenty hot, drink a lot. Bug spray a good idea.

  3. #3

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    You might want to hike a little farther day 3 to Woody gap which is a paved road and a little easier to get to then the FS road 42 at Gooch gap.

    Other than a limited view here and there, not much to see on that section once the trees leaf out.
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  4. #4

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    About a mile N of 3 Forks you'll come to a blue blaze to Long Creek Falls. Its worth the short walk. (Make sure you get back on the AT and not the BMT). About a mile N of Long Creek Falls you'll reach a forest service road. Turn left and you'll reach an old cemetery in about 100 yards. I think its a great place to take a break.

  5. #5

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    I just got back from an overnight at Springer. The bugs were terrible at the shelter, but not too bad while I was moving on the trail. I went from Amicalola to the Hike Inn, to Springer, then took Approach Trail back to Amicalola.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lecinda View Post
    I just got back from an overnight at Springer. The bugs were terrible at the shelter, but not too bad while I was moving on the trail.
    I noticed the same thing on more than one occasion. Annoying gnats at the shelter but no where else the rest of day. Moving or not.

  7. #7
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    Interesting about the views. Would I be better off doing the approach trail and looping back around? Is that more scenic than the section of AT that I've chosen? Nothing is set in stone yet.

  8. #8
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    If I have verizon will I have cell coverage at Woody Gap?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jax_o's_fan View Post
    If I have verizon will I have cell coverage at Woody Gap?
    Yes. I have verizon and had coverage in April.
    Trillium

  10. #10
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    And that cemetery sounds neat. I'll definitely check that out. Ty for the tips.

  11. #11
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    You might want to hike a little farther day 3 to Woody gap which is a paved road and a little easier to get to then the FS road 42 at Gooch gap.

    Other than a limited view here and there, not much to see on that section once the trees leaf out.
    I also suggest you continue on to Woody Gap and not end at Gooch. It is only 1.5 miles from the shelter to Gooch and Woody is only 3.5 miles further.

    About the only good view this time of year from Springer to Gooch is Springer. But there are two great views between Gooch and Woody, Page Knob and Ramrock Mtn. Nice view at Woody too.

    We have had tons of rain this year so everything is very green. But with all the rain we are having a buggy year. We don't have mosquitoes but there are lots of gnats. Also, be very aware of poison ivy. It is encroaching the trail in many places in this section. Definitely wear some high socks.

    Have a great hike.

  12. #12
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    So my nephew and I completed this section over the weekend. Wes the shuttle driver was very nice and well informed driver. We set off from Springer Gap and did the obligatory springer mountain walk back. I'd say the section from Springer Mountain to Hawk Mtn Shelter was relatively easy. Met a couple of interesting characters at H.M.S. Saint Nick and Rooster. Day 2 we started at hawk and were either going to stop at Gooch Shelter or push on to Woody gap. Since we hit gooch by 1215 we decided to push on to Woody. We thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Thanks to all for all the tips and suggestions.

    Can't wait to get back on the trail and go further.

  13. #13
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Praha4 View Post
    If you go midweek in June, you'll probably see very few other hikers in that area. No reservations needed for shelters. Plenty of water up there from what I've heard, but camel up at Hawk Mtn shelter spring because you don't see any water north of there until Justis creek, and you have the Sassafrass Mtn and Justis Mtn climbs. It will be plenty hot, drink a lot. Bug spray a good idea.
    You were spot on about the water. Justis creek was flowing great. The stream at hawk mtn was not bad either. But nothing in between those two spots.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jax_o's_fan View Post
    You were spot on about the water. Justis creek was flowing great. The stream at hawk mtn was not bad either. But nothing in between those two spots.
    That's normal. No on-trail water between these points even during a monsoon.

  15. #15
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    How were the bugs? The biting gnats and skeeters are getting bad here at lower elevations.

  16. #16
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    Bugs were a lot better than I anticipated. Hawk Mountain Shelter had a few bugs, but nothing like I've seen in the lower elevations of the smokeys. I was expecting swarming gnats, the kind where you are basically eating and inhaling them because they are all around you. Just had the occasional bug. I put on a little bit of bug spray on the start of day 1 and never put any more on the rest of my trip.

    Did have a huge black ant bury his head in the top of my foot while I was getting water behind Hawk.

    But overall, I was pleased that the bugs weren't that bad.

  17. #17
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    Just back from a 2-day from Springer to Cooper Gap with my kiddo. Although the views were few they were great, and there was plenty to see: a small bear, lots of cool bugs, flowers, plants, etc. Water was plentiful but yes camel up at Hawk. Someone left water jugs at Cooper Gap but you can't reply on that magic every day. Bugs were not bad AT ALL except a swarm of gnats at the shelter during dinner. Not ONE tick. Till I walked in my yard at home in Ohio. We used Off sportsmen. Not one skeeter bite on either of us. Phone signals were better up out of the gaps including on top of Sassafras Mtn.


    "Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
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  18. #18
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention that. I had verizon and was able to call and text from Hawk Mtn Shelter. My nephew had At&t and only had service near Woody Gap. I'm glad you got to see a bear. We did see a cool salamander and plenty of cool centipede type critters. We were there on Saturday at Springer ( sat night at hawk) and exited at Woody Gap on Sunday later afternoon. Loved the hike. A little sore today, but well worth it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by slbirdnerd View Post
    Phone signals were better up out of the gaps including on top of Sassafras Mtn.
    I've been trying to get info on cell phone signals in this area. What service provider do you use? (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc?)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jax_o's_fan View Post
    Forgot to mention that. I had verizon and was able to call and text from Hawk Mtn Shelter. My nephew had At&t and only had service near Woody Gap.
    And then I saw this post.

    Thanks for the info. I have AT&T which suddenly sounds unfortunate. Oh well.

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