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Thread: Approach Trail

  1. #41
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    Default Approach Trail?

    If you are planing to do a thru-hike, definately do the approach trail. Amicalola Falls Park is such a nice spot to start. The approach trail starts with a beautiful stone arch to have your picture taken under.
    2000 miles is a long way to walk. Do a few extra at the begining, you will be glad you did. Do the 9 miles to Springer shelter and spend the night. I did and was never sorry that I didn't take the "short cut".
    Grampie-N->2001

  2. #42
    ...Or is it Hiker Trash? Almost There's Avatar
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    If you have never hiked in the Mountains along the AT, you might want to try the approach trail. Personally, once you have done Springer to Blood, the attitude is sort of what is the point. Being a section hiker, I just drive up 42 when I hike in the area. When I eventually do a thru, it won't be via the Approach. As for Camaraderie, etc., you will develop that the first couple nights on the trail anyways, or if you stop at Neel's Gap for a stay at the cabins or the hostel. I would use the first day to get used to your weight, and it's better to do this going downhill from the top of Springer to Hawk, than up eight miles IMHO. Blood isn't as tough as it seems, Sassafras is much tougher. People should be able to make it to Walasi-Yi. If you're looking for torture before you start your thru, hike the approach, you'll torture yourself enough over your 2100+ miles, why start on the first day?
    Walking Dead Bear
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  3. #43
    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Youngblood
    There isn't a regular type resturaunt there. Can you just stop by for breakfast? I would have thought that the meals were for the lodge guests and maybe for a few drop-ins on the occassions when they had enough food.
    The Lodge (at the top of the Falls) has a regular restaurant http://www.amicalolafalls.com/net/co...5815.0.10.5646

    The Len Foote Hike Inn serves meals to guests. Drop-ins can get a cup of coffee, but don't show up without reservations and expect more.
    You never turned around to see the frowns
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dances with Mice
    The Lodge (at the top of the Falls) has a regular restaurant http://www.amicalolafalls.com/net/co...5815.0.10.5646

    The Len Foote Hike Inn serves meals to guests. Drop-ins can get a cup of coffee, but don't show up without reservations and expect more.
    My mistake... as you surmised I was thinking of the Inn when the subject was the Lodge.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dances with Mice
    The Lodge (at the top of the Falls) has a regular restaurant http://www.amicalolafalls.com/net/co...5815.0.10.5646.
    Thanks, don't know why I didn't find it. (B-fast hours are 7-10, btw)
    Frosty

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    I went for a week hike (actually started monday, but only made it to tuesday night... guess not a week ) and started at ASP. I made it past the Springer shelter and spent the night by the river. I then tried to get to Gooch the next night, but only made it to Cooper Gap, as I had not planned properly and ran out of water, while carrying 17lbs of food. (I overprepared a bit) Total pack weight was about 33lbs. I will definitely do the Approach when I attempt my thru in '06. Next time, I'm carrying 1/3 the food, and 1.5-2x the water.

  7. #47
    Jay, Class of 2005 MoBeach42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straydog
    "I DON'T WANNA...IT'S TOO HARD" I couldn't have said it better!
    Climbing Katahdin, or Webster Cliffs is hard. The Approach Trail is not - it's a lovely set of rolling hills, and the glimpses of Springer through the trees (especially if there are snow flurries in the air) really gets your excitement level up. And at least the day I started, the two staff people atthe ASP visitors center were SUPER friendly, and gave me the best send off anyone could have ever asked for. It's like they were trained to be the most encouraging and smiley people on the planet. I found that ASP to Stover Creek was a really nice first day. Highly reccomended.
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  8. #48
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    If you start your hike at Amicacola state park and walk the .9 mile up to the restrooms before reaching the top of the falls, do you then walk past the falls? Then where do you find the continuation of the hiking path?
    taking the high roads and the low roads

  9. #49
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    Default re: the approach trail

    Frankly it escapes me why this subject should start such a discussion.

    If you are gonna hike 2100+ miles over God knows how many mountains, what's the big deal about 7-8 miles and a 2000 some foot climb?

    Regarding Lone Wolfs comment, how can one possibly spend two full days on tihs 7 mile approach trail and be wiped out? I hiked it at a very relaxed pace and got to Springer in 6 hours or so. I found that much of the AT in Georgia was way harder than the approach trail. I was a little tired yes but not extra oridnarily so. That was nothing compared to the next day when I packed up in freezing temps with a full gale blowing then hiked 13 miles in 60+ degree March heat with no water for 3-4 hours of the hike--- because I wasnt smart enough to get water at Hawk Mtn!.

    The only reason I can think of to start at Forest serivce lot is if a non hiker is giving you a ride to the trail head (an aging parent who doesn't hike much for example) and would like to walk the easy .9 miles to the plaque and then back to car.

    David

  10. #50
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidNH View Post
    Frankly it escapes me why this subject should start such a discussion.

    If you are gonna hike 2100+ miles over God knows how many mountains, what's the big deal about 7-8 miles and a 2000 some foot climb?

    Exactly! Both ways I may add...

    If you want to do it..GREAT!

    If you DON'T..that's fine, too!

    I never did the approach trail because of where my ride dropped me off.

    And after hiking XXXX amount of miles and God knows how many mountains since that time, I really don't see the big deal about the 7-8 miles and a 2000 some foot climb.

    If my ride dropped me off at Amicola Falls I'd still feel the same way.


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  11. #51
    Registered User mobileman's Avatar
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    Post #48 on this thread asks a current question THAT QUESTION IS AS FOLLOWS; After leaving the lodge at amoiacola falls thru the rear door , going thru the welcoming to the trail gate, hiking up the first .9 mile, arriving at the restrooms, turning left and walking 100 yards to view the top of the falls, which way, straight ahead in the direction you were going? OR turn around and go back to the restrooms? OR WHAT do you do to go to Springer mountain?
    taking the high roads and the low roads

  12. #52
    Registered User thestin's Avatar
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    You can turn around and go back to the restrooms. You can also walk up the road toward the campground and cabins, and then take a right on the road that runs past the first of the cabins (You're going uphill...don't take the paved road that runs downhill out of the parking lot. That goes back to the lodge).

    Follow that road...it quickly turns to dirt. The approach trail crosses the road.
    Hang a left on walk to Springer.

  13. #53
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    There is nothing at all remarkable about the approach trail except that it is boring. If you want to take your picture at the arch behind he ASP visitor's center, stop off and then drive up to Springer.
    "If you don't know where you're going...any road will get you there."
    "He who's not busy living is busy dying"

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by bulldog49 View Post
    There is nothing at all remarkable about the Appalachian Trail except that it is boring. If you want to take your picture at the arch behind he ASP visitor's center, stop off and then drive up I-95 to Katahdin.
    Admittedly, I changed the quote a bit to make a point.

    Just off the top of my head the Approach Trail:

    1. Used to be part of the Appalachian Trail.
    2. Takes you past the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi.
    3. Has the traditional "hikers scale" at the visitor center.
    4. Has the first shelter you'll come to.
    5. Take a blue blaze to the Len Foote Hike Inn for a quick snack and to check out this unique facility. Maybe even spend the night.
    6. You'll pass a spot where you used to see the wreckage of a small airplane. Gone now, but read the sign and imagine what happened.
    7. The Black Mtn. Shelter "used" to be the Springer Mtn Shelter. Lots of the original thru hikers stayed there before it was helicoptered to its present location.
    8. BTW, its not any tougher than anything else in GA. Several relos have made it a tamer version than in years gone by.

  15. #55
    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imobileman View Post
    Post #48 on this thread asks a current question THAT QUESTION IS AS FOLLOWS; After leaving the lodge at amoiacola falls thru the rear door , going thru the welcoming to the trail gate, hiking up the first .9 mile, arriving at the restrooms, turning left and walking 100 yards to view the top of the falls, which way, straight ahead in the direction you were going? OR turn around and go back to the restrooms? OR WHAT do you do to go to Springer mountain?
    You mean as you leave thru the rear door of the Visitor's Center, the Lodge is up by the Falls. If you're a, uh, purist blue blazer you'd return to the restrooms. The northbound trail takes a right near there, leaving the old gravel road and heads over towards the Lodge's parking lot. You'll cross the paved road to the Lodge just below the parking lot and will see a large sign beside the road warning the unwary that they're headed towards Springer Mtn on a 'strenuous' trail. Can't miss it.

    There may be other paths leading from the Falls up to the Lodge, any of them will get you to the same location.
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  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by imobileman View Post
    If you start your hike at Amicacola state park and walk the .9 mile up to the restrooms before reaching the top of the falls, do you then walk past the falls? Then where do you find the continuation of the hiking path?
    There's a map(pdf format) on the Georgia State Parks website, here's a direct link:
    http://gastateparks.org/content/geor...la-sitemap.pdf

  17. #57
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  18. #58
    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midway Sam View Post
    Be aware that Amicalola Lake, shown on the map, was drained about 30 years ago.
    You never turned around to see the frowns
    On the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all did tricks for you.

  19. #59
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    The approach trail is a great trail as trails go. At least better than most, including much of the Appalachian Trail.

    Those who worry about doing it should ask themseves why they are planning a thru hike. If it is to enjoy six months in the woods, than do the approach trail. Those eight miles are as enjoyable as any.

    But if your goal is to simply "conquer" the AT, whether you do the approach trail probably makes no difference. Some manage to reach Katahdin, while hating the trail the whole way. But that is rare, Most will find an excuse to quit long before reaching Maine.

    Does it really matter if the miles before quitting include eight miles before you reached Springer?

    Weary

  20. #60
    Doting Membrane Skidsteer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    Does it really matter if the miles before quitting include eight miles before you reached Springer?
    Weary
    No...

    It really doesn't matter either way.
    Skids

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