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Appalachian Trail Primer, GA

Oct 26 - Nov 2, 2019 -- $1150 ★★, Only 1 Spot Left

If you have ever dreamed of hiking the 2190 mile long Appalachian Trail, that runs from Georgia to Maine -- but don't know where to start -- the Fall Foliage season is a great time to do so. Popularized by Bill Bryson in A Walk in the Woods, we will start our hike where most thru-hikers start ... at Springer Mountain, GA (Amicalola Falls, actually), the Southern terminus of the trail.

Our journey will begin as many thru-hikes do, in Amicalola Falls State Park. After a grueling first day, we'll ascend Springer Mountain (the official beginning of the trail) and continue on to Sassafrasss Mountain, Gooch Gap, and Blood Mountain before ending in Neels Gap at the somewhat famous Walasi Yi, a historical structure and outfitting store which the AT officially passes through.

If you are curious what hiking the Appalachian Trail is all about and want to get a taste of what thru-hiking is like, this is the trip for you. We will teach you everything you need to know to undertake your own thru-hike of the AT. On the 2011 trip, one hiker was so inspired, he decided to keep hiking all the way to the North Carolina border! Who knows? Maybe you'll give the AT a try the following Spring.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Historical October weather averages in the 60s & 70s during the day and the 30s & 40s at night. It should be insect free with crisp Fall Foliage. Rain can happen at any time, so make sure to be prepared for that as well.

Trip Leaders

Bruce Cannon
Steve Silberberg


$1150 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Hartsfiel Airport Atlanta (ATL), as well as personal equipment restaurant meals and gratuities for guides. You may also be charged for any parking charges for leaving your car at the hotel all week (probably none, but they sometimes charge for this).

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation to/from the trail, permits, insurance, and awesome guides.


Expect this to be a sometimes strenuous (but doable) trip. There are a lot of ups and downs and the daily mileage will be in the 8+ mile range. Towards the end of the trip, mileages will be lower and and you'll have your hiking legs so you'll be able to experience pure hiking joy (we hope) you can expect on the Appalachian Trail.


As this is a thru-hiking primer, you will be cooking your own meals on this trip with our guidance. You'll also treat your own water. Bring your stove of choice and fuel if you are not flying (We will be able to provide Coleman Fuel / White Fuel or denatured alcohol) but probably not iso-butane unless you let us know in advance. At the hotel, we'll present you with an array of backpacking foods and you determine what you carry.

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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Fly or drive into Atlanta (ATL). The best time to arrive is between around Noon-3PM. However, if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving a few hours earlier or later, then do so.

Take free airport shuttle to our local hotel Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta Airport North I-85, 3450 Bobby Brown Pkwy, East Point, GA 30344, 404-767-9300

Equipment shakedown. We go though your stuff to make sure you are appropriately outfitted.

Trail mix distribution (make your own from our ingredients)

Go to REI Atlanta, 1800 Northeast Expy NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, (404) 633-6508 for last minute equipment if necessary. Note: this store is over 30 minutes from our hotel, so please make sure to carefully go through the packing list to avoid necessitating this trip.

"Before" measurements taken

Go out for dinner at a local restaurant (Dinner cost not included in trip price)

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Second set of "before" measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage.

Free Hotel Breakfast

Shuttle to Amicalola Falls State Park

Shuttle one vehicle to Neels Gap

Begin Hiking, elevation 1700'.

Hike 7.3 uphill miles to Black Gap Shelter, elevation 3400'.

Camp at Black Gap Shelter, elevation 3400'.

Mileage Today: 7.3 miles. Total to Date: 7.3 miles

Possible bailout: Route 28, Nimblewill Gap

Monday, October 28, 2019

Hike 1.5 miles to the top of Springer Mountain, elevation 3782'

Congratulations, you are now at the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail

Hike 7.6 miles to a blue blazed Trail

Hike 0.2 miles to Hawk Mountain Shelter, elevation 3250'

Camp at Hawk Mountain Shelter, elevation 3250'

Mileage Today: 9.3. Total mileage: 16.6

Possible bailout: Route 42 or 58

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Hike 0.2 miles back to the AT.

Hike 7.3 miles to Gooch Mountain Shelter.

Camp at Gooch Mountain Shelter, elevation 2800'.

Mileage Today: 7.5. Total mileage: 24.1

Possible bailout: Route 69, 42, or 15

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Hike 5.0 miles to Woody Gap, elevation 3150'.

Hike 3.2 miles past the Dockery Lake Trail, elevation 2900'.

Camp at stream past the Dockery Lake Trail, elevation 2900'.

Mileage Today: 8.2. Total mileage: 32.3

Possible bailouts: Route 42

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Hike 4.2 uphill miles to Slaughter Creek Campsite, elevation 3800'.

Drop packs and set up camp

Day Hike 0.8 miles to the Coosa Mountain Trail

Day Hike 1.5 miles on the Coosa Mountain Trail to the summit of Slaughter Mountain, elevation 4338'. The last .3 miles require off-trail bushwacking

Day Hike 2.3 miles back to Slaughter Creek Campsite

Camp at Slaughter Creek Campsite, elevation 3800'.

Mileage Today: 8.8. Total mileage: 41.1

Possible bailout: Woody Gap

Friday, November 1, 2019

Hike 3.2 miles over Blood Mountain to Walasi-Yi center at Neels Gap, elvation 3125'

End of hike

Mileage Today: 3.2. Total mileage: 44.3

Possible bailout: Neels Gap

Shuttle back to our local hotel Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta Airport North I-85, 3450 Bobby Brown Pkwy, East Point, GA 30344, 404-767-9300

End measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip price)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Check out of hotel

Take free airport shuttle

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