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Springer Mountain in southern Fannin County is the start of a 2,000+ mile trek to Maine’s Mount Katahdin known as the Appalachian Trail. As the trail follows the eastern ridge of the Appalachian Mountains it passes through 14 states, and although the slogan is “Maine to Georgia,” most people hike the trail the other way, Georgia to Maine. Georgia’s mild climate plays a role in this, since hikers like to start the 6 month trek in April. Another reason: the toughest part of the trail, in New Hampshire and Maine is saved for last, when hikers are in condition to handle it.
The Appalachian Trail Starts Here – Fannin County, Georgia.
The longest and best-known hiking trail in the country, the Appalachian Trail winds from the north woods of Maine all the way south to Georgia. While you won’t earn the same kudos driving as you would by walking, the following scenic roads come very close to paralleling the pedestrian route, taking you through the almost continuous natural beauty without the sweat and blisters. Best of all, this driving route follows magnificently scenic two-lane roads all the way from the top of New England to the heart of Dixie, running past a wealth of fascinating towns and historic sites.
The Appalachian landscape holds some of the wealthiest, and some of the most needy, areas in the entire country. These contrasting worlds often sit within a few miles of one another: Every resort and retirement community seems to have its alter-ego as a former mill town, now as dependent upon tourism as they once were upon the land and its resources.
The Maine Appalachian Trail is a tough, tough place to hike. There are lots of mountains and mud and rocks and roots, but the weather is just so unpredictable and nasty!
I got a taste of that (again) when I backpacked from Stratton to Rangely for 4 nights and 3 days, last week. This is a very tough section of the trail with a lot of above treeline exposure and steep climbs up North and South Crocker, Spaulding Mountain, The Horn and Saddleback Mountains.
I’d hoped to go even farther than Rangeley on this hike and finish all of the remaining 79 miles of the AT I have in Maine, but I got off the trail after 32 miles due to violent thunderstorms, hail, high winds, rain, and a possible tornado. Being a section hiker, I had a hard deadline (my wife’s birthday) to finish this hike by and there was no way I was going to make it with a 2 day bad weather delay. That’s basically what it boiled down too.
Rangeley turned out to be a good town – basically the only town – to get off the trail and get a ride back to my car down in Grafton Notch, something that only happened because of a little trail magic.
Section Hike: Stratton to Rangeley on the Maine Appalachian Trail | Section Hikers Backpacking Blog.
Appalachian Trail Forums
WhiteBlaze – Appalachian Trail.
The Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) is an all volunteer, nonprofit corporation that was organized on June 18, 1935, to assume responsibility for the management, maintenance and protection of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Maine. Except for its limited role in Baxter State Park, the MATC is responsible for all Trail and Trail structure design, construction, and maintenance, for monitoring activities in the AT corridor, and for basic public information and education regarding the Trail in Maine. The MATC is not a hiking or outing club. It exists solely for the protection and perpetuation of the AT. The MATC is not affiliated with nor is it a part of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). The MATC and the AMC are two separate organizations, although both are involved with protection and maintenance of the AT.
Home | Maine Appalachian Trail Club.
The Appalachian Trail begins in Georgia at Springer Mountain and leaves the Peach State 79 miles later at Bly Gap. The rugged, often rocky terrain reaches a height of more than 4400 feet and never dips below 2500 feet. The high point of the trail is at Blood Mountain (4,461 ft.) while the low point is Dicks Creek Gap (2,675 ft.) Access to the beginning of the Appalachian Trail is by foot from Amicalola Falls State Park.
Appalachian Trail in Georgia – GeorgiaTrails.com.
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“Makes you feel the pain and joy of an Appalachian Trail thru-hike . . . In vivid colors, David paints a picture of his memorable journey.”—Larry Luxenberg, president of the Appalachian Trail Museum Society
In 2003, David Miller left his job, family, and friends to fulfill a dream and hike the Appalachian Trail. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail is Miller’s account of this thru-hike along the entire 2,172 miles from Georgia to Maine. On page after page, readers are treated to rich descriptions of the valleys and mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the life-changing moments that can only be experienced when dreams are pursued. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about safety and proper gear, showing a professional hiker’s preparations and tenacity. This is not merely a travel guide, but a beautifully written and highly personal view into one man’s adventure and what it means to make a lifelong vision come true.
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Join Kyle and his little dog “Katana” as they take you along for every step of their 2,185 mile adventure hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. Confront the terrain, severe weather, injury, dangerous wildlife and questionable characters as you grow and learn just as Kyle did from start to finish on this epic adventure. Make some friends for life, learn the finer points of long distance hiking, and realize that what you take within your backpack is not nearly as important as what you bring within yourself… This exciting and often times humorous narrative does more than simply tell the story of Kyle and Katana’s adventures out on the trail. It urges the reader to examine their own life, fears, strengths, weaknesses and dreams, then learn to overcome or realize them. This book tells a story as much as it teaches, inspires and motivates you to get out there and see what the world has to offer. You will learn what it takes mentally and physically to accomplish an undertaking such as hiking thousands of miles through mountainous wilderness and countless obstacles that are all determined to make you quit. As Kyle did, you might even learn some things about yourself…
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The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine.
Backpacker Magazine – Appalachian Trail Guide.