Highest Elevation – 3782, Springer Mountain
Lowest Elevation – 1800, Amicalola Falls visitor center
Mileage – 11.6
Our adventure on the Appalachian Trail lasted 5 days and started at Amicalola Falls State Park. We stayed at the lodge Saturday night. Sunday morning we drove to the end point of our hike, Hog Pen Gap, where we left the car and took a shuttle back to the visitor center at Amicalola Falls State Park. Our shuttle driver was named Dixie. Her husband, Wes, was the shuttle driver for Bill Bryson, the idiot who wrote A Walk in the Woods.
We checked in at the visitor center around noon and then headed out on the approach trail. The approach trail leads up to Springer Mountain where the AT starts. Part of the approach trail consists of 600 stairs to view the falls. We had left our packs at the lodge, so climbing the steps was tiring, but not exhausting like it would be with a pack. The approach trail is 8.5 miles and once we got to Springer, there was a marker for the beginning of the trail. We continued a few more miles and stopped at Stover Creek Shelter for the night around 7:30.
We didn’t eat lunch that day because we ate so much for breakfast, so by this time I was pretty hungry. My typical supper would be a dehydrated meal, beef stick, and Oreos. All of our food and scented items like toothpaste and sunscreen went in the bear box. This box looked pretty new and was the only one we saw on the trail. Soon after cleaning up we went to bed. The tent was easy to put up, but the ground was very hard even with a sleeping pad. It was a cool night and I was glad to have my sleeping bag that can keep me warm into the 20s or teens.