Friday, April 8, 2016

AT 2016 -> Days 1-5 (3/29-4/2) (miles -8 to 79)

In 2016 I'll be hiking the Appalachian Trail northbound from Georgia to Maine.  Passing through 14 states and stretching almost 2,200 miles, the trail heads mostly northeast along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katadin in Maine.

I started at Amicalola Falls State Park and hiked the 8 mile approach trail to the official start of the AT atop Springer Mountain on 3/29.   The first 5 days of trail took me 79 miles through north Georgia to the NC border at Bly Gap.

The trail passes mostly through mixed hardwood forests in Georgia, with abundant water flowing from springs and small creeks.  While the climbs/descents are not long in this first state, they are fairly steep and rocky.  The high point of the trail here is Blood Mountain which tops out at about 4,400 ft.  

Starting out at Amicalola Falls State Park 3/29/16

Weighing the pack at the visitor center

Starting the Approach Trail up the steps to the top of Amicalola Falls

Top of the falls looking south
The official start of the AT atop Springer Mtn, Georgia
First white blaze of the AT 
Long Creek Falls Day 1

Camp near mile 10
Morning Day 2 through oak forests

Trail magic at Woody Gap, mile 21
Steep climb up Blood Mtn
Shelter on summit of Blood Mtn
Neels Gap
Stormy evening at Whitley Gap shelter 

Climb up Tray Mtn
Mile 70

Another clear cold day, trees are still mostly bare
Day 5

Crossing into NC on evening of Day 5, mile 79