Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Springer Mountain Approach Trail
Appalachian Approach Trail 1 Mile
East Ridge Trail 1 Mile
Appalachian Approach Trail 9.5 Miles
Appalachian Approach Trail 2 Miles
Hike Inn Trail 6 Miles
Total: 19.5 Miles
Lora and I decided to travel to Georgia and check out Springer Mountain, the start of the Appalachian trail. We headed to Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia where the Appalachian Approach Trail begins. It rained all the night before and all of our first day and into the night. Knowing that the rain was called for, we reserved a campsite at the campground where we could have hot showers.
After we arrived at the park and got checked in, we set up our tent and went hiking. We hiked down the 604 step staircase next to the 729 foot Amicalola Falls which is actually part of the Appalachian Approach Trail. We hike to the Visitor center and then hiked the East Ridge trail back up to the top of the falls. After that we made us some dinner and called it a night.
It finally quit raining sometime in the night and we got up, made breakfast, took a hot shower and then hit the trail. The weather was great for hiking and we saw many hikers on the trail. As the day went on the colder it got and the wind got stronger. We stopped just before Black Gap shelter for lunch and aired out equipment that was wet from the rain yesterday.
After lunch we hiked up Springer Mountain and got to see the first blaze on the Appalachian trail. It was extremely cold and windy at the summit. We hiked on to the shelter. This was the first shelter I have seen like this. It had a main floor with pegs for backpacks and then a ladder that took you up to a sleeping loft.
We checked out the two campgrounds and could not find a campsite out of the wind. A vote was taken and we hiked back down to Black Gap for the night.
After we found a place out of the wind, we set up the tent and got a campfire going. It was a beautiful night as the sky's cleared and the stars put on a show.
We got up the next morning and took the Hike Inn Trail to the Len Foote Hike Inn which is an Inn that you have to hike to since there are no roads. We stopped by to check it out. The staff was very friendly. They gave us a tour and let us have a snack and drink. We had an apple cornbread with honey that was outstanding. If you stay there they feed you dinner and breakfast doing it home style.
From there we hiked back to the car. We took pictures of the falls and the lodge since it was raining on the first day. To wet for the camera and the lodge was in a cloud.
It was a wonderful hike and we got to climb the famous Springer Mountain.