5 Blue Blazes in Georgia

According to many a hiker (plus the fly-fisherman we met at the bottom of Amicalola Falls), the rocks and roots of Georgia present some of the most challenging miles on the Appalachian Trail. NOBO thru-hikers step onto the red clay of Georgia with fresh legs and varied levels of experience.

While you’re building your trail legs, consider resisting the urge to pump out high-mile days. Instead, stop and enjoy a blue blaze or two.

5 Blue Blazes in the First 47 Miles of Georgia

The Len Foote Hike Inn

Depart Amicalola Falls State Park on the approach trail and head towards Springer Mountain. About 5.3 miles in, indulge yourself at this halfway point to the summit that features showers, bunkhouses, coffee, amazing food, and a shared sunrise you won’t forget. No laundry services. While the Hike Inn does accept walk-ins, they cannot guarantee space will be available, so make a reservation.

Long Creek Falls

Featuring meandering ups and downs, crisscrossing a stream for much of the way, the stretch of trail between Stover Creek Shelter and Hawk Mountain (and others like it) is why the Appalachian Trail is graced with the moniker, the “green tunnel.”

Here, rhododendrons grow to such heights that you may feel you are walking through a tropical jungle. Luxuriate in this gorgeous section of trail with a visit to Long Creek Falls. Barely a blue blaze, it’s just off the trail. You would have to try hard not to stop there, so just go on now. The perfect spot for a snack break, sore foot soak, or a freezing cold dip in the healing waters of Appalachia.

Hickory Flatts Cemetery

Just a skip and jump past Long Creek Falls, a guidepost beckons you to turn off the trail and wander a half mile in the opposite direction to a “Shed + Cemetery.”

A cemetery in the woods off the Appalachian Trail? Need I say more? And if that doesn’t intrigue you enough to go a half mile out of your way, I have four words for you: “privy with toilet paper.”

Enjoy lunch under the lovely outdoor gazebo, and picnic with those who’ve already hiked their hikes. For extra enjoyment, pick your way respectfully among the stones, and discover some familiar names including members of the Stover family.

Above the Clouds Hostel

Today, you climbed Sassafras Mountain and found yourself in Gooch Gap. Now, rest and wait for the shuttle to the Above the Clouds Hostel.

Do not miss the chance to be hosted by lifelong woodsmen and hikers Lucky and Nimrod–who humbly lay claim to hiking the Appalachian Trail “at least three times.” “Admitting to any more than that would be embarrassing,” a mischievously grinning Nimrod told my sister and me during our visit.

Shuttle service, laundry service, loaner clothes, shower, a clean bed to sleep in, amazing home-cooked dinner, and all the hiking lore you can pack out.

The folks at Above the Clouds Hostel are a wealth of resources, and they live to encourage and facilitate your outdoor experience. Do contact them to arrange for shuttle and a bunk. 

Blood Mountain Cabins

Rising to 4,459 feet, Blood Mountain boasts the highest peak along the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, but I have great news for you!

You’ve descended into Neels Gap which means you’ve taken on Blood Mountain’s small vertical scrambles and boulder field, and survived! Reward yourself by splitting the cost of a cabin with your hiker friends. (At the time of this reading, you don’t know them yet, but by the time you reach Blood Mountain, you will.)

Spacious, rustic, giant front porches, country store stocked with goodies of all kinds, shower, soft bed, and shelter from any inclement weather that might be moving in. Do contact them for details, prices, and reservations.

So far, my sister and I have covered the 47 miles between Amicalola Falls and Hogpen Gap, Georgia. We look forward to resuming our backpacking adventure and crossing over into North Carolina this coming April. For the time being, I live vicariously through the memories we created during our first eight days on the AT.

Dreaming of tall pines and switchbacks, and wishing you your own magical moments bestowed by the trail!

Happy blue-blazing!

Myrt & Walkie,
The Yoga Sisters

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 7

  • Walkie Talkie : Feb 19th

    Walkie here! I loved all 5 of these stops for varying reasons. I have a 6th one for you. A whopping mile in, you can stay at the Amicalola Campgrounds. Great for when you want to do the driving, parking cars, check-in, and stairs all in the same day.

    • Myrt, a Yoga Sister : Feb 19th

      Oh, definitely! And be sure to check out the heated bathrooms where I may or may not have spent my first night on the trail…hahaha…also, within walking distance from the Amicalola Falls State Park lodge where the iconic map of the entire Appalachian Trail runs up the wall.

    • Myrt, a Yoga Sister : Feb 19th

      Okay, and I have to ask, Walkie, which one of our blue blazes was your favorite? I think I can guess, but you go first!

      • Walkie Talkie : Feb 20th

        That’s pretty tough because they are all so great, but if I had to choose 1 favorite, I think I would go with the Above the Clouds Hostel. I loved the Len Foote Hike Inn, but felt like we really earned the Above the Clouds Hostel. Which one did you think I was going to say? What about you, what was your favorite?

        • Myrt, a Yoga Sister : Feb 23rd

          It’s hard for me to choose a favorite, too. The one I would recommend to friends and family for a unique and lovely experience: Len Foote Hike Inn. The one I would go back to again and again to visit as if we are old friends: Above the Clouds Hostel.


What Do You Think?