Appalachian Trail State Profile: Georgia
The AT in Georgia is 79 miles long, starting at Springer Mountain outside Dahlonega, and stretching to the North Carolina border right before Bly Gap.
Long, sweeping climbs to get your hiker legs under you. The trail is wide and smooth, and mostly well graded… with a few butt-kicker climbs that will feel especially tough for NOBOs just getting their trail legs under them.
Mile 0: Springer Mountain
You know this one.
Mile 28: Blood Mountain
A landmark climb that might feel decent on the way up and brutal on the knees on the way down. This is the first major climb for NOBO hikers.
Mile 31: Mountain Crossings
You will be glad to see this full-service outfitter and hostel after your descent from Blood Mountain. Home of the famous shakedowns and the first place NOBOs come to for warmth and accommodations. Located right on the trail at Neel Gap.
Mile 35: Wolf Laurel Top
One of the best place to camp and catch a sunrise. Take a break from shelter life and pitch a tent up here.
Mile 52: Helen
Many hikers hit Hiawassee as their first trail town, but for those looking to jump off a little earlier, Helen is a charming stop. Helendorf River Inn has a solid thru-hiker rate with quality accommodations. Bodensee offers superb German food, and there are plenty of unique shops and places to eat. Resupply at Betty’s Country Store.
Mile 58: Tray Mountain Shelter
The views from the campsite are incredible, and it’s worth the .2 off-trail hike to get there.
Mile 69: Hiawassee
Enjoy one of your first (of many) AYCE buffets in Hiawassee, plus a good resupply, and a stay at the hiker-friendly Budget Inn. This is an easy hitch from Dicks Creek Gap, plus many places offer shuttles. Daniel’s Steak House and Georgia Mountain Restaurant will fix that newfound hiker hunger.
Mile 69: Top of Georgia Hostel
For many hikers, this is their first taste of staying in a hiker-focused establishment on the AT. This hostel employs former thru-hikers who will be eager to impart their sage wisdom on NOBOs and celebrate with SOBOs. They have a separate suite for hikers with dogs (dog beds included!), as well as gear and food available to purchase. Named one of The Top Hostels on the AT in 2016.
Mile 73: Plumorchard Gap Shelter
The last shelter before the North Carolina border is spacious, scenic clearing off the trail, and the first place many NOBO hikers start to feel settled into the thru-hiker life.
Hike the Georgia AT in 90 seconds
Video: Josh Johnson
Straight from the thru-hikers
A underrated state that will put you in the right mindset for your thru hike, plus huge crowds of (NOBO) thru-hikers – Justin Jay
An enjoyable, interesting take on Freshman Year. I remember it being some of the hardest trail due not having my legs and the really quite shocking realization that walking the AT and going for a fun hike were two different things and that the difference between them is vast and treacherous – Rhys Hora
The landscape was easy and well manicured compared to much of the rest of the trail. Also, we were SOBOs and hiking in not peak season, but everyone was extremely friendly and accommodating. – Ashley Michael
Why are there no switchbacks? Lots of water, many off trail shelters/campsites, and so much trail magic…. plus Sassafrass kicked my ass. – Shutterbug
All mileages taken from The 2018 AT Northbound Guide, by David “AWOL” Miller
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