How to Get To Springer Mountain
“Where’s Springer Mountain? You mean the Southern Terminus of the AT? That’s easy… it’s in Georgia. In the woods. Actually wait I don’t know.” Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Luckily, this particular trailhead happens to be popular enough that there are quite a few ways to get there…. it just takes some piecing together.
**Important Note for 2018**
The ATC strongly recommends NOBO hikers begin their journey at Amicalola State Park rather than driving the dirt road to the Springer Trailhead.
In the end it’s up to the individual, but bear in mind that the dirt road, the Springer Mountain parking area, and Springer Mountain have become overwhelmed with people during the spring months and cannot sustain the demanded use. Amicalola is much easier to drive to and can accommodate the large numbers of hikers.
NOBO hikers have two options:
1) Amicalola State Park: Hikers starting here will complete the Approach Trail, which is about eight miles heading north to the summit of Springer.
2) Springer Mountain Parking Area: Hikers starting here will hike south for a mile to the summit of Springer, then turn around and head north. For simplicity sake, we’ve outlined specifications for both.
The cost of getting to Springer varies entirely on your trip strategy. Hikers who plan to utilize a shuttle service should budget anywhere from $40-$100 for the ride. Factors include pickup location, number of people traveling, and what service you use. MARTA, Greyhound, and AMTRAK tickets will run between $10-$40 depending on distance of trip.
Atlanta International Airport (ATL) (89 miles south of Springer)
Nearest Town with Public Transportation:
Nearest Decent-Sized Town:
Getting Anywhere from the Atlanta Airport
To reach Gainesville from the Atlanta airport, you will need to take the MARTA to the Greyhound stop, or airport shuttle to the AMTRAK station. If you have a bigger shuttle budget, many shuttle services will pick you up from the Atlanta Airport or the North Springs MARTA stop.
- Airport → North Springs MARTA Stop: North Springs MARTA is a popular place to be picked up from shuttle services. (See below.) MARTA provides bus and train services to the Atlanta area, and can be found at Ground Transportation at the Atlanta airport.
- Airport → Gainesville by Greyhound: Take the MARTA from the airport to Garnett Station. The nearest Greyhound depot will be on Forsyth Street. From there, you’ll take the Greyhound to the Gainesville stop.
- Airport → Gainesville by AMTRAK: Take the Atlanta airport shuttle to the nearest AMTRAK station. From there, take the train to the Gainesville station.
Have your credit card handy in case services want payment over the phone. Call early to make sure you can get the shuttle on the same day your flight gets to Atlanta. Nearly all of the listed services will pick you up from the MARTA North Springs station, Gainesville Greyhound or AMTRAK depots, or the Atlanta airport.
Richard Anderson: Pickups at Atlanta Airport, Gainesville public depots, and many points along the AT. Will shuttle to points in North Carolina, and offers options for slackpacking and section hikers. Accepts texts, emails, and calls.
Cell: 404-408-2524; Home: 706-276-2520
Barefoot Hills (formerly Hiker Hostel: Offering shuttle services from the North Springs MARTA station all the way to trail crossings along the Georgia section of the AT.
Suches Hiker Shuttle: Based out of Suches, Georgia. Dogs allowed.
Survivor Dave will pick you up at transportation depots or MARTA stop.
678-469-0978. Call between 8am-8pm EST. No email reservations.
Hank Carter: Based out of Atlanta, GA. Rides to and from airport and public transportation. Pets are allowed and and he can stop for groceries and some supplies if needed.
David Tyler: Rides from Atlanta to Springer or Amicalola
Alpine’s Hiker Shuttle Services: Service to Springer and Amicalola from public transportation depots and Atlanta.
Scott Dowling: Pickups from Atlanta or MARTA stations, as well as Gainesville AMTRAK or Greyhound stations.
GryWolf Shuttles: This service has not decided on an open date for the season, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Bill’s Wheels: Full-service shuttle with multiple pick-up options. Note: Site has not updated for the 2017 season.
Dahlonega to Amicalola State Park
From Dahlonega, take Hwy. 52 West about 20 miles to Amicalola Falls State Park. Parking is available at the visitor’s center.
The Hike: The trail departs from the iconic arch and follows blue blazes past the towering waterfall and through the state park, intersecting with several other trails. There are a few shelters along the way. You will reach Springer after about eight miles of hiking. Continue north to begin your journey.
Dahlonega to Springer Mountain Parking Area
Head west on Highway 52 for about nine miles. Turn right by a sign for Nimblewill Baptist Church. After about two miles, turn right onto Forest Service Road 28-1 by a sign for Nimblewill Gap. In about two miles, the road forks and you head left onto Forest Service Road 77 and drive for about five miles to Windingstair Gap. Turn left onto Forest Service Road 42 and drive for about two miles before you see the parking area on your right.
Keep in mind that weather and changing road conditions can alter routes at any point. It’s a rough road, so be sure to do your research before heading out. For alternate driving directions, check out the Forest Service page here.
The Hike: From the Springer Mountain Parking Area, follow the white blazes south for about one mile to the summit of Springer. Turn around, and head back to the parking lot, wave at the people who are probably still standing there, and continue north.
There you have it! Hopefully nobody’s hike was ever cancelled because they couldn’t find Springer Mountain, but you never know. If we left out any helpful info or your favorite shuttle service, feel free to leave it in the comments.
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