If you start the Appalachian Trial in Springer Mountain, GA, about 31 miles into the hike, you will experience the only covered portion of the entire thru-hike. The hikers actually pass through a building… an historical stone building built back in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (My dad served in the CCC as a young man prior to WWII, but I don’t think he had anything to do with the construction of this building). Construction on the building was finished in 1937 which, coincidently, is the same year that the A.T. was completed. Today that structure houses the Mountain Crossings outfitter store.
Many hikers begin their through hike with overweight packs as they attempt to carry too much on their backs. By 30 miles into the trek, they realize some of the mistakes they have made. Every year the staff at Mountain Crossings evaluate over 500 packs and ship “back home” over 9000 lbs of gear from the store. The personalized service and the spirit of the store and the staff can be of great assistance to the struggling hiker. The team of experts at Mountain Crossings brings the experience of over 100,000 hiking miles on the A.T.
In addition to selling outfitter gear and food they also sell A.T. souvenirs, gifts, music, and books for visitors not planning on hiking the other 2150 miles before heading home. Check them out online – http://www.mountaincrossings.com/default.asp. Mountain Crossings is also interested in providing counsel to anyone thinking about making a thru-hike, section hike, or weekend trip on the Appalachian Trail. “We sit in the aorta of the hiking world and see much more clearly what simply works and what doesn’t” says owner Winton Porter. Want an interesting article on Winton and Mountain Crossings- http://www.inc.com/magazine/20101101/the-smartest-businessman-on-the-appalachian-trail.html or http://www.backpacker.com/november_08_pack_man_/articles/12659.