Georgia has 75 miles of the trail, including the southern terminus at Springer Mountain all of which is managed and maintained by the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club. Somehow I never thought of Georgia as having major elevation, but the thru-hiker will be quickly introduced to mountain hiking in the Peach State. There are 26 mountains to climb in this first state for the NOBO hiker, beginning with the starting line (there really isn’t a line), Springer Mountain (3,782 ft). To provide a quick idea of the terrain, about 10 miles into the trail the hiker will approach the first real peak since leaving the southern terminus (Springer) called Sassafras Mountain (3,342 ft). Then comes Justus Mountain (3,222 ft) at the 13 mile point of the AT. After this summit, the AT drops below 2,560 ft in order to cross Justus Creek. The trail then ascends again to 3,200 ft to reach Ramrock Mountain by mile 19. The hiker then passes over Big Cedar Mountain, Gaddis Mountain, and Turkey Stamp before coming to the highest point in Georgia, Blood Mountain at 4,458 ft and all of this within the first 30 miles of the trail. Kind of makes one tired just reading about the elevation changes and the summits to conquer, but the views will be spectacular and the mountain trails will be beautiful. I truly look forward to this initial challenge – I will quickly know whether I have prepared well…or not.
Levelland Mountain, Turkeypen Mountain, Wolf Laurel Top, Cowrock Mountain and Poor Mountain are all climbs within the first 41 miles of the A.T. And by the time the GA/NC border comes into sight (mile 75), the path has led over Sheep Rock Top, Blue Mountain, Rocky Mountain, Tray Mountain (photo on the left), Kelly Knob, and Buzzard Knob (this last peak might be named for the hikers that don’t make it).
Countdown: 176 days!!