“X” marks the Spot

HikeItForward-Final-MediumI am just beginning to investigate some interactive maps of the Appalachian Trail online, but let me share with you my first two wonderful finds. The first is a map of the entire trail. It has been developed by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and can be found at http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hiking/find-a-hike/interactive-map. This cool map allows you to zoom in on any part of the trail along the 14 states. There is a tool bar at the bottom of the map that will display the locations of the trail shelters (some pictures of the shelters included), parking areas, primary vistas (small thumbnails of some of the incredible views along the way) with links to websites that highlight that vista, and trail towns. It’s a great map that I plan to engage often before I leave.

Hungry for more of the same interactivity, I decided to hunt by state. My virtual research began in Georgia and I found a wonderful map at https://maps.google.com/maps?q=http://stewartholt.csoft.net/AT-Georgia-gm.kmz.  The map provides lots of icons that highlight shelters, privies, roads, sights, campsites, water sources, etc including photos of many of the markers. The photos of some of the shelters and privies give a good look at the luxury of the trail.

Shelter at Gooch Mt.

Shelter at Gooch Mt.

Privy at Gooch Mt.

Privy at Gooch Mt.

My first night might be at Gooch Mountain Shelter (15.8 miles north of Springer Mountain) It has a shelter, a luxury privy, a good source of water (about 100 yards behind the shelter) and a spot to pitch a tent if the shelter is filled with smelly thru-hikers or hungry bears or aggressive skunks. I thought I would share a picture of the shelter and the privy just to give an idea of why I can’t wait to experience the trail and why I plan to sleep most nights in my tent. According to my guidebook the shelter is suppose to sleep 14 people (maybe that’s standing up).

Privy Photo: http://www.meetup.com/cavehikeclimb/events/48953402/

Shelter Photo: http://www.sophiaknows.com/summerhike/photopage.html

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Black Bear, Georgia, Maps, Shelter, Skunk, Springer Mountain, Tent, Thru-Hike | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on ““X” marks the Spot

  1. These maps are awesome!! I’ve been following a few blogs of people that just started their journey. One couple, about 6 days in by now, has noted that most shelters are full before they arrive and that the trail is currently very crowded. At the start of the trail someone had counted maybe 46 tents. Maybe because of the large amounts of section hikers (and thru-hikers that become section hikers), the start for north bounders is just a bit more congested. However, it also seems like they are having an amazing time. So I wouldn’t sweat that.

    Oh, and before you mentioned my blog. I haven’t seriously hiked in over a few years and I’m just getting reacquainted with it. It’s not nearly the level of epic as people planning for or hiking part of the triple crown.

    • I have read of the start dates of many of the 2014 thru-hikers. I think I will be one of the last adventurers to start. My goal is to catch as many as I can. I am hoping the weather will be warmer and less wet with a later start date (Well… warmer anyway)

      Once I started hiking, I found it to be so enjoyable and peaceful. A sunny day on a dry trail is such a perfect environment to embrace the creation and Creator.

      I’ll be checking your blog out in the days ahead.

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