Chris (my partner) is set to hike the Appalachian Trail for the next few months. For the past month he’s been reading all about the trail and what to pack and what food to buy. He’s a pretty experienced camper and hiker already, so he pretty much knows what to do. Last week he purchased all his food for the first month and got it all measured out and packed away. And finally this weekend we drove down to Georgia to get him started.
We stayed at Amicalola Falls State Park lodge, one of the two main places that people start the trail. The AT actually starts at Springer Mountain, GA, but there is an 8 mile approach trail that leads from Amicalola Falls to the trailhead. While we were at Amicalola, of course, we visited the waterfall, a bit of a tradition with us (no arrests this time!).
On Saturday morning we drove to Springer Mountain and parked. From the parking lot, it is .9 miles to the southern terminus, so I hiked that part with him. He signed in at the registry, put on his pack, and off he went. I drove back to Virginia, stopping at Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina, to deliver his first resupply package, and I also drove through Hot Springs NC, where I will connect with him in two weeks, along with a Trail Days festival there.
A little trail history: the trail officially began in 1935, after the US government purchased bits and pieces of land to make one long continuous trail/park. About 2,000 people try to hike the entire length each year. About 17% succeed. The trail is 2,1083 miles long.
Good luck to all the hikers this year! You can do it!