Appalachian Trail Thru Hike: Amicalola Falls State Park to Unicoi Gap

The rock arch designating the start of the Approach Trail at Amicalola Falls State Park
Max Epperson Shelter on the Approach Trail.

If you like boxing for 8 rounds, and not having it count, by all means do the Approach Trail. Sure, the falls are the tallest east of the Mississippi, and sure the steadily uphill 8.8 mile trail isn’t too hard,  but it resulted in us hiking 11.6 miles where only 2.8 counted on the actual AT. There are some benefits of the Approach. Firstly, it’s cheaper to get a shuttle there from the North Springs MARTA station. We used Survivor Dave’s shittle, a bombastic thru hiker alumni who charged us $95 for the two of us. Second, the falls are rather stunning, and you can see the whole cascade as you climb 403 steps to the top. Finally, you don’t have to start your hike backtracking one mile south to Springer Mountain. As we all know, one can never truly trust a southbounder.

The dreaded stairs of the Approach Trail
Amicalola is the tallest falls east of the Mississippi

On March 1st, we started walking north, and stood on top of Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Rain was on the horizon, so we didnt linger. Our first steps were more like leaps, as we both wanted to jump into this new adventure with both feet. This was a little tradition of mine, as I did the same for the PCT.  Continue reading Appalachian Trail Thru Hike: Amicalola Falls State Park to Unicoi Gap

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