The lovers of hiking would also love to agree that the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, commonly known as the AT, is the most famous hiking trail in the world. It forms the Triple Crown of long distance hiking in the United States along with the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.
The 2,174 miles that stretches through fourteen states of the US has remained a favorite among both passionate and casual hikers. The northern terminus of the AT rests in Maine and the southern terminus is in the fascinating state of Georgia. In between, unfolds one of the most enticing trails in the world that takes one through breathtaking natural beauty and is the home to a few rare animal and plant species.
Typically, hikers prefer hiking the trail from North Georgia to Maine than vice-versa and most commonly begin in March or April. They are known as the ‘north-bounders’ or NOBO and also GAME (Georgia(GA)-to-Maine(ME)) while those taking the opposite direction are known as SOBO or MEGA. Thirty trail clubs and multiple partnerships maintain the trail, which is managed by the National Park Service and the nonprofit organization known as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
The state of Georgia houses seventy-five miles of the trail, which includes the southern terminus at Springer Mountain that stands at an elevation of 3,280 feet. The long winding trail that begins eight miles north of the Amicalola Falls is literally a journey through North Georgia’s macrocosm of natural history. Through mountains like Blood, Trey, and Big Cedar and gaps like Addis, Neels, and Woody, The Appalachian Trail promises a whole new world when in this part of North Georgia.
Although there are many individual favorites of the hikers taking this route, most concede that the Blood Mountain is definitely one of the most-loved places in the long trail. The name still brings to the mind thoughts of a battle that was fought between the Cherokee and the Creek Indians. But history is not the only appeal of the Blood Mountain. It is also the highest peak on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and the sixth highest spot in the entire state. The Blood Mountain is a part of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains where one finds the most amazing variety of temperate climate plants in the world. The species that thrive in the northern US blends with their southern kin right here in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The winters clad most of the trail with snow. But with the arrival of spring, the whiteness all around melts away bringing a world of colorful flora and fauna to life. Wildflowers such as the bloodroot, trillium, and azalea can be found most commonly in the region. And summers brings with them the laurel and rhododendron.
But what brings the North Georgia Appalachian Trail to life during the warmer months are not the motley collection of known and unknown plants but hikers who give the trail a new identity every day through their undaunted spirit and thirst for adventure.
Union County Georgia is a great place to stay during your vacation to hike the Appalachian Trail and explore its extravagant beauty.