hiking from Springer Mtn late September

8:58 p.m. on August 24, 2009 (EDT)
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I have some vacation time I need to use up, so I decided I'm going to try my first solo hike, covering 5-6 days. Where is the best place to park near Springer, considering I'd like to avoid as much of the approach trail as I can? Should I worry about leaving my vehicle there that long?
During our last weekend hike in the spring we heard reports about a deviant bear somewhere on the lower section of GA that was crawling up trees and cutting down food bags. Is this guy still a problem and where exactly is he hanging out? They mentioned the area but I've since forgotten.

7:37 p.m. on August 26, 2009 (EDT)
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It has been a long time since I was at Springer Mountain, I was actually there finishing up a section hike of the AT. I got picked up by a friend so I can not comment on parking conditions.

I take it you are going to hike north bound along the AT?

In my experience all bears along the AT are deviant bears if stealing food is the determining factor. You really should bear bag or use a canister anywhere along the AT, although many people do not. The shelters offer 'shelter' from rain and to some extent wind, but not to bears and raccoons. I personally would not sleep with my food in a shelter or tent.

8:40 p.m. on August 26, 2009 (EDT)
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I'm going to hike north, probably to Neels Gap and then back down. I do not hitch hike and do not mind backtracking.

I always use a bear bag, however I hear this one has grown quite adept at getting them down. I'd rather not camp in this general area to begin with, as apparently he's only seen in a very localized area.

9:01 p.m. on August 26, 2009 (EDT)
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Yes the adept bear problem seems to be growing.

May I suggest you check with the guys and gals at:


There are many AT enthusiasts at this site, I'm sure one of them can give you some good info. Just don't heed the occasional advise that bear precautions are not needed. That is simply not the case IMO, but it sounds like you are wiser than that anyway.

Good luck.

7:24 a.m. on September 11, 2009 (EDT)
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A wonderful place to start your hike is from the Hiker Hostel. The owners can shuttle you to a variety of places to start from and they can pick you up at the end of your hike. It is a "spick and span" place to stay offering a huge hikers' breakfast. Josh and Leigh are thru-hikers and lots of hikers start there. They can drive you within a mile of Springer or to the start of the Approach Trail. If you do not wish to carry your pack every day they can "slack pack" you through GA!


May 23, 2018
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