North Georgia AT

12:17 a.m. on March 18, 2018 (EDT)
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moderate hiking experience and looking for the most scenic 20-25 mile section hike on the Georgia AT. Allocating  about 8-9 miles per day.  2.5 days Is all we have off of work    Trying to capture best bang for the short trip.  any suggestions. Appreciate it 

7:57 a.m. on March 18, 2018 (EDT)
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Welcome to Trailspace Jim. I have not been down that way in a while but started hiking there in the 80s. I recall Tray Mtn as being the most scenic spot but preferred Blood Mtn myself. Others on the forum are closer to that area and will have more current advice.

4:29 p.m. on March 18, 2018 (EDT)
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The two best views are, not surprisingly, the two highest points on the trail (GA section), Blood Mountain and Tray Mountain, as Phil said. I assume you're looking for point-to-point, not out-and-back? (in other words, one-way vs. roundtrip).

Maybe the most overall scenic short stretch is from Woody Gap to Hogpen Gap, about 18 miles that includes views from Big Cedar Mountain, Blood Mountain, Wolf Laurel Top, Cowrock Mountain, and Wildcat Mountain. It also includes Neels Gap and the store there (Mountain Crossings). You could also look at the stretch between Unicoi Gap and Dicks Creek Gap, which includes Tray Mountain, but that involves more elevation gain/loss and steeper sections, and I don't think as many total separate overlooks.

Because of where parking and road crossings are located, you can't really get something in the exact mileage you're looking for along with lots of good views. The 18-mile stretch I described above is the closest. But if you're going out and back then it's easy to go one way until you feel you've done half your total mileage then turn around. 

9:10 a.m. on March 19, 2018 (EDT)
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Thank you, yes it is a one way, (we have a ride back), I'll look at drop off points on that 18 mile leg, sounds like a good 2 night 3 day walk, taking our time. appreciate it!

I have  Springer to Blood Mountain as my plan B so far but not sure the time to hike that. have heard different reviews.   Will look at Woody to Hogpen. the 18 miles seems to work better for our travels.

 

thank you .

7:54 a.m. on March 20, 2018 (EDT)
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Springer to Blood is over 30 miles (considering you'll need to backtrack a mile from the start because the closest road crossing is already north of Springer, and to end at Blood really means another 1.5 mi or so to Byron Reese parking). If you want to start at Springer there are road crossings before Blood that will get you closer to your target mileage (Springer to Woody Gap would be ~22 mi with the backtrack), but not as scenic -- in fact, there's at least one stretch through there (Hawk Mtn to Gooch Mtn) that I think is longer than marked on trail guides, seemed to take forever, and has no views.

Woody Gap itself has a great view looking back to the south, and then within the first mile you climb to Big Cedar Mtn with nice views, so a really nice start. And then from there it's down then very mild grade until the climb to Blood.

10:27 a.m. on March 20, 2018 (EDT)
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I'm enjoying this thread...you're bringing me back to the 80's JR when I used to spend many weekends tromping around N Georgia as a teenager.  I remember one afternoon standing with a friend on top of Blood Mtn watching a storm roll in and lightning pinging off distant hills.  Then we realized it was heading our way quickly and performed what may be the fastest descent of Blood Mtn to Neels Gap!  Learned things the hard way back then...

8:02 a.m. on March 21, 2018 (EDT)
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Thank you JR.  Great info. Appreciate it and will take your recommendation for the 18 mile woody gap to hog pen   Will allow us time to slow down and enjoy it   Thank you !

9:48 a.m. on March 21, 2018 (EDT)
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Glad to help.

February 16, 2019
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