Backpacking The Appalachian Trail Close To Helen GA

There have been many mornings that I have woken up to the smell of a smoldering fire with the beams of sunlight filtering through my tent.  Helen Ga is an incredible place to travel to and hike the beginning section of the Appalachian Trail.  Not only is this an awesome location to backpack, but it also offers a fantastic way to relax after a few days of long hiking. My favorite way to end the trip is actually a night’s stay at one of the luxury cabin rentals.

AT Trailhead

The trailhead of the AT starts at Springer Mountain and heads north through majestic coniferous forests and stunning mountain streams until it reaches Mount Katahdin in Maine.  The best approach to the trail at Springer Mt. is from the Amicalola Falls.  These stunning falls provide a glimpse into the natural beauty to be found all along the trail.  It takes approximately 8.3 miles to travel from Amicalola State Park to the begining of the AT.  This is a perfect way to start the day as you will end up on the top of Spinger Mt. for your first nights stay.  There is a perfect sleeping shelter on top as well, but you had better get there early to set up camp or make your trip on low traffic days.  No worries if you don’t get set up on this shelter.  Just make sure to bring a tent and there will be plenty of flat spaces to set up camp.

A Spiritual Journey

The trail is one of the best places to meet great people especially those that have made the entire journey.  It becomes a very spiritual trip for many and an awakening to a new segment of life.  Just to have a few nights on the trail gives you a glimpse into the solitude and intriguing nature that is to be found along this amazing outdoor highway.  A friend of mine from College had the opportunity to travel the entire length of the AT right after her graduated and it had such a profound impact on his life that he chose to comit to full time ministry and wrote a book about the trip.  Herein lies the importance to being in nature even for just a few days.  The growth in consciousness happens when seeing the intricacy of wildlife and plantlife.  It reminds us to quiet our souls and focus on who we are as people.  This inevitably helps us to find what our mission is on earth.

Gold Peak Treehouse living

Wildlife That You May Encounter

Keep your eyes open for various species of animals on the trail including Whitetail Deer, Black Bear, Eastern Wild Turkeys, Grouse, the Great Horned Owl, and even the occasional Bobcat if you hike slow and quiet.  One of my favorite animals to watch in the wild is the Otter.  They have such a playfulness to them and are so sleek and quick in the water.  I will never forget seeing one catch a fish in midair as half of its body came out of the water.  The speed at which it advanced in front of the fish to catch it as it fell towards the water was impressive.  The opportunities to view wildlife while on the AT are limitless.  it is important to not only travel with stealth, but to know the times of day you will have the best chances to view animals.  Low light times are when deer and other nocturnal animals can be seen in the light.  As a standard wildlife have a propensity to move early and late in order to find food and be protected.  Another key essential while backpacking in the outdoors is to hang your food high and out of your tent.  Bears will enter your campsite looking for an easy meal.  Keep this in mind and it will help you sleep much more soundly.

Keeping The Trail Clean For Generations

The Appalachian Trail crosses into fourteen States and traces some of the most breathtaking scenary on the East Coast.  With this understanding it is crucial to make sure that what you take in with you on the trip also comes out.  The entire trail is maintained by trail clubs who volunteer there time in order to ensure that the land stays intact as well as free of human debree.  There is also and unofficial extension of the trail that continues from the US through to the Atlantic Ocean in Canada.  Wherever you may hike the AT always strive to leave it better than you found it.  This will preserve this wilderness for generations to come.

When will your next backpacking adventure begin on the Appalachian trail near Helen Ga?