I am planning a trip for a 4-5 night hike starting at harpers ferry, va in dec. I would like to “get my feet wet” by doing a 2 night at thanksgiving. I’m going to start at the beginning. My question is because I’m going solo is there a shuttle or something to take me back to my car when I’m done with the hike? Also what can I expect by starting at Amicalola Falls. Is there shelter that is a reasonable distance away for two nights?? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
Ron Brown has an excellent shuttle service serving the area around Amicalola. https://www.facebook.com/Rons-Appalachian-Trail-Shuttle-174270272614034/?ref=tn_tnmn
As far as shelters, there are several shelters, depending on your hiking speed: Hawk Mountain Shelter (8.1 Miles) from Springer, Gooch Mountain Shelter (15.7 Miles) from Springer, Woods Hole Shelter (27.7 Miles) from Springer, Blood Mountain Shelter (28.9 Miles).
Neel Gap, U.S. 19/129 is 31.3 Miles from Springer, which means you would have to do 15.5 miles a day to use it as your jump-off point.
The next road back toward Springer would be at Woody Gap, Ga. 60. This would give you 20.5 Trail Miles.
Good Luck and Enjoy Your Hike!!
I agree with Gorp Gobbler, but also if your plan is to do the Approach Trail, which will add 8 ish miles to your distance. There is a Forrest Service Road at Gooch Gap ~ 20 AT mikes or so without tge approach but not sure if it’s open year round. Best to start slow and not push too hard first days out . You could hike the approach, then next day go to Hawk and hike south back to AF as a shakedown.
So you will be climbing the stairs at Amicalola Falls. It’s a good break-in climb and you can stay at the first shelter at 7.3 miles “Black Gap Shelter” or hike on 2 miles further to the first AT trail shelter “Spring Mountain shelter”. if that is not enough, go another 2.5 miles from “Spring Mountain shelter” to “Stover Creek shelter.” You should get the AT Guide from “AWOL”. It’s great! It helps in making these decisions with not only distance but the elevations you will be climbing as you hike.