The Appalachian National Scenic Trial has been traversed by millions of people since its inception in 1937. The longest hiking-only trail in the world, it spans the distance from Mount Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia, passing through 14 states in total over its 2,200 miles. On each of those miles, the trail has provided an outdoor sanctuary for everyone from the day-hiker just looking for a couple of hours of greenery, to the thru-hiker taking on the entire thing over half a year. On a personal level — and this may be anecdotal, but I think it bears a mention — I have never heard of anyone regretting a visit to the Appalachian Trail. Ever.
By any access point, the Appalachian Trail is stirring, but if I’m picking just one weekend worth of adventure, I go for the Southern Trailhead in Georgia. Not just because of the temperatures, but because this section of trail is particularly diverse and breathtaking. It’s also a quest that’s only a few hours drive from Atlanta, making it easily accessible for a weekend getaway.
So, leave behind the crowds of the ATL for a few days, and head toward the kind of quiet, misty adventure that you can only find in one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. You won’t be the first person looking to refresh their souls in this ancient place, nor will you be the last, but your journey will inevitably be unique just the same. The Appalachian Trail has a way of giving every individual exactly what they need; for us, that makes it the perfect micro adventure.
Here’s the guide to your Appalachian Trail escape.
Gearing Up Before You Go:
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For those who only get the opportunity to camp one or two times a year, having a complete outfit of gear can be cost and space prohibitive. Thankfully, outdoors companies like REI offer camping gear rental, making it possible to make that getaway into the wilderness possible.
Selecting the right gear can be intimidating as well, but the store personnel is fully prepared to make sure you have everything you may need and will get you schooled up too, if you so please.