• Getting to Amicalola Falls/Springer Mountain or Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine

    From the Atlanta Airport: You can use the MARTA trains to either the Greyhound station or the Amtrak station. MARTA, (404)848-4711.
    To get to either of them take the MARTA train north from the airport.
    For the Greyhound station exit the train at Garnett station at 232 Forsyth Street.


    For the Amtrak station: exit at the Arts Center station and take bus #23 or walk to the Amtrak station on Peachtree Street aprox. 1 mile north. Other options from the airport to the bus and train stations include taxis and the Atlanta Airport Shuttle, (404)524-3400, a privately owned bus service. The shuttle vans leave the airport every 20 minutes from stall #10 of airport’s ground-transportation area, bound for the bus station and Amtrak station. After reaching one of these stations your options multiply.


    Gainesville: Two buses and one Amtrak train leave daily from Atlanta.


    Greyhound: (800) 231-2222, www.greyhound.com.
    Amtrak: Reservations are required. (800) 872-7245, www.amtrak.com.


    Gainesville to Amicalola Falls State Park
    UNITAXI, (770) 534-5355 or (770) 297-0255, offers service to the state park ($55 fare); transports dogs and accepts only cash or traveler’s checks. Service to trailheads at Nimblewill Gap(2.2 miles S. of Springer mountain) and USFS 42 (.9 mile S. of Springer mountain)are available for an additional cost.


    Dahlonega-Hostel: A.T. Hiker Hostel run by Josh and Leigh Saint, (770)312-7342, www.hikerhostel.com., administrator(at)hikerhostel.com, $55 thru-hikers special includes pickup at N. Springs MARTA station in Atlanta, overnight stay in hostel, resupply stop at outfitters, B, and shuttle to Springer or Amicalola. Gear shipment to hostel available.


    Alternatives:
    Several Trail enthusiasts in the Atlanta area offer shuttles. The ATC usually has an updated list each year. Arrangements with these folks are best made at least a week or two in advance. Check the ATC website under “Shuttle List” for the updated list. If you prefer a hard copy write to the ATC, attn: Shuttle List , 799 Washington St. Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0807.


    Driving Directions to Springer Mountain Parking area
    Easiest Route:
    Turn right when leaving Amicalola Falls State Park and follow Highway 52 for about 13.6 miles. When you see a power substation (resistors, transformers, etc) on the left and Cartacay Church on the right, turn right onto Roy Road (it was signed when I was there last). Follow Roy Road for 9.7 miles. You will go thru one stop sign and will turn right on Doublehead Gap Road at the second stop sign. Follow this road approximately 2.2 miles until you see Mt. Pleasant Church on your left. Turn right on the dirt road directly across from the church (Forest Service Road 42 is unsigned). You should see a large sign indicating that this is the entrance to the Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area and another sign "Springer Mt. 6.5 miles". Follow the dirt road 6.5 miles to a parking area on your left with a sign saying ”National Forest Fee Area”. The Appalachian Trail to Springer Mountain is across the road from the parking area. The trail to the summit of Springer Mountain is .9 miles (one-way).


    This route is suitable for most passenger vehicles. However, at certain times of year (usually winter) high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended.


    Total distance from Amicalola Falls State Park: about 32.5 miles
    Travel time is approximately 45 minutes to one hour.


    More difficult route:
    Turn left when leaving Amicalola Falls State Park and follow Highway 52 for about 7 miles. Turn left on Nimblewill Rd. Follow the road for about 2.2 miles to a gravel road on the right with signs for Jones Creek and Camp Wahsega. Follow this road about 2.1 miles to FS Road 77 on the left. Continue on FS Road 77 about 4.5 miles to the top of the ridge where it intersects FS Road 42 and FS Road 58 at Winding Stair Gap. Turn left on FS Road 42 and continue for approximately 2.7 miles until you see a parking area on your right with a sign to a parking area on your left with a sign saying ”National Forest Fee Area” (it costs $2.00 to park here). The Appalachian Trail to Springer Mountain is across the road from the parking area. The trail to the summit of Springer Mountain is .09 miles (one-way).


    Forest Service Road 77 is a steep, furrowed dirt road suitable only for vehicles with high ground clearance. At certain times of year (usually winter), high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended.


    Total distance from Amicalola Falls State Park: about 22.5 miles
    Travel time is approximately 45 minutes to one hour.




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    Getting to Baxter State Park, Maine
    No public Transportation available to or from the Park but arrangements can be made for the beginning or end of your hike. For those beginning their hike at Katahdin this usually means going thru Boston, Portland and / or Bangor, then to Medway, and then to Millinocket; which is still 24 miles south of the park.


    From Bangor: Cyr Bus Lines of Old Town, ME, (800) 244-2335, (207) 827-2335, (207) 827-2010, www.cyrbustours.com, info@cyrbustours.com. Serves northern Maine.


    Medway to Millinocket: Hitch on Maine 27 or call a taxi to go to Millinocket, 10 miles to the west or Baxter State Park, about 30 miles away. Katahdin Taxi, (207) 723-2000, Su-Th 6am to 1:30am, F-Sa 6am-2am., provides rides to Millinocket, Baxter State Park gate and to Katahdin Stream Campground.
    For information on lodging and facilities near Baxter State Park in Medway and Millinocket contact BSP, 64 Balsam Dr., Millinocket, ME 04462, (207) 723-5140.


    For those ending their hike at Katahdin: A hitch can usually be had from the park to Millinocket as most folks leaving the park need to go thru Millinocket.
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