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  1. #1

    Default Forest Road 42 Springer Parking?

    My husband is on the last leg of his flipflop thru-hike and we expect him to arrive at Springer around Oct 8. Does anyone know the condition of 42 to parking for Springer? I have a SUV, but it's old, and I'm worried that the Forest Roads to the parking area may not be well-marked, I may not have cell service, and the road may be rough. I don't want to get lost or stuck, but I want to be there for my husband as he finishes and hike the last mile up and down with him.
    We'll be staying in Dahlonega, and I just realized that it's almost an hour and a half to get to the Springer Parking from there. People mention coming in from the east or west, and I don't know which is best.

    I'd really appreciate any advice on this!
    Thanks to all of you willing to share your experience and info.

    Diane (for Hank17AT)

  2. #2

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    It won't be a problem for you. The road is easy enough to follow, and I've made it with a little chevy sedan....no 4wd and no clearance. I'm pretty sure that coming from the east, Rt 19 is your best bet. The other took us forever. But double check with the experts...I'm sure they'll pipe in soon!
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  3. #3
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    There are a few ways to get in there but if you go onto fs42 from doublehead gap road across from the church it will the best. Theres a big sign saying Springer Mountain right there. Just follow that road and it will take you to the parking lot, you can’t get lost. Its a little over 6 miles so it takes a while. Elijay is better place to stay if you want to be close.

    I have seen reports that NC is still messed up from blow downs so timing might be impacted.

  4. #4

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    What Maineiac64 is describing is accessing FS42 from the West. And it is the best way if you're not in a truck or otherwise are concerned about the road.

    This may help:
    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=7148840

    At the left-hand turn off of 52 is a Dollar General. I think the road is called Big Creek right there but it becomes Doublehead Gap so once you turn you won't turn again until FS42 about 12mi down. It turns right directly across from a church.

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    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Joe View Post
    What Maineiac64 is describing is accessing FS42 from the West. And it is the best way if you're not in a truck or otherwise are concerned about the road.

    This may help:
    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=7148840

    At the left-hand turn off of 52 is a Dollar General. I think the road is called Big Creek right there but it becomes Doublehead Gap so once you turn you won't turn again until FS42 about 12mi down. It turns right directly across from a church.
    I believe coming from Dahlonega/Amicolola the turn at the Dollar general onto big creek road would be a right.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maineiac64 View Post
    I believe coming from Dahlonega/Amicolola the turn at the Dollar general onto big creek road would be a right.
    Correct but I was speaking of coming from the West. The link shows a route from Ellijay. I guess you really weren't describing coming from the West since you noted, "Elijay is better place to stay if you want to be close," I kinda picked up from there.
    Last edited by Uncle Joe; 09-28-2017 at 22:38.

  7. #7

    Default Thanks to all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Joe View Post
    Correct but I was speaking of coming from the West. The link shows a route from Ellijay. I guess you really weren't describing coming from the West since you noted, "Elijay is better place to stay if you want to be close," I kinda picked up from there.

    I'm feeling a little better about it now. Unfortunately I have reservations in Dahlonega that can't be cancelled to stay in Ellijay.
    Thanks, everyone.

  8. #8
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Joe View Post
    Correct but I was speaking of coming from the West. The link shows a route from Ellijay. I guess you really weren't describing coming from the West since you noted, "Elijay is better place to stay if you want to be close," I kinda picked up from there.
    Joe, would you think that coming across 52 to big creek would be easiest way from Dahlonega? I don't know the other routes that would take you in from the other side as I always go in from Elijay.

    Note: there's a great peach/apple orchard between the dollar general and Elijay that is a lot of fun this time of year.

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    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    This was the Chatt. Forest lastest update on closures
    https://www.facebook.com/ChattOconee...78161768890276
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  10. #10

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    I'd love to know which way is best. google maps is telling me to go around the southern end of the park, then north, and then come in from the west. But in all the driving I've done for my husband in the last six months, Google Maps has put me in a few scary positions on washed out mountain roads. So I don't trust the app without checking with knowledgable people.
    Thanks.

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    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    GA 52 turn on Big Creek Road which turns into DoubleTree Gap. USFS signs will say turn right up FSR 42.

    FSR 42 is gravel but well maintained to Springer Mtn lot. Most sedans can drive up it.

    He can also finish his hike by taking the approach trail to AFSP.
    Last edited by Tennessee Viking; 09-29-2017 at 16:04.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
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  12. #12

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    Thank you. After all these miles he's pretty exhausted, and would prefer not to take the approach trail. It's more work for me, but he's doing the hard work day to day!

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    yes to all of the above. Doublehead Gap Rd is the best way to access Springer if you don't want to drive for an hour on Cooper Gap Road (the graveled FS road).

    You will go west out of Dahlonega on 52 which will take you past Nimblewill, Amicalola State Park and make a turn towards Ellijay. Turn right onto
    Roy Road at the Chevron and Cartecay Baptist Church. Roy Road is very windy but paved and takes you to Doublehead Gap road. Doublehead Gap road will take you to the Springer side of FS 42.

    If you put this into Google maps, it will take you there. Just know, you probably won't get a signal halfway out Roy Road until you are near Springer.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maineiac64 View Post
    Joe, would you think that coming across 52 to big creek would be easiest way from Dahlonega? I don't know the other routes that would take you in from the other side as I always go in from Elijay.
    Note: there's a great peach/apple orchard between the dollar general and Elijay that is a lot of fun this time of year.
    Yes, you could just leave Dahlonega and head West and turn left onto Big Creek/Doublehead Gap. Or you can do as glenlawson suggests and turn a little sooner onto Roy Rd. Heck, for that matter you can take Hwy 60 North, past Suches, to Doublehead Gap Rd. and come in that way too. But that might be throwing too many options on the table.

  15. #15

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    Thank you all. I have the google maps downloaded already, so even without a signal I should be OK. You are the best!

  16. #16

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    I don't mean to drive you all crazy, but I just spoke to the forest service and they recommended that I head up Nimblewill Church Gap Rd off 52, right on USFS28, left on USFS77, hard left on USFS42. They said it is fine for cars. The ranger said I could make in in less than half an hour from Dahlonega
    Does that make sense, or is it better to go around, as all of you have suggested. Maybe she's overestimating the condition of the USFS roads?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank17AT View Post
    I don't mean to drive you all crazy, but I just spoke to the forest service and they recommended that I head up Nimblewill Church Gap Rd off 52, right on USFS28, left on USFS77, hard left on USFS42. They said it is fine for cars. The ranger said I could make in in less than half an hour from Dahlonega
    Does that make sense, or is it better to go around, as all of you have suggested. Maybe she's overestimating the condition of the USFS roads?
    Fine for SUV, iffy for cars although I've seen plenty of cars go up that road. FS77 can get a little rough near the top at FS42. Another issue are the turns. There are only small FS road signs telling you where to go. If you're not real familiar you might find yourself on a wrong turn. I wouldn't say it's 30 minutes that way because you have a long drive on forest roads. Just my opinion. I've been all over that area for years and I would still recommend anyone not familiar with it to go on out and come in from the West off Doublehead Gap Rd. It's just really, really simple that way. One turn off the pavement. Leave a little early and check out Amicalola Falls then you have another reason to go that way.

  18. #18

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    Sounds good. Thanks again.

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    I'm with Joe. You sounded apprehensive about the FS roads. Not a lot of confidence in your vehicle. So we suggested the slightly longer route which keeps you on paved roads as long as possible. I nearly always take Winding Stair Gap Road (FS 28), but I will not take it with a partially drunk can of coke. You will shake all the fizz out by the time you get the the top.

    Another plug for the route from Doublehead Gap Rd: I once needed to pick up a group of hikers after 3 days of rain and I was driving a mini van. I knew I couldn't make it up FS 28 because there are long stretches without reliable gravel, but I made it up from Doublehead Gap road without a hitch.

    I wouldn't want to ride with anyone who can make it from Dahlonega to Springer parking lot via Winding Stair Gap rd in 30 minutes. That would be a scary ride!

    Plus you can buy some apples on your way in from the Ellijay side.

  20. #20

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    I'll enjoy the ride after seeing the falls and stopping for apples! I have a SUV, but it's 17 years old, and from the Triangle in NC I've been driving back and forth from the trail all spring and summer. Also, I'll have my daughter and three very young children with me.
    We're all excited to celebrate the end of the trail with a surprise visit for Hank. Appreciate everyone's two cents!

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