Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 63
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-27-2013
    Location
    Northwood, NH
    Age
    27
    Posts
    1,055

    Default 22 hour train ride to Gainesville or 4.5 hour flight to ATL

    My best mode of transportation is either to take the Amtrak train from Boston to Gainesville with a switch in New York. It's a long ride but I would be getting into Gainesville at 0630.

    My other option is an early morning flight from Logan to ATL. I can get their at either 0930 am or 1230.

    The train ride is $180

    The flight is $100 including one checked bag.

    Which would you rather endure and why?

    Let's say I got to ATL at 1230. MARTA to Sandy Springs. Is it better to spent the night somewhere or is it reasonable to get on the trail that same day?

    I would need to grab some fuel or go without for a few days.

    With the hiker hostel not being what it once was, are there still affordable alternatives? And for those about to say if you can't afford to stay there then your prob not ready for a thru hike. I can. But that doesn't mean it's not pricey.

    If I got into Gainesville after a probably exhausting 22 hour train ride, I could probably just hitch or shuttle from there for a nominal fee.

    I don't have my AWOLS yet so haven't been able to look into shuttles from there.

    Given those two options. What would you do and why?

    I don't mind trains, and it could actually be less expensive in the end.

    Flying is definitely the fast track to GA. But if I need to spend a night somewhere. I could just spend it sitting on a train. With all my gear.

    Any insight is greatly appreciated.



    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-27-2013
    Location
    Northwood, NH
    Age
    27
    Posts
    1,055

    Default

    I should add. I'm weighing my options cause all though a quick flight sounds better than a long train ride. Logistically the whole thing might be easier by getting off right in Gainesville with my pack and no shuffling through the airports then public transportation then a shuttle, etc.



    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    8,927
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Either one you on trail same day .
    Call shuttlers on atc list.

    Don't discount a day's eating on train....it's a real travel cost.

    Cost is likely a wash , or so close with shuttle, etc it don't matter. Just do what YOU want. Pick one.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-27-2018 at 06:26.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    16,188

    Default

    After 2-3 wk's on trail either way will be a distant or largely forgotten memory. Just go.


    If you use a shuttle service inquire ahead to see if they can supply your fuel or make a quick stop along the way.

    Just be glad you didn't take a bus from btown.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    16,188

    Default

    I will tell you this. You can tack on another roughly 3- 4hrs from touch down in Atlanta AP, get fuel if you have to buy it along the way, get to N Springs MARTA Sta., and have a shuttle take you to the Approach Tr. or a shuttle from Gville(assuming a bus or train between the AP and Gville).

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    16,188

    Default

    Either way employing a shuttle eases getting to the trail. Shared shuttle costs especially after a flight to Atlanta cuts that cost.

    I'd say most AT shuttlers especially those living in the northern GA area will likely prefer picking you up in Atlanta not during rush hr. Your arrival time probably is more acceptable to them given you get to N. SPRINGS MARTA by 3.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-27-2013
    Location
    Northwood, NH
    Age
    27
    Posts
    1,055

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    After 2-3 wk's on trail either way will be a distant or largely forgotten memory. Just go.


    If you use a shuttle service inquire ahead to see if they can supply your fuel or make a quick stop along the way.

    Just be glad you didn't take a bus from btown.
    I'll never get on a bus again if I can avoid it.

    3-4 hours from touching down to Amicalola eh? I think I'd be better off getting on the 0600 flight from Boston then.

    I'm getting AWOL and Guthooks. But from your experience, if I start hiking from Amicalola how much hiking do I have until I can camp?

    I understand and know the feeling. As soon as you hit trail you forget about all the bs.

    I do want to have a solid idea of how my day will be though. I'd rather not get the park late and start off already night hiking lol. Plus number of people starting is making me think about camp spots.

    If it's much more reasonable to plan a night in town, I wouldn't be opposed. If it just takes some initiative and determination, I'd like to be on trail same day.





    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Registered User TheMidlifeHiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-14-2018
    Location
    Sturbridge, MA
    Age
    41
    Posts
    68

    Default

    I was weighing the same - train from Boston or Hartford (Iím in Sturbridge) or flight to Atlanta. Hadnít looked into Gainesville by train. Closer to Springer?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-27-2013
    Location
    Northwood, NH
    Age
    27
    Posts
    1,055

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMidlifeHiker View Post
    I was weighing the same - train from Boston or Hartford (Iím in Sturbridge) or flight to Atlanta. Hadnít looked into Gainesville by train. Closer to Springer?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yeah it is. The ATC list a bunch of reputable shuttles that'll pick up from either. Most want you to go to north springs on the MARTA which is the farthest north station. When are you planning on going down?

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Registered User TheMidlifeHiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-14-2018
    Location
    Sturbridge, MA
    Age
    41
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Ah so either way, Marta to North Springs (that was my intent from Atlanta). I leave first week of April - exact date tbd. Thanks!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-27-2013
    Location
    Northwood, NH
    Age
    27
    Posts
    1,055

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMidlifeHiker View Post
    Ah so either way, Marta to North Springs (that was my intent from Atlanta). I leave first week of April - exact date tbd. Thanks!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sorry if you go to Gainesville you do not have to go to North Springs. Not what I meant. Only if you fly into the ATL airport.

    Gainesville is even farther north, but the Amtrak goes to it.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    16,188

    Default

    3-4 hours from touching down to Amicalola eh? I think I'd be better off getting on the 0600 flight from Boston then.

    That's a mentally long first day. You should sleep that night...if you indulge in some chamomile tea or melatonin.

    I'm getting AWOL and Guthooks. But from your experience, if I start hiking from Amicalola how much hiking do I have until I can camp?

    ZERO. You can camp at Amicalola. Some spots on the Approach Tr too.

    Your materials will describe these options

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    16,188

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMidlifeHiker View Post
    I was weighing the same - train from Boston or Hartford (Iím in Sturbridge) or flight to Atlanta. Hadnít looked into Gainesville by train. Closer to Springer?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes Gville is closer to Springer and a shorter distance and time to drive than Atlanta or N Springs MARTA. Traffic plays a role

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    16,188

    Default

    That first night can have you zonking out from the mini journey of traveling from the northeast or starry eyed mind racing like a kid anticipating that long awaited new bike under the tree on Christmas morn.

    And, that's the way you'll eventually see it in hind sight - a mini journey - incomparable to standing atop Mt K several months later.

    Embrace every darn moment of it because while in the midst of it it may seem it will last forever, and in some ways it does, but then you eventually go back physically to the location where you started. Psychologically and emotionally that will be impossible though.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-27-2013
    Location
    Northwood, NH
    Age
    27
    Posts
    1,055

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    That first night can have you zonking out from the mini journey of traveling from the northeast or starry eyed mind racing like a kid anticipating that long awaited new bike under the tree on Christmas morn.

    And, that's the way you'll eventually see it in hind sight - a mini journey - incomparable to standing atop Mt K several months later.

    Embrace every darn moment of it because while in the midst of it it may seem it will last forever, and in some ways it does, but then you eventually go back physically to the location where you started. Psychologically and emotionally that will be impossible though.
    I'm already having a hard time sleeping with the pre hike jitters. And I'm still a month out.

    I got quoted $130 for a ride from north springs to Amicalola from one of the ATC listed shuttlers.

    It can be split up to three ways.

    I know.. I know. Get my damn AWOL guide. But what's the camping situation like at the state park? You said ZERO hiking miles in. I know there's a shelter. But if I wanted to set up my tent, do I need to make reservations which I'm sure would be booked full. A quick Google mentioned tent pads, a shelter, and primitive sights up the trail.

    Any more info on that? Thanks for all your help, I truly appreciate it.



    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    8,927
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    There's a thruhikers shelter at start of trail.
    Another about just before springer

    And campsites . Just Google amicalola camping.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-27-2018 at 09:20.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  17. #17
    Leonidas
    Join Date
    04-26-2016
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Posts
    727

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    I'm already having a hard time sleeping with the pre hike jitters. And I'm still a month out.
    I got quoted $130 for a ride from north springs to Amicalola from one of the ATC listed shuttlers.
    It can be split up to three ways.
    I know.. I know. Get my damn AWOL guide. But what's the camping situation like at the state park? You said ZERO hiking miles in. I know there's a shelter. But if I wanted to set up my tent, do I need to make reservations which I'm sure would be booked full. A quick Google mentioned tent pads, a shelter, and primitive sights up the trail.
    Any more info on that? Thanks for all your help, I truly appreciate it.
    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
    You do need reservations if you camp in the park proper. There is a tent site listed at 1.6 miles up the Approach Trail and 2-3 more after that. None of those will require reservations, although the chance that someone else already grabbed it is there. If you are buying Guthooks, go ahead and download it as it has the Approach Trail included in the free initial download of the app.
    2016 2017 AT: 177.6 mi

    2017 Pinhoti Trail: 107.7 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  18. #18

    Default

    Not sure if you've decided, OP, on the plane vs. train thing yet, quick glance, I don't see a decision....

    So, FWIW, as much of a plane-protagonist that I am, I fly to various trails/climbs out of necessity usually, being in the middle of the country, trains aren't much of an option for most of our travel. For example, Denver to Gainsville is a 57 hour ride on Amtrak, as everthing from here goes through Chicago.

    So, If I had a relatively direct train ride from NH to GA at 22 hours, I'd personally consider it. The total hours it takes flying can be deceiving, given the time it takes at airports on both ends, you say "4.5 hour flight", does that include all the time on both ends? Sure, train travel has some time on both ends, but not as much. I personally think I'd rather enjoy a train ride from NH to GA. But I read a lot, and that activity would sure soak up a lot of those 22 hours.

    Without checking, IIRC, you mentioned buying fuel if you fly... there is an REI very close to the north end of MARTA, last time we went to springer we rode MARTA, got off walked a few blocks to REI, bought fuel, ate lunch, walked another couple blocks to where the shuttle picks up, easy as cake.

    Just another opinion. AS I've said before, flying to hikes is easy-peasy, there really is practically zero hassle checking a pack, etc, but OTOH, a "road trip" on rails down the east coast of our great USA sounds appealing to me.

  19. #19
    Wanna-be hiker trash Sarcasm the elf's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-05-2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Age
    36
    Posts
    6,699
    Images
    78

    Default

    Regarding shuttle info, whiteblaze maintains a good list of available shuttlers:

    https://whiteblaze.net/forum/shuttles-2017.php
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  20. #20
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-18-2012
    Location
    Dark Side of the Moon
    Age
    58
    Posts
    1,359
    Journal Entries
    6

    Default

    I personally would fly and catch a shuttle from either the airport or the MARTA North Springfield Station. A few of the shuttle drivers will stop for fuel and/or food. The $80.00 saved by flying can be put towards the shuttle cost. Who knows, you may be able to hook up with a few other hikers and save some cash. You can have the same shuttle driver take you to the trail 1 mile south of Springer Terminus. Walk south for 1 mile and you can set up camp and get a good night's sleep. If your plans called for doing the Approach Trail, you would need to hike 8.8 miles with an elevation change of 1982 feet including 604 steps. If you can gut that you may be able to find some good equipment, as people start dumping stuff all along the trail. YMMV HYOH
    Blackheart

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •