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  1. #61
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    I will most likely will never thru, but if I did I would definitely include the approach trail. I have walked the approach trail many times and I still get that tingle when I reach the first white blaze, and being that I live right on the trail I see white blazes nearly everyday.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    In 2013 I plan on "Blue Blazing" the blue blaze Approach Trail by staying at the Len Foote Hike Inn my first night.
    A most excellent plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Cross View Post
    I did the approach trail last year and enjoyed it. The falls were worth the visit. The trail from the top to the base of Springer was simple enough, but climbing up Spring and anticipating seeing the first white blaze was way kewl! I remember as I hit the FS road thinking "I wouldn't want to approach Springer any other way than the Approach Trail." To walk back a mile on the AT to start seems a bit redundant. The hike my way to it had a bit of anticipation that was way awesome for me.
    If you don't want to do the approach trail and you don't want to back track there is another option to the top of Springer. Drive another 1.6 miles past the FS42 Springer parking lot to Big Stamp Gap where the BMT crosses FS42. Take the 1.5 mile BMT hike to the top of Springer.

  2. #62
    Registered User writeronthestorm's Avatar
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    Hell yes I'm doing it. I can't wait.

  3. #63
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    I have done both the approach trail and a fs road ride and my $.02. Generally speaking the approach trail is a great way to start a NOBO hike, its a small taste of the next 1500mi. I don't think there's a wrong answer here so yes hike your own hike it is a trail. It's well maintained and a bit of a spoiler alert you won't find Scratz's canned ham.

    Any hiker of the AT thats hiked more then a week usually cringes at the thought of blue blazing more then .3 from a white blaze... cough**8.8mi blue blazes**cough

    Conclusion all decisions made no mater how many miles hiked in the past or plan to hike in 2011, not hiking is the only wrong way to hike. All gear choices trade one set of complications for another so no wrong choice(cept don't pack your dads 15yr old whisperlite to save $50... my $.02). On a AT thru you cross all kinds of colored blazes leading somewhere and the approach leads to the AT and that makes it the best of all.

  4. #64

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    I did it this year and I was thankful I did. Not only because the falls are beautiful, but because any extra miles you can get in before hitting the ridiculously steep inclines(Wildcat, Rocky, and Unnamed knob, of all things.....seriously, if you go up 600 plus feet in a mile the stupid mountain deserves a name, just my feeling) found throughout GA are helpful.

  5. #65
    Registered User hobbs's Avatar
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    i am going to do the approach trail i would like the most vivid expeoriance of this trip and memory of it kicking my tail!
    My love for life is quit simple .i get uo in the moring and then i go to bed at night. What I do inbween is to occupy my time. Cary Grant

  6. #66
    Not committing until I graduate! Sassafras Lass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doppler10 View Post
    I did it this year and I was thankful I did. Not only because the falls are beautiful, but because any extra miles you can get in before hitting the ridiculously steep inclines(Wildcat, Rocky, and Unnamed knob, of all things.....seriously, if you go up 600 plus feet in a mile the stupid mountain deserves a name, just my feeling) found throughout GA are helpful.
    Honestly that's not too bad - Alum Cave Trail up Mt. LeConte avgs. 540 ft. per mile, that's what I'm used to hiking. Maybe it won't be too hard starting out, then.
    Formerly 'F-Stop'

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  7. #67
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    I did it. I'd do it again. The falls are beautiful and so is the trail. I hiked the Trail because I like to walk in the woods. These are some really nice woods. Why miss them?

    Flaco

  8. #68

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    You got to do the approach trail!!! It is a challenge and fun. That way you can say you did it at a later date. It is not that bad to do.
    ZEUS307
    "Sleep well an night, safe and sound, knowing that there are Warriors willing to go into harms way, do violence, to protect your country and your way of life" U.S. ARMY RANGERS

  9. #69

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    I did it in October, and plan on doing it again March 12th when I start my hike. I also don't want to make my mom drive up the forest road. Each to their own, but I would suggest doing it. It's a great trail, and an awesome way to start your hike I think.

  10. #70
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCcummins View Post
    ...and plan on doing it again March 12th when I start my hike. I also don't want to make my mom drive up the forest road.
    Best reason so far. Great son.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  11. #71
    Registered User Jelly-Bean's Avatar
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    I am not planning on the approach trail. I've been training and just don't see the point.
    "You just have to tell them that you have a hunger and a thirst. And you may not sit at the same banquet table as them, but you have a hunger and a thirst. So they shouldn't judge you."

  12. #72
    Registered User Wobegon's Avatar
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    I'll be doing it, because it will be easier for my ride to drop me off and I hear the falls are really beautiful. Also, I think the trail should be summit to summit so you should probably hike to the top of the starting peak.

    We'll already all be out there 4-6 months anyway, what's one more day to hike the approach and earn your way to that first white blaze?

  13. #73
    Savoring Happy!
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    The approach trail falls are fantastic. The 650 steps suck. If your boots are broke in, do it. If you haven't had time to get them accustomed to your feet and vice a versa, I'd think twice about it. Walking stairs is a lot different than what you'll experience on the trail for quite awhile. When I hiked in 2009, there were 4 hikers in my "bunch" that developed blisters from the falls approach trail and all but 1 of them, OJ, dropped before Neels.

    Savor Happy !
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  14. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jelly-Bean View Post
    I am not planning on the approach trail. I've been training and just don't see the point.
    i wouldn't think of missing the approach trail. theres more bears,mountain lions, & hostels on the approach trail than all of the appalachian trail combined your loss

  15. #75
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    I've hiked the AT but didn't bother with the approach trail. At one point I kinda regretted it but I'm over it.

    It's not the AT and there's no shortage of hills to climb between Springer and Baxter St. Park.

  16. #76
    Digger takethisbread's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-K View Post
    I've hiked the AT but didn't bother with the approach trail. At one point I kinda regretted it but I'm over it.

    It's not the AT and there's no shortage of hills to climb between Springer and Baxter St. Park.
    I think my biggest regret might be gulf hagas. Approach trail was nice, but not special.
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  17. #77
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by takethisbread View Post
    I think my biggest regret might be gulf hagas. Approach trail was nice, but not special.
    ha..me too. I distinctly remember making the conscious decision not to take the side trail to Gulf Hagas and feeling like I really should.

    I was about tired of hiking by that point.

  18. #78
    Registered User pattydivins's Avatar
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    I am confused, are you saying that Gulf Hagas was not not worth the trip?

  19. #79
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    I've hiked the approach trail 3 time... in Aug-o9, April-10, and July-10.

    the difficulty really depended on the heat and humidity, with the summer months being the worst. The falls are beautiful, you can stay a night at the lodge before starting ur hike, log in at the visitor center, weigh ur pack at visitor center, get a picture at the "arch" behind the visitor center....

    and I just find hiking the 9 mile approach trail preferrable to backtracking up to Springer Mtn terminus from Big Stamp Gap.

    u also never know what kind of gear you will find laying along the approach trail from new hikers struggling with too much pack weight.

  20. #80
    Digger takethisbread's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattydivins View Post
    I am confused, are you saying that Gulf Hagas was not not worth the trip?

    No we are saying we regret not going there. its a 5 mile loop trail off the AT

    i think its pretty great if the weather is nice
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