Hike 49 was at Amicalola Falls. The lodge just up from the falls is the start of the Appalachian Trail “Approach Trail”. The hike here is paved and somewhat steep, but only 1 mile, culminating in several flights of stairs to the bottom of the falls. Definitely worth a stop if you’re in the Dehlonega, Georgia area.
Hike 50 was a short distance away to Springer Mountain, the official start/end of the Appalachian Trail depending on direction. I couldn’t see finishing this challenge without a little time on the AT. This trail is a steep 2.5 mile trail from the parking area to the top of Springer Mountain and back. You can also see where the Approach Trail enters the official AT. Such history and beauty here.
Hike 51 move about 200 miles North to the Smoky Mountain National Park. First up was Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the park. The Appalachian Trail also exits the woods and joins this neat place. Unfortunately, the observation tower was fogged in on this day, so no views were to be had. It is hard to believe that you could have hiked from Springer Mountain to here if you were so inclined.
Hike 52, where do you go last? My choice was the Abram’s Falls trail in Cade’s Cove. It was recommended by a friend. This 5 mile trail had some long inclines as you worked over a ridge to a beautiful set of falls. The color of the foliage and the beauty of the falls made this a perfect final hike in my challenge.
I would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement during my challenge. I would not have finished without you.