Day 1: The Approach Trail: 2017 Appalachian Trail Thru-hike

The Approach Trail in 3 minutes



I was feeling quite emotional about starting out, I have been planning this for so long and dreaming about it then the day had finally arrived – it felt a bit surreal – that didn’t last long!


Straight off the bat I can see why some people quit their thru-hike attempt after the Approach Trail! Two things hit you: 1. Crap is this what the Appalachian Trail will be like and 2. Really is this what the Appalachian Trail will be like!

I can also see why some people don’t do the Approach Trail. From the Amicalola State Park visitors centre you stroll merrily down the lane until you begin the first of many leg killing ascents. Maybe not leg killing if you’re really fit and put in the hours of pre-training. But when you haven’t – that shit hurts!


So back to the ascent..you climb 600 steps (there are 175 steps before this sign), then veer right and pretty much continue to ascend to Springer mountain which is 1152m. 


I met a number of thru-hikers on the Approach Trail: Herbie (who has done a couple of sections already), Nik a cool young and energetic 18 year old and a lady named Lock who seemed pretty cool. We were going to try and meet for lunch at Black Gap Shelter however I was too slow and turned up after they had moved on.


However the two guys at the shelter, Matt and Windows (I gave him his Trail name but he may not use it) were really interesting so instead of making my way to Stover Creek Shelter, I decided to stay the night and have a great laugh with these two guys.

They had some fantastic stories and had me entertained for hours. There was a lady (can’t remember her name, so I shall call her yellow bandana lady) who had broken two of her toes, got airlifted out, had them ‘fixed’ then started out on the trail again! Now that’s commitment.


And just as others have said before me- thanks AT for having water sources half a mile away from camp down hill – ugly, ugly, ugly.


So while this set me back a bit, it was worth it. Tomorrow I shall go from Black Gap Shelter to Hawk Mountain campsite…nothing but up and down – the stories at the end and the memories had all be bloody worth it is all I can say 😊

One comment

  1. The stories will last longer than the sore muscles, thank goodness. Great pics 🙂 On Sun, 16 Apr 2017 at 2:14 am, Feisty Adventures wrote:

    > Feisty Adventures posted: ” I was feeling quite emotional about starting > out, I have been planning this for so long and dreaming about it then the > day had finally arrived – it felt a bit surreal – that didn’t last long! > Straight off the bat I can see why some people quit their th” >

    Liked by 1 person

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