Thursday, April 13, 2006
Thursday brought a unique opportunity for me to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail. Having no familiarity with Georgia, I wasn't sure which section of the trail to tackle. The start of the trail would be logical, but driving there held a risk of getting lost. There are also sections that promise waterfalls, but I picked Blood Mountain since it is the highest point of the AT in Georgia. My peak baggin' bias at work.
Although the trees have not fully bloomed, the Blood Mountain Wilderness is still beautiful. The rolling hills are obviously different than the rugged Rockies, but cool in there own right.
The trail itself has been thoughtfully constructed to provide a very interesting climb. This trail to me feels exactly like a trail should. Growing up in Western Colorado I was used to vaguely defined trails and a lot of bushwacking. In contrast, the eastern part of the Colorado Trail and many 14er trails seem too wide and too well defined. The AT is a perfect balance of these extremes.
The trail itself has some nice sections that are Class 2 climbs. The bottom section crosses a couple of creeks and is heavily wooded. As you ascend the views become more frequent, culminating in the shelter at the top. You can do a bit of bouldering at the summit, so bring your gear.