APPALACHIAN TRAIL – SPRINGER MOUNTAIN GEORGIA
Here in the Chattahoochee National Forest on Springer Mountain is where the Appalachian Trail begins for the “north bounders” as they trek to Katahdin in Maine’s Baxter State Park. Often they are dropped off at the parking lot, make the short .9 mile hike to the top of Springer, sign in with the caretaker, and begin their 2000+ mile venture.
The green tinted plaque at left adjoins the first white blaze of the trip. The main Appalachian Trail is marked by a white strip of paint on trees or rocks. Side trails are usually marked with a yellow blaze.
Near the plaques was a warning to newcomers about the presence of bears in the neighborhood.
Before long one’s pre-trail identity is transformed with the issuance of a “trail name,” usually by your hiking companions. The name may be triggered by your state of origin, or by some mishap you would rather forget! In any event, it becomes a permanent part of your history long after the trail has been conquered.
The Appalachian Mountain Club volunteer on duty on a sunny day in April 2007 gave his trail name as “Many Sleeps.” The name implies a long distance that requires many sleeps to travel. His faint accent revealed that he was from Solon, Maine originally, but had settled far south after his stint in the Korean War.
On the AT, some start as a single hiker, but soon join, and rotate in and out of, groups of hikers during the four to six month trip to Mount Katahdin. The result: many lifelong friendships with people across the country and across the globe.