Springer Mountain
Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia
hike difficulty
hike difficulty
Duration 1 hour
Elevation Gain 430 ft.
State Georgia
Park/Forest Chattahoochee National Forest
Parking Fee None
Blaze White
Nearby City Dahlonega, GA
Trailhead Coord. 34.637631, -84.195217

A pilgrimage no southern hiker should miss, even if you don’t have the time and ability to take on the Appalachian Trail in its entirety, Springer Mountain is within reach. While some northerners think the trail begins in Maine, we in the South know the AT starts here in Georgia atop Springer Mountain. Maybe not the official start, Springer Mountain marks the beginning for most thru-hikers of this epic trail. If you’re looking for something longer, check out Springer Mountain Loop Trail.

Don’t kid yourself when your GPS tells you how long it will take to arrive. Any way you come, you will spend at least 10 miles on rough, unpaved, gravel roads, adding at least another 30 minutes to your drive. The parking lot is on NF-42 and is marked with a Springer Mountain sign. A moderate size, the parking lot can accommodate around 20 vehicles.

To begin the hike head toward the end of the parking lot to the left, away from the information signs. Following the AT, the path quickly crosses NF-42, and then begins to ascend gradually, with a couple moderate sections thrown in for good measure. This section of pathway is very rocky and many times forming stone staircases; however, for the most part it is easily travelled. On the left in the warmer months are several types of wildflowers. Possible winter views on the right side.

At .7 miles the trail crosses a junction with the Benton MacKaye Trail. This trail is dedicated to Benton MacKaye, the man with the original conception for the Appalachian Trail. It is marked with several signs and you should have no problem continuing on the AT toward Springer. Shortly after this, another side trail to the left leads to several campsites, a shelter, and available water. Backpackers are encouraged to stay in this area as opposed to staying the night directly on Springer due to high Bear Activity in the area. Near the shelter are bear cables, as well as two privies. This area is definitely worth checking out.

Once you reach the top of Springer Mountain, you will immediately notice the view to the West. The summit is mostly tree covered and doesn’t offer expansive views like Blood Mountain or others nearby, the view is still worth the short hike to the top. Look for the two bronze plaques and the metal box containing the hiker log. On the other side of a large, gnarled tree lies the approach trail from Amicalola Falls State Park. During nice weather, expect to have a lot of company. After you’ve taken in the view, head back the way you came in.

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Green MarkerTrailhead   Blue MarkerPoint of Interest   Yellow MarkerDirections

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Trailhead Coordinates
34.637631, -84.195217 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°38.26, W 84°11.71 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°38'15'', W 84°11'43'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)

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Most auto GPS units use the Degree Minutes format as the default.

Further Directions
Make sure to give yourself plenty of time traveling on the Forest Service roads, many of them are very rough. If coming from GA-52, when travelling north on NF 28-1, at the split about 3.6 miles in, take NF-77 on the left (my GPS didn't specify this).


Ranger District Information
Blue Ridge Ranger District
2042 Highway 515 West, Blairsville, GA 30512

Cautions & Warnings
The trail is very rocky. Watch your footing and be mindful of lose rocks.

Other Information
For additional information on the area, visit