One of the most famous trails in the world, the Appalacian Trail (AT) leads travelers over 2,000 miles from Mt Katahdin Miane, to Springer Mountain Georgia. But what most people don’t know is that the Southern Terminus of the Appalacian Trail doe not start/end at a trail head. It starts at the top of Springer Mountain, some 8+ miles from the nearest major trail head. And while there are a few fire roads you can take to cut the trip short. Most people consider the true southern terminus of the AT is located 8ish miles away at Amicalola Fall in Dawsonville GA. This is the beginning of the Appalachian Approach Trail and the infamous stone arch.
The Appalachian Approach Trail – Amicalola Falls to Springer Mountain Georgia
Length: 17+ Miles
Type: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 4,200ft+
AllTrails Link: Click Here
Description: The Appalachian Approach Trail tales you from the behind the Amicalola Falls visitor center to the top of Springer Mountain. The official southern terminus of the AT.
Hiking Appalachian Approach Trail – Tips & Info
- Parking is $5 dollars and can be paid in cash through a drop box or by using the parks app. A QR code with link to the app is posted at the entry gate 24/7.
- The “official” trail starts behind the park visitor center. This is where the famous arch is located. This route will avoid going up the stairs at the falls.
- Amicalola Falls is Georgia’s tallest waterfall at just under 130ft. The name Amicalola Falls means “tumbling water” in Cherokee.
- This trail is incredibly rooty and rocky but well maintained and marked overall.
- There are two water sources on the trail and you will need a water filter. One is roughly 1 mile before the first shelter and there is one across the trail from the shelter. The first water source (not at the shelter) is close to the trail. Only about 50 feet down. The water source at the shelter is much further down.