Springer Mountain Trailhead
The Appalachian Trail begins, or ends, depending upon one’s point of view, at Springer Mountain, located in North Georgia's Fannin County . In 1958, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail was moved from Mount Oglethorpe approximately 14 miles (23 km) to the northeast to Springer Mountain due to increased development around Mount Oglethorpe. At the peak of Springer Mountain is a bronze plaque with the Appalachian Trail logo, a register for hikers to sign, and a benchmark. An open-front trail shelter is about 400 yards down a blue-blazed and signed side trail.
Springer Mountain can be reached by the way of a blue blazed 8.5 mile approach trail at Amicalola Falls State Park. The 8.5 mile approach trail starts behind the visitors center and there are several difficult climbs before you reach Springer Mountain.
Springer can also be reached by Forest Service Road 42. From Forest Service Road 42, it is a 0.9 mile hike south to the summit of Springer Mountain.
At a Glance
|Closest Towns:||The nearest town is approximately 22 miles south in Dahlonega, GA. Here you will find restaurants, grocery stores, etc.|
To the Appalachian Trail Crossing on Forest Service Road 42 North of Springer Mountain
From Dahlonega, GA travel west on Highway 52 for approximately 9 miles. Turn right at an old store with a partial sign saying Store…this will be near mile marker 5. There is also a sign for Nimblewill Baptist Church.
Travel for approximately 2 miles, then turn right (before church) onto Forest Service Road 28-1. (At this turn, there is a brown/cream sign saying Nimblewill Gap/Jones Creek/Camp Wahsega). In approximately 2 miles (after you cross the bridge), the road forks. Veer left onto Forest Service Road 77 and travel for approximately 5 miles to Windingstair Gap (intersection of Forest Service Road 77, Forest Service Road 42, and Forest Service Road 58).
At Windingstair Gap, turn left onto Forest Service Road 42. In approximately 1 mile, the Benton MacKaye Trail crosses this road at Big Stamp Gap. Travel for another mile and you will see a parking area on your right. The Appalachian Trail crosses Forest Service Road 42 at this point.
Alternate Route From Dahlonega, GA travel north on Business Highway 19 to Camp Wahsega Road. Turn left on Camp Wahsega Road for approximately 9 miles to intersection at Camp Frank Merrill. Turn right onto Forest Service Road 80; go approximately 3 miles to intersection with Forest Service Road 42. Turn left on Forest Service Road 42; go approximately 10 miles to Springer Mountain Parking lot on right.
From Blue Ridge, GA – Gosouth on Aska Road to end (13.5 miles). Turn right on Newport Road, go 4.5 miles to end. Turn right onto Doublehead Gap Road; go 2.0 miles to (unmarked) USFS Road 42 on left (Mt. Pleasant Church on right). Turn onto USFS 42, drive 6.5 miles to AT crossing of Forest Road 42 and parking lot on left.
From Blairsville, GA- Take Kiutuestia Road, go 1 mile to the end. Turn right on Old Hwy. 76; go approximately 4.5 miles to Skeenah Gap Road on the left. Turn left and go approximately 8 miles to the end and junction with Hwy. 60. Turn right on Hwy. 60, go 0.24 miles and turn left on Doublehead Gap Road. Go 8.5 miles to Forest Service Road 42 on the left (Mt. Pleasant Church on right). Turn onto USFS 42, drive 6.5 miles to AT crossing of Forest Road 42 and parking lot on left.
Springer Mountain Trailhead (along Forest Service Road 42): this portion of the trail connects you to the AT and then on to the Benton MacKaye Trail. There are many opportunities for day hikes and loops from this point. Please check the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Benton MacKaye Trail Association websites for more detailed information on day-hiking opportunities.
Springer Mountains serves as a connector to two premier long distance hiking trails: the Appalachian Trail and the Benton MacKaye Trail.