Sat, Nov 18 2023 - Beginner Backpacking and learn, Springer Mountain to Three Forks (View Original Event Details)|
Bob, Chuck, Umit, Fereshteh, and Lysa formed a tight trekking crew for Chuck's second training trip as a potential trip leader. We enjoyed almost perfect weather, cool, dry, and clear. That helped us enjoy spectacular views of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. We climbed enough to warm up, but not enough to get hot. On top of Springer Mountain, we were lucky enough to meet 8 or 10 SOBO hikers finishing their 2,100-mile through-hikes of the AT. While we hiked one of the most beautiful parts of the AT from Springer down to Three Forks, we passed more than a dozen more people finishing up their AT hikes, and we cheered for them and congratulated them. A very fun experience. Then we found the most beautiful place to set up camp between two streams. We capped the first day off with a hike to Long Creek falls, an impressive tall waterfall.
After a relaxing breakfast we broke camp and set out hiking again. But this time we struck out on the Benton MacKaye Trail, which loops around the AT here forming a figure-8. The BMT was a very different trail than the AT, and its beauty different from the AT. We had to reclaim the altitude we lost on Saturday, but the climbs were mostly gentle, passing through leafless forests and taking us to an overlook that gave us one of the most impressive views of the trip. It was hard enough to be a challenge and give us a sense of achievement when we arrived once again at Springer.
While we didn't have any beginning backpackers on this trip, we all learned things and saw new things. I'm sure I'm not the only one who can't wait to get back on the trail!