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REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

Appalachian Trail Hike + TrailFest + AOC Trail Magic! + gorgeous Weather!

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Dahlonega, GA - 1 hour north of Atlanta just off GA-400   Hike: Appalachian Trail Hike + TrailFest + AOC Trail Magic!  + gorgeous Weather!  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Sep 9 2017  10:00 am >> Sat, Sep 9 2017 5:00 pm
Registration Opens: Thu, Jul 20 2017 9:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Sep 8 2017 12:00 pm
Event Duration:7 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D1: Easy
Distance:2 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Charlie Cottingham
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:20
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 12 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


IN A NUTSHELL:  This 3rd annual "Dahlonega Trailfest" Saturday Day Trip is a great alternative for AOC members who are into HIKING and also would like to take advantage of this big celebration of outdoor activities, live music, and arts & crafts in the lovely mountain town of Dahlonega.  It's an easy 1-hour drive from Atlanta - See Details & Directions below.  The Weather is expected to be ideal for "all things outdoors" despite the slow approach of Hurricane Irma.
  Day Trip hiker-volunteers will hook up on Saturday with our previously registered Trailfest 
Campers for exciting activities described below.  
We can all easily meet with one another between about 10:00 and 11:30 AM at our festive"AOC Outreach Tent" on the town square.  In addition to the varous Festival attractions our AOC activities will include an easy Sat afternoon Appalachian Trail Dayhike (optional, from 1:00 - 4:00 PM) and staffing the AOC Outreach Tent (10:00 AM - 5:00 PM).  While having fun together we'll be spreading the good word about our fine Club and giving out an assortment "trail magic treats" to like-minded lovers of the outdoors- both on the trail and on the town square.
  Day Trip participants are welcome to drive up and join us at your convenience on Saturday morning.  Since Dahlonega is so close to Atlanta we're NOT posting a formal event carpool, but we encourage driving up with other members whom you know.   See event Directions and Parking suggestions below, and for a zoomable map or satellite view of the approximate location of our Outreach Tent click the square blue & green "Event Location" icon above.  

MORE about TRAILFEST:  Just 50 miles north of Atlanta, the historic "gold rush" town of Dahlonega is near the southern end of the Appalachian Trail (AT) and is widely known as Georgia's gateway to the legendary 2200-mile-long footpath.  Each year this friendly mountain community celebrates hiking, camping and backpacking by hosting on its town square a wonderful free event called "TrailFest," with fascinating outdoor-related presentations, live music, arts & crafts displays, delicious food & refreshments and much more!   Produced by hardworking local volunteers, the festival especially honors the hundreds of AT thru-hikers who begin or end their quest nearby. Click here for the main website about the amazing 2016 festival
  For festival details and options click the various topics in the rectangle on the home page. For example click "Program," etc.for this year's weekend-long schedule of presentations, live music performances, etc. (which will continue to have new things added through early September).

MORE about SAT OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES & AOC "OUTREACH":  Our Dahlonega friends who host TrailFest have again this year offered us free booth space on the town square where we'll have our AOC "Trail Magic" Outreach Tent set up all weekend, Fri-Sun. There we can enjoy the jovial atmosphere of the town square and share info about the AOC with like-minded partners including the Len Foote Hike Inn and the GA Appalachian Trail Club.  We intend to build on the AOC tradition of sharing donated snacks, refreshments & small gear items as mentioned above.   Please pitch in at our AOC Booth (for at least an hour or so on Saturday)  and feel free to add your own personal touch to our volunteer efforts.
  Suggestions are given below (in "Recommended Items to Bring") for specific snacks, refreshments and various other small gear items that you might wish to donate.    For lunch on Saturday there's an amazing variety of restaurants & cafes within a 5-minute walk from the town square, and we may suggest a specific place and time for a group lu nch and/or late-afternoon group dinner.

OPTIONAL SAT DAYHIKE on the nearby "AT":  For all AOCers who would like to participate, we'll offer a leisurely paced early-afternoon ~3-hour dayhike excursion to the nearby "AT."  For the hike we'll first meet at 1:00 PM at the AOC Outreach Tent on the town square where we'll organize a carpool caravan to the GA-60 AT trailhead at Woody Gap.  The relatively easy and leisurely paced hike will take us to the spectacular "Preacher's Rock" overlook and back - about 2.5 miles total. During this special outing we'll enjoy chatting with numerous other hikers & backpackers and offering them "real-time Trail Magic" treats and snacks
  For those who may prefer a longer and more strenuous hike we may offer an optional guided extension beyond Preacher's Rock about 6 more miles to lovely Dockery Lake (at a leisurely pace, via the AT and the Dockery Lake Trail).  It's easy to set up a vehicle shuttle for that if you're interested in this extension (2 to 3 extra hours, in lieu of returning from Preacher's Rock to Woody Gap with our main hiking group).

"RAIN OR SHINE" EVENT!  We intend to go ahead with this event Rain or Shine, esp. because we can so easily find shelter in the event of severe weather.

SPECIAL THANKS!  to our friend Tom Lamb and his family, who are the founding organizers of Dahlonega TrailFest.  Their staff of hardworking volunteers & sponsors from the Lumpkin Coalition, Yahoola Outdoors and REI Co-Op make this fine festival happen each year.

Required Items to Bring:

COMFORTABLE CLOTHING and FOOTWEAR appropriate for the weather forecast.
- DAY PACK for consolidating and carrying your Trail Magic Donations (plus Water, Snacks, extra Clothing Layers, emergency Rain Gear, etc. if you plan to do the optional hike with us.)  See "Trail Magic" suggestions in the adjoining "Recommended..." section.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

  Small lightweight donated snacks, refreshments and gifts (of your choice) to share with AT Hikers and other Trailfest attendees. This is totally up to you to decide, but below are some suggestions based on what has been popular and appreciated in past years. Since each of us will presumably bring several things to share there's no need for any one volunteer to bring more than perhaps $5 to $10 worth of "stuff." Below are a few specific suggestions, but feel free to be creative and to bring "extras" of anything you may already have on hand at home and consider appropriate (including perhaps a few "gently used" small gear items that you no longer need). Please make sure that anything you bring is PACKAGED APPROPRIATELY. ZipLoc Bags of various sizes are a great idea with the advantage of being resealable and that what's inside can be easily seen! Ideally bring things that you personally enjoy and find useful so you can "sell others on them" etc. Lets all feel free to sample or otherwise share some of the items that we or other AOCers bring - esp. if there's an excess of some items. Here are a few ideas:

- Homemade Brownies
- Homemade "GORP" (or your favorite commercial brand of Trail Mix) in small ZipLoc Snack bags. It's easy to make "Good Ole Raisins & Peanuts" by combining roasted peanuts, raisins, semi-sweet chocolate morsels, etc.
- Fresh (or dried) Apples, Oranges, Bananas, etc.
- Small Juice Boxes
- Hot Chocolate (in a large thermos, etc. AOC will provide cups.)
- Lemonade (AOC will provide some in a big iced-down cooler + cups.)
- Small Carabiners
- Small Directional Compasses
- Lip Balm, Small tubes of Sunscreen, etc.
- Assortment of clear ZipLoc Bags (inserted inside one another in various sizes. Useful to hikers for consolidating and waterproofing items in their daypacks, backpacks, etc.)

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

NOTE: Daytrip participants are welcome drive up at your convenience on Sat AM and meet with other AOCers (ideally between about 10:30 and 11:00 AM) at our AOC "Outreach Tent" on the Town Square.  Driving and suggested parking directions are given below.   Feel free to augment the written directions below by entering the following Lat/Lon coordinates as your GPS Destination Address, being sure to include the comma and minus sign.  34.5094,-83.9762

1.  From the GA-400/ I-285 Interchange take GA-400 North for about 47 miles to its official end at the GA-60 junction near Dahlonega. (En route note that a convenient meetup spot for "privately arranged custom carpooling" is the Park & Ride lot at the GA-400 Mansell Rd exit in Roswell/Alpharetta - about 9 miles north of I-285.)
2. Turn Left at the traffic light onto GA-60 stay on it about 5 miles to the traffic light just past the McDonalds (on your left).
3.  Continue straight ahead at the light onto S Chestatee Street  into Dahlonega and begin looking for convenient free parking along the side streets, etc.
4.  To reach the town square and our AOC Trailfest Outreach Tent, etc. walk about 0.2 mile northward up Chestatee Street.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.