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GA LOOP: Duncan Ridge Trail, Benton Mackaye, Appalachian Trail

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Benton Mckaye Trail / DRT and Hwy 60   Backpacking: GA LOOP:  Duncan Ridge Trail, Benton Mackaye, Appalachian Trail  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, May 1 2020  6:00 pm >> Mon, May 4 2020 6:00 pm
Registration Opens: Wed, Mar 4 2020 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Wed, Mar 4 2020 8:00 pm
Event Duration:3 Days
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced
Distance:61 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Myra Kincaid
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:6
Minimum Group Size:1
Number Registered So Far: 4 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


 The GA Loop is a large loop backpack comprised of the Appalachian trail, the Benton Mackaye trail, and the Duncan Ridge trail (the toughest hike in Georgia. We will be covering ~60 miles and over 17,000 ft of elevation gain over our travels; so strong legs, heart, and mind will all be required items.  

Friday Evening: (3.6miles) We will depart from the carpool at 6pm, arriving at the highway 60 road crossing around 7:30pm. We will start our hike southwest towards the camping at Toccoa River bridge. This is one one of the nicest campgrounds that I have enjoyed while hiking in Georgia.

Saturday:  (18.7 miles)  We will get up early and continue south 9.6miles on the BMT until we reach it's junction with the AT (Appalchian trail) just north of Longcreek falls. We will take a lunch break to enjoy the waterfall before continuing north along the Appalachian trail for an additonal 9.1 miles to reach Gooch mountain shelter, where we will spend the night. The last time I stayed at this shelter flying squirrels where flying down from the bear cable to chew into food bags. Hopefully, we will not experience a repeat of this.

Sunday:   (20 miles) We will get up early and continue north along the Appalachian trail 14 miles before turning north onto the Duncan Ridge trail. We will proceed an additional 6.0 miles on the Duncan Ridge trail, passing up and over Coosa Mountain, to White Oak stomp, where we will find water and camp for the night.

Monday:   (18.5 miles) We will hike the remaining length of the Duncan Ridge trail from White Oak stomp to our cars at highway 60. The Duncan Ridge is considered the most difficult trail in Georgia, and today you will find out why. The trail is so steep in sections that I find it difficult to stay upright. In addition, there are only two water sources on this trail, so you will need to carry a significant amount. I recommend 3-4 liters from each source. After a long day of roller-coaster ups and downs, we will make a triumphant return to our cars, before heading to Atlanta. If desired, a well-earned cheese-burger stop will be made on the return drive.


Please note that this is an advanced backpack. Everyone will be added to the waitlist and screened prior to being added to this event. The max group size for this event will be limited to 6. If you do not have a club history of D5 or D6s, you likely not be allowed on this trip.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Hiking Boots / Shoes
  • Backpack
  • Tent / Tarp / Hammock 
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleep Pad
  • Food and Snacks (3 days worth)
  • Water and Filtration / Purification device, Drops, or Tablets
  • Headlamp and spare batteries
  • Clothing enough for 3 days of travel
  • Stong will and positive attitude
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Camera
  • Hiking Poles
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Stove
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Change of Clothes and Towel for Drive Home

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

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

Waiting List

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