Details on What's Open & What's Not on the Appalachian Trail

Published Aug 16, 2014

Southbounders Mollie "Moxie" Davis & Anthony "Natty" Lolli at Woody Gap ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Southbounders Mollie "Moxie" Davis & Anthony "Natty" Lolli at Woody Gap ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Today's weather in North Georgia was spectacular, so I fired up Grasshopper, the humble ninja, and rode up to what we affectionately call "the mountains," to see what I could see.

As I passed the Appalachian Trail's Woody Gap, I noticed a couple of sobo section hikers -- Mollie "Moxie" Davis & Anthony "Natty" Lolli of Cleveland, OH -- who began their trek in Damascus, VA. They were kind enough to pose for a few pictures.

When I asked about their favorite aspect of hiking they agreed it was the people who ran hostels along the Trail.

The campgrounds at Two Wheels of Suches in the North Georgia Mountains ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The campgrounds at Two Wheels of Suches in the North Georgia Mountains ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

A few miles north, I enjoyed lunch in the Appalachian Trail Community town of Suches.

Two Wheels of Suches is a popular spot where you'll always find a random assortment of motorcyclists who gather together to drive too fast and brag about it.

Then I rode to the lovely park, campground and scenic beach at Lake Winfield Scott, but it was closed, because it's run by the federal government.

National Parks in Georgia Remain Closed by the Government ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

National Parks in Georgia Remain Closed by the Government ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

General Scott was a man who ran for president in 1852 and who did to Native Americans what our government is now doing to us.

State Parks in Georgia and elsewhere remain open while our government seeks new ways to solve our nation's problems through such acts of wisdom as closing federal parks.

Because nothing matters to me more than your happiness, I forced myself to ride some of the best motorcycle roads in the galaxy to Blood Mountain at Neels Gap.

Mountain Crossings Outfitters at Neels Gap at the foot of Georgia's Blood Mountain ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Mountain Crossings Outfitters at Neels Gap at the foot of Georgia's Blood Mountain ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

That's where Mountain Crossings Outfitter is located.

"They say" they have the only spot on the Appalachian Trail that has a roof over it. Even if that's not true, this historic spot is worth a visit.

If you have the desire to hike the AT from one end to the other, all you need is money to pick up everything you'll need on the Trail at Mountain Crossings Outfitter (except stamina, motivation, strength and hope), owned by our pal, Winton Porter.

Winton Porter, author and owner of Mountain Crossings Outfitter at Neels Gap ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Winton Porter, author and owner of Mountain Crossings Outfitter at Neels Gap ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Winton has a special deal for anyone who visits during the federal shutdown.

He will give you a copy of his book, Just Passin' Thru, in exchange for mere money!

What a heart! What a guy! What a book.

For questions about what's open along the other 2,100+ miles of the Appalachian Trail, the best resource is the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Here's their updated, comprehensive report about the AT on land that is managed by the National Park Service.

Please Click Here for the ATC's Report on the AT & the NPS


Tags: Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail Community, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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