Dahlonega, GA: An Appalachian Trail Community

Dahlonega, GA, is an official Appalachian Trail Community. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Dahlonega, GA, is an official Appalachian Trail Community. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The town of Dahlonega, Georgia, is practically perfect in every way.

Dahlonega's town square houses the Gold Museum in honor of America's first gold rush. Quaint shops and restaurants circle the square and provide vibrant vistas of the musicians who play in town every summer weekend.

The third weekend of March warms this iconic village with "Spring on Springer" -- the annual Appalachian Trail Fest -- to honor America's annual crop of northbound hikers who hit the Trail at the nearby Springer Mountain.

Dahlonega (pronounced "dahlonega") is home to one of the country's finest amateur theater groups (The Holly Theater) and the University of North Georgia, one of Georgia's finest colleges. The Crimson Moon is the perfect place for burgers, brews and fantastic music in a cool old creaky building with a veranda that will make you think Rhett and Scarlett will appear at any moment.

For bigger gatherings, you cannot beat Dahlonega. The Bear on the Square Festival and Gold Rush Days will make you want to run away and live in this idyllic mountain town.

The best time of all is Trail Fest when the streets are cleared and the town turns its mind to hiking and celebrating the Appalachian Trail. You can't swing a cat (as we say in the South) without hitting someone who has written a book on the Trail, hiked it backwards or who is selling magic boots and/or backpacks that defy gravity.

Click Here for Trail Fest 2014

Click Here for Trail Fest 2013

Click Here for Trail Fest 2012

Our friends at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), especially our pal Julie Judkins, came up with the Appalachian Trail Community(TM) program. Towns, counties and communities along the Trail that are hiker-friendly and dedicated to promoting and protecting the Trail can apply to the ATC for consideration.

Each Appalachian Trail Community(TM) shares these goals:

  • Engage community citizens, Trail visitors and stewards
  • Recognize and thank communities for their service to the Trail and hikers
  • Act as a catalyst for enhancing sustainable economic development
  • Aid local municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning
  • Help local community members see the Trail as a resource and asset

Y'all come to Dahlonega and visit for a spell. We'll see y'all at Trail Fest! Y'hear?

Click Here for More Appalachian Trail Communities


Tags: Events, Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail Community, News, Festivals, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, 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.
Related Articles

Gather 'round and take a look at a few Pictures from Dahlonega Trail Fest 2015, a time to celebrate the new hiking season & those who are going to rock it.

If Scarlett O'Hara were alive, she'd dwell near Dahlonega, GA, with its iconic town square & annual Dahlonega Trail Festival honoring the Appalachian Trail.

The famous Hiker Hostel in North Georgia is owned by Saints: Josh & Leigh. Need a ride the Appalachian Trail or a sweet bed for a night? Call Hiker Hostel.

If you spend enough time around the iconic town square in Dahlonega, Georgia, during their Appalachian Trail Fest 2014, you'll want to hike the Trail too.

Published Mar 29, 2016. The Hiker Hostel in Dahlonega, GA, is for sale. Is this your big chance to pursue a dream?