Published Aug 16, 2014
North Georgia, probably the most beautiful place on Earth, is where America's yellow brick road -- the Appalachian Trail -- begins. The forests and the people are friendly and inviting. There's no need to fear anything or anybody, especially because the Army Rangers train nearby.
Not far from the AT's southern terminus at Springer Mountain, hikers often hear noises in the woods at night. No, not banjoes or folks cooking up moonshine.
We're talking about noises like military helicopters blasting by a few feet above the treetops in the middle of the night. Machine guns blasting blanks, and the infernal trumpet blasts of reveille at 3 AM, to wake up U.S. Army Ranger trainees for another grueling day of their "mountain phase" instruction.
The 5th U.S. Army Ranger Training Battalion is based at Camp Frank D. Merrill, not far from Dahlonega and right next to the Appalachian Trail.
The secluded hills and rough terrain are perfect for teaching future Rangers how to survive in hostile territory.
You won't see Rangers in the woods and you won't know they are around, except during training exercises.
Unless you attend the Ranger's annual open house at Camp Merrill.
This year's event was amazing. We posted pictures on our affiliate website, LakeLanier.com.
Enjoy hiking the trails all around North Georgia and don't be afraid to veer off trail when nature calls.
Rangers will be there to keep you safe.
Tags: Attractions, Events, Appalachian Trail, News, and Festivals
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