Army Rangers Train By the Appalachian Trail in GA

Published Aug 16, 2014

Near the AT in North GA, Rangers practice extracting soldiers from mountainous terrain.  Rangers never extract troublesome AT hikers this way.  Probably. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Near the AT in North GA, Rangers practice extracting soldiers from mountainous terrain. Rangers never extract pesky AT hikers this way. Probably. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

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.

Low-flying helicopters from the Ranger training camp in Dahlonega are a common sight along the AT nearby. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Low-flying helicopters from the Ranger training camp in Dahlonega are a common sight along the AT nearby. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

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.

US Army Ranger demonstration at Camp Merrill's Open House, April 26, 2014. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

US Army Ranger demonstration at Camp Merrill's Open House, April 26, 2014. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

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.

Soldiers from the 5th Army Ranger Training Battalion's Open House at Camp Merrill. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Soldiers from the 5th Army Ranger Training Battalion at the 2014 Open House Demonstrations at Camp Merrill. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Rangers will be there to keep you safe.

Click Here for Ranger Parachute Demonstrations at Camp Merrill's Open House

Click Here for Ranger Insertion & Extraction Demonstrations at Camp Merrill

Click Here for the 5th Ranger Training Battalion's Facebook Page


Tags: Attractions, Events, Appalachian Trail, News, and Festivals

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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