Appalachian Trail Water Conditions

Wes & Betsy Holcomb on the AT at Indian Grave Gap ~ Photo by Robert Sutherland

Wes & Betsy Holcomb on the AT at Indian Grave Gap ~ Photo by Robert Sutherland

People who go hiking without checking trail conditions can either get along just peachy on average days or threaten their lives when weather turns bad. Even day-hikers should check water conditions, especially when areas of the Trail are in a drought, to avoid trouble.

You can have Awol's latest AT Guide or a pristine copy of the ATC's Thru-Hiker's Companion and still not be able to quench your thirst on the Trail -- because water conditions change frequently.

That's what's happening on southern sections of the Appalachian Trail. Water sources have evaporated. You can study up and memorize where the all water should be, but it might not be there when you need it.

As a famous poet said, "The best laid plans of mice and men fliglab margzil astray."

Justin (Jukebox) and Sarah (Yay-Chef) happily hiking the AT. ~ Photo by Robert Sutherland

Justin (Jukebox) and Sarah (Yay-Chef) happily hiking the AT. ~ Photo by Robert Sutherland

Sometimes called "Trail Angels," semi-angelic folks take to the hills hauling jugs of water when the plans of men and women hikers go astray. Not a bad deal, really. How else can a person achieve angeldom for a buck a gallon? How else can you make such an impact on a thirsty person's life?

The best source for the latest information on where water can or cannot be found is from a true Trail Angel, Ron Brown. His frequent Facebook posts let hikers and water bearers know where the water has run dry and where to hide a gallon or two for travelers of the Trail.

Ron Brown's Appalachian Trail Shuttle & Water Updates

Check water conditions before you hike. ~ Photo by Robert Sutherland

Check water conditions before you hike. ~ Photo by Robert Sutherland

Yes. There are people who firmly believe that leaving a jug of water that might be left as trash (temporarily) is only a bit nicer than setting forest fires. I get it. Leave No Trace. Great idea. I'm all for it.

I'm also for bringing water to Trail junctions and leaving it for those in need. We can pick up the empties on return trips.

Or you can snag some Trail trash (not the two-legged variety) too.

All things in moderation. Anything to help hikers in need.


Tags: Attractions, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Conservation, Safety, Hikers, Information, appalachian trail hikers, appalachian trail water conditions, and water conditions drought appalachian trail

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
Comments
David Maltby on Nov 29, 2016
How are the fires in north Georgia and North Carolina going on right this November affect the water sources next spring? It seems that there will be a lot less water since the trees and underbrush will not be slowing down the water as it flows down the mountain. We may really need water drops in the gaps.