ATKO 2017 -- March 3-5 -- is the best way to kickoff the Appalachian Trail hiking season. Bob Gabrielsen and hordes of his cohorts are organizing displays, scheduling fascinating speakers, planning seminars, building campfires and prepping for the annual convention for hikers of the AT and other trails.
Reserve the first weekend of March for ATKO 2017 and plan to be with all your stinky friends -- most of whom clean up pretty good - at Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia.
If you have ever had a heated conversation about the advantages of sleeping in a hammock instead of a tent ... you should attend ATKO 2017.
If you know the 20 best post offices on the Appalachian Trail to mail drop boxes, but you can't find your local post office ... you should attend ATKO 2017.
If you've never driven from Georgia to Maine, but you've walked there ... you should attend ATKO 2017.
High on a semi-mountain top lies (lays?) the beautiful lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park a hoot-and-a-holler downhill from the southern portal to the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain.
ATKO is held mostly indoors at the Lodge. Fly down in an easy chair even if you're going somewhere. Feast at the fancy buffet. Rest in convenient rooms with running water, showers, clean beds, glorious views, electricity and no mice (probably). Compare all that to the average shelter on the Trail and you'll agree. The lodge is a poor man's paradise.
Mostly. Convention sounds better than, "Sorry, boss, I can't work that weekend. I have an appointment to hang with hiker trash." Right? Comes in handy with family, too. "Oh, honey! I wish I could go to the Gleebnarm's wedding with you! I'm booked for a convention outside of Atlanta. Dang."
Do you feel like you're all alone when you obsess about whether you should cut the excess straps off your backpack (or bra) to cut down your base weight? Are you afraid no one could ever comprehend why you know so much about different types of water filtration units? Could you nail a 100-question test on the various types of fancy sleeping bags, socks, hiking poles and those thingys hikers wear to keep their boots almost dry?
You belong at ATKO 2017. With your people. With your kind. Really. You do.
Tags: Attractions, Events, Appalachian Trail, News, Appalachian Trail Conference, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Hikers, Conference, Information, appalachian trail hikers, and appalachian trail kickoff atko
Appalachian Trail Kickoff - ATKO - is like grad school for Thru-Hikers. ATKO begins at Amicalola Falls State Park March 6th. To graduate, hike the entire AT
The latest Appalachian Trail season for northbound hikers unofficially began at ATKO 2014 at Amicalola Falls State Park.
ATKO 2015 -- the Appalachian Trail Kickoff -- was the perfect way to meet those who have trod the Trail & to meet new friends about to try for themselves.
The Appalachian Trail Kickoff (ATKO) is a type of Mecca for pilgrims who seek wisdom on hiking the Trail from end to end.
Doctor Grumpy Says Go to ATKO 2016! That's the place to learn about the Appalachian Trail from real hikers and to take a whack at the killer Approach Trail.
Hike up to Neel Gap on Blood Mountain on Saturday, February 28, 2015 for the Thru-Hiker Kickoff Party. Free gifts, fabulous folks, fancy fiddling and food!
You can hike the entire Appalachian Trail through the wilderness or you can drive from town to town partying at fun Appalachian Trail events. Choose wisely.
Appalachian Trail events take place from early March until September from Georgia to Maine. It's the best way to see the Trail without getting blisters.
We hope to see you at one of the 2014 Appalachian Trail events that take place all along the AT -- from Maine to Georgia.