Every journey begins somewhere. All red-blooded hikers know the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail begins at Springer Mountain in Georgia. Although that's true, there's more to the story.
The AT journey begins at Amicalola Falls State Park, where AT thru-hikers go to sign in. To fervent followers, it's like catching your first glimpse of the Yellow Brick Road. But it's way better than Oz. The people are friendlier and nobody ever gets squished by houses falling from the sky.
Once inside the park you'll know you're in the right place when you see:
"App. Trail Check-In."
Some people travel across America -- others from halfway around the world -- to get to this point.
Sure, there are 2,100+ miles of trails and trials, but just getting this far is a victory all by itself.
Once inside the Visitor Center, you walk up to the counter and you say the words that will set you on your way. "I'd like to sign The Book, please."
That's when you'll meet a ranger ... like, Ron.
He'll answer your questions and give you an encouraging word ... and the look that every worthy adventurer deserves. You'll be sent on your way to discover the AT and yourself.
You may be tempted to give up along the way. Most do, you know.
Rain, mice, blisters, hunger or loneliness will also look you in the eye and try to defeat you. But you can make it. As thousands of others have before ... and will after you.
You won't be alone and you'll have the rest of your life to rest ... when the journey is done.
Go for it! Sign The Book.
Pass through the AT Portal. Take your place in history.
Be a part of the legend of the Appalachian Trail.
Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer