|Steps by the Amcalola Falls|
The hike starts from the Amicalola Falls State Park where we paid $5 to enter and park overnight. For the overnight parking and hike we had to register at the visitor center. At first the lady there thought we would be going to the Hike Inn and suggested for us to park at the upper parking lot. Once she figured out that we were "section hikers" she corrected herself and told us to park right across the visitor center. With that we got to hike up the 600+ steps by the beautiful falls which turned out to be the most strenuous section of the whole hike. I guess this is a privilege that the Hike Inn guests don't get to enjoy.
|Hike Inn & Appalachian Approach / Springer Mountain trail sign|
Once above the falls, by the upper parking lot, the real trail began. Winding through the foresty hills up and down, the trail takes one up another 2000 feet until one arrives on top of Springer Mountain. Most of the view from Sprinter mountain is blocked by trees except for a bolder area to the south-west.
|Panoramic view from Springer Mountain|
|Appalachian Trail plaque|
|Springer Mountain peak|
Several hikers watched with us the sunset but left us alone for the night, either hiking back to the Springer shelter or the trail head north of Springer Mountain. With the gorgeous weather we decided to sleep under the stars and forgo our tents.
|Sunset on Springer Mountain|
|Open sky from where we slept|
|Campsite in the dawn|
After breakfast and some dilly dallying we started our hike back via the Len Foote Hike Inn, stopping by for some delicious homemade deserts. One of the staff gave us some expert advice on adjusting our backpacks as well. Surprisingly there wasn't anything really to improve on my pack. At the Hike Inn we also break down and finally weighted our packs at one of the scales that seem to be made available everywhere. Mine came to 30lbs, 10 less than I was guessing. Still I don't see a real reason to weight a pack.
|Stairs by Amcalola Falls|
|Interactive route map|