The Appalachian Trail truly has mythic status and for many of us, hiking it is a dream. But then we look at the reality of it and find the prospect of carrying a 40-50 pound pack on our back and sleeping on the ground rather daunting. Solution? Slackpacking! We cover the same distance as backpackers, but at the end of the day we return to comfortable beds, hot showers, and freshly-prepared meals, to help inspire our traverse of the Georgia section. We cover significant mileage on this trip so it still requires being in excellent shape. Maximum group size: 12
What's not included: Travel to and from Atlanta, alcoholic beverages, snacks, optional guide gratuities and travel insurance.
This trip is rated a 5 because it involves hiking from 7 to 16 miles a day (see the itinerary for daily mileage) and requires being in excellent physical condition. There is one opportunity on the last day of hiking to make that day’s mileage a bit less, otherwise, mileage will be as listed in the itinerary. The lodge you will be staying at is both large and beautiful so taking a day off is always an option. Trips that are rated 5 require a high degree of fitness. Adding some specific conditioning such as strength training, endurance training, and longer aerobic workouts is both highly recommended and necessary. If you have any questions about your fitness level, please contact the office.
Rating: 1 2 3 4.
This is a hiking trip on the first section of the legendary Appalachian Trail. You will be hiking in the mountains with constant elevation gain and loss on a trail that is rocky at times. On most days there is little time (or energy) at the end of the day for other activities, except a midweek afternoon trip into the delightful small town of Dahlonega for browsing and dinner.
We will spend eight nights at the Retreat on the Ridge , a luxurious 7-bedroom 5.5 bath majestic mountain home where you can enjoy the north Georgia mountains in luxury, style, and convenience. The rental is seven miles north of downtown Dahlonega with spectacular panoramic views, a saltwater pool, and a fire pit. In the main house there are six bedrooms for participants that are a mix of single and shared rooms, plus a bunkroom where there are discounted spots. There are three single rooms available. In the main house there is one with its own bathroom and two with shared bathrooms. These are available for a single supplement ($300); otherwise, rooms will be assigned randomly.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
The guides were excellent, as always; the participants were kind and friendly: the accommodations beautiful and the food outstanding. The only reason I didn't rate it excellent is that the terrain was not spectacular, but that's certainly not AGC's fault...
The chance to get away, be in nature and not be in charge or have to think about anything! :)
beautiful north Georgia mountain hiking
Chance to meet and interact with such a diverse group of women; achievement of a personal goal; learning new hiking tips and skills; opportunity for together AND alone time; incredible sunrise view from lodge
Great hiking, interesting women to talk to, comfortable lodging, fabulous food and excellent guides.
Great house, great food, and great hiking.
Excellent trip! The guides were fantastic, food was delicious, and the participants were great. I would recommend that you provide a massage therapist to come into the house on the half day, for those that would like a massage. One of the other participants found a great one! I also had a massage with her, and would greatly recommend her. "The Art of Healing". 833-239-6744. or 404-9441922. I think her name was Edie
The trip and the guides were fabulous - I would rate the trip 4 1/2 if I could because of accommodation issues (see below).
Excellent. All details were mapped out ahead of time and the plan was executed on schedule.
Not enough superlatives to describe how wonderful this trip was. Claire and Gina were amazing, so capable, tireless and fun. They made the experience incredible.
Top notch badass guides Claire and Gina!!
Well planned and organized. Great team of guides, tasty food, and beautiful accommodations. Trail sections were carefully selected for mileage and elevation each day.
Over shot my expectations. The trail was challenging every day - but allowed for an experience beyond my imagination. Great people and amazing views and memories to go along with them. Loved Dahlonega and that 'rest day' made for a nice reprieve and something to look forward to.
Actually better than I hoped. The lodging was very peaceful and the group instantly bonded.
The accomodations were unbelieveable! Having a 'dip pool' each night for our feet was really amazing.
I loved hiking all day. The accommodations were great. Our guides were terrific. The food was delicious.
Wonderful food, well matched with other hikers, paced well, guides were excellent and took great care of us.
The guides, Leigh and Gina, are top notch. Very professional, kind, attentive, and non-judgmental.
The guides, accommodations, food and the trail. It was awesome
The guides were phenomenal, and the place we stayed was breathtaking. I didn't expect such amazing meals and the feeling of being cared for all week.
The only thing that I would have changed is the 16 mile day for the 6.7. Wed. we had good weather when the 6.7 mile day was scheduled and rain and cold for the 16 miles day.
This trip is incredible. Highlights: 1. Hiking the entire GA section of the AT (please have more trips where we complete an entire section on the AT!) 2. The leaders are awesome--I don't know how they do it! 3. AGC draws a wonderful group of women. I left this trip and the last one inspired by their stories and everything they have accomplished. 4. I loved that each day was a challenge but one I could complete. I had such a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.
Over the top wonderful guides; very very challenging; wonderful food; great lodging-although a long ride to some trail heads (a price I am willing to pay for slackpackinh); good group
Since this was my first trip with AGC I wasn't sure what to expect. I found everything completely organized, which of course made me feel safe with my decision, and I actually completed the AT in Georgia!!!!! For me the highlight was the hardest day - just that I walked 16.7 miles is amazing. Would I do that day again? NO! LOL
The thrill of completing my most challenging hike ever, the entire Georgia section of the AT (80 miles in 7 days, 20k ft elevation gain, 20k loss) in the quiet, cool autumn beauty of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest with a terrific group of AGC women and AGC guide team. Thank you thank you thank you!
The trip, the accommodations, the guides, the food, the shuttling, the teamwork and camaraderie all exceeded my expectations. The weather was challenging, and the trail itself was much more up and down than I expected.
I have done multiple day hikes in the Grand Canyon so felt prepared for this trip. It was harder than I expected with a quicker pace than I anticipated.
The entire trip from beginning to end. A personal highlight was reaching Springer Mountain and the North Carolina border. Another personal highlight was hiking 16.5 miles in one day.
I never in a million years expected that the group of ladies we hiked with would come together so well. What a fun group
The trip met all of my expectations and my expectations were very high. Fabulous guides! Great group of ladies.
Positive attitudes of leaders and all participants
Scenery, good food, pleasant accommodations, great guides
I developed an affection for the AT I hadn’t experienced before, even though I have hiked on it before. I also liked all the laughing we did! It was a great group.
Well organized. Great accommodations and meals prepared by the guides were spectacular in the evenings and on the trail. Guides were knowledgeable and never tired! Amazing!
The guides, hostile, other women, and the beauty of the AT trail.
I really enjoyed getting to know the other women. They were encouraging, funny and strong.
highlights - first class service on the trails and at the residence. Both guides were extraordinary in their expertise, calm approach, detail oriented, caring, delivering to everyone a sense of belonging and wellness. They were gentle minded and truly experienced and resourceful and prepared.
Hiking the last 12 miles of the AT in North Georgia!
When I signed up for the trip, I had some reservations about my ability to complete a 4/5 hiking adventure. With Leigh leading the hike, I felt safe and confident that I was up to the challenge. Completing the entire 80 miles to the NC border was a very exciting moment! The fall colors were spectacular!!! The upbeat, positive energy of the group of ladies, and their wonderful sense of humor, made it an enjoyable group adventure. The Hostel was clean, warm, inviting and felt like home away from home. The food was fresh, delicious, healthy and plentiful. I feel very blessed to have been a part of this experience.
Went to hike and that's what we did.
Awesome trip! Great group of women, great guides, great everything. The only suggestion I would have for improvement would be to make the hiking poles mandatory (rather than just highly recommended). I bought them at the last minute and wouldn't have been able to make the hike without them. And please mention in the brochure that a washing machine is available, I would have brought less clothes if I had known that.
The beautiful scenery we experienced was a highlight for sure. Every day contained breathtaking views and peaceful forest paths. I wanted difficult hikes and each day was challenging but not overly so. I also enjoyed meeting and spending time with the other women from all over the world. The food we ate surprised me - it was well above the standard I was expecting. Leigh and Karen are great cooks. The hostel was also nicer that I was expecting. It was exceptionally clean and much more spacious than anticipated.