Springer Mountain (via Nimblewill Gap)

Location: North Georgia
Trip Starts: USFS 28
Trip Ends: USFS 28
Total Distance: 5.0 miles
Hike Type: In & Out, Backtrack Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Approach, Appalachian Trails
Trail Traffic: Moderate
Trip Type: Day or Overnight Hike
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Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests
1755 Cleveland Highway
Gainesville, GA 30501
770 297-3000


The Chattahoochee National Forest is one of two National Forests in the State of Georgia, and it takes its name from the Chattahoochee River whose headwaters begin in the North Georgia mountains. The River and the area were given the name by the English settlers who heard it from the Indians that once lived here.

The Chattahoochee National Forest was created when the Forest Service purchased 31,000 acres in Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin and Union Counties from the Gennett family in 1911 for $7.00 per acre. In the beginning, the Chattahoochee was part of the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forests in North Carolina and Tennessee, but eventually the Forest Service made additional land purchases and expanded the Chattahoochee to its current size of nearly 750,000 acres.

Springer Mountain is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, and it is the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Every spring, 2000-3000 thru-hikers (or individuals that plan to hike the entire A.T. in a single year) leave from the summit of Springer to attempt a 2100+ mile journey to the northern terminus at Mt. Katahdin in Maine. Springer Mountain (3,782 feet) has a bronze plaque (showing a hiker facing north) that is set in stone next to the first white blaze marking the Appalachian Trail. There is also a terminus plaque set in a rock behind the blaze that has a compartment with a trail register of entries from day hikers, backpackers, and thru-hikers that have visited the area. This hike approaches Springer Mountain from Nimblewill Gap at USFS 28 and makes a gradual climb to the summit passing the Black Shelter on the way at 3410 feet.

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