03-19-2020: A Walk in the Creation, Appalachian Trail in Georgia – Woody Gap to Neels Gap Section

On Thursday, March 19, I conducted another “conditioning” hike on the Appalachian (AT) in Georgia. My goal with these hikes is to get my legs ready for averaging 15 miles per day when I return north for another new section of the trail.

This hike started and ended at Woody Gap. I hiked 7.6 miles north to the southern base of Blood Mountain, then returned. There’s a nice spring on the trail, just as it begins the climb up Blood Mountain.

The weather was nice: partly cloudy, slight breeze, 70s for high. I walked around 7.5 hours total, spent another 45 minutes or so stopping or resting/eating. As can be seen in the pictures below, there were nice views through the trees. Saw several thru-hikers headed north in their attempt to do the entire trail in one long hike. (Of note: Several states have closed the camping areas along the trail. That, together with urging from the AT Club, is causing most to drop off the trail until the virus problem passes.)

Sharing some views with you from this walk:

I still am impressed with the size of some of the rocks in the mountains. Loved seeing the clearing skies.
Views from Big Cedar Mountain (3,582 ft). This one is the first of two viewpoints, and is often referred to as
“Preacher’s Rock”. This one is only 1.1 miles north from Woody Gap, and is often crowded.
Looking south from “Preacher’s Rock”
This is a second viewpoint on Big Cedar, and my favorite. While not quite as open as Preacher’s Rock, it is much less crowded, thus more enjoyable. It is also a popular tent camping area (I’ve not seen more than 2-3 at a time).
Late afternoon (5:42 pm) from the second viewpoint on Big Cedar. Note the change in the weather as a front starts to
move in. The morning view is in the 3rd picture up from this one.
The last view (6:02 pm) at Preacher’s Rock before descending to Woody Gap and the car.

Felt blessed to be able to hike the 15.2 miles, and enjoy another wonderful day in the Lord’s beautiful Creation!

God Bless!

One thought on “03-19-2020: A Walk in the Creation, Appalachian Trail in Georgia – Woody Gap to Neels Gap Section

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