On March 15, IATNL Directors Arne Helgeland and Paul Wylezol visited the Appalachian Trail Basecamp in Amicalola Falls State Park near the southern terminus of the AT at Springer Mountain, Georgia. They took advantage of an opportunity to detour while traveling between New Orleans, LA and Tampa Bay, Florida.

Arne Helgeland (left) and Paul Wylezol at Appalachian Trail plaque
Appalachian Trail Plaque at Amicalola Falls State Park

Though Arne and Paul didn’t have time or weather to hike to the top of the 1,152 meter (3,782ft) mountain, they were able to tour the park’s Visitor Center which contains several panels related to the Appalachian Trail.

Hiking All of the Appalachian Trail Poster 

The Visitor Center serves as AT Basecamp and is the starting point for south to northbound treks of the Appalachian Trail from nearby Springer Mountain to Mount Katahdin in Maine, then onward along IAT North America through northern Maine, New Brunswick, Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec, PEI and Nova Scotia to Crow Head on the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula. Hikers must register at the center

before passing through the gateway arch on their way to the official start of the AT at Springer Mountain

Arne Helgeland (left) and Paul Wylezol at the gateway arch in Amicalola Falls State Park
Arne Helgeland standing under the gateway arch
Paul Wylezol stands next to marker at start of AT Approach Trail

which is located 8.5 miles to the north.

Basecamp in Amicalola Falls State Park to Springer Mountain 

The Visitor Center and Basecamp provides plenty of tips and reminders of best practices while hiking the AT.

And though Paul and Arne didn’t set out on a thru-hike or tackle Springer Mountain, they nonetheless enjoyed their visit and shamelessly ended their day as if they did!

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