Areas of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina require bear canisters for overnight camping in the Pisgah National Forest due to encounters with bears. Black bears have limited eyesight but a keen sense of smell and hearing. The Forest Service's Bear Necessities for safety in the woods include not leaving food outside and what to do if you encounter a bear in the woods. Not all bears are this cute and cuddly up close. I think I'm definitely going to try the Ursack/opsack method. "Any bear that associates people with food is a dangerous bear because it's going to be aggressive," said Baker. They are smaller and less aggressive than the Grizzly but still can be 400 to 500 pounds. Bear encounters can be pleasant or dangerous. Love using mine. Covering more than 2,000 miles from Georgia all the way to Maine, the route passes through 14 states, climbing the equivalent of Mt. Hikers who choose not to camp along this section of trail are not required to carry a canister. Although these methods are not are not as effective as bear-resistant canisters at preventing bears from retrieving food, the Forest Service does encourage this practice at other times and in other areas of the forest not covered by the canister requirement. Amy (left) and Angie (right) on Sassafrass Mountain . Their four-legged brethren can be more difficult to deter. In Georgia alone, the 2,180-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail covers 76 miles and crosses seven counties. These canisters can be purchased or rented at most retail stores and online sellers that stock camping gear. Flip-Flopper? In previous years, repeated bear conflicts required temporary, seasonal camping closures for the area for hiker safety resistant canister in the springtime. Hiking the Appalachian Trail will lead you on a more than 2,000-mile journey through more than a dozen states. Even though it’s Georgia, winter weather conditions are possible in the … that said some of the latches are broken and don't exactly work like they should but yeah pretty sure all the shelters have cables/boxes. The regulation … … And if you’re thru-hiking (hiking the entire trail in a single year), you’ll likely invest half of your year walking the trail. You don’t have to worry about seeing any grizzlies. What Do You Eat? Every shelter south of Neels Gap has bear boxes and the rest in the state have cables. It certainly helps that many of the people you … Georgia has a dozen shelters along the trail, … WORCESTER – Hiking the Appalachian Trail is demanding enough. Throughout the state, wildflowers, … Press J to jump to the feed. While backpacking 15 miles of the appalachian trail recently, 2 different bears wandered into camp. This is also the peak season for northbound Appalachian Trail hikers to begin their journeys. The shelters often have a slanted roof like a "lean-to" and are tall enough to stand up inside. First issued in 2012 by the Forest Service, the regulation was as an alternative to closing the area to camping along the AT in the Blood Mountain Wilderness. All good info here but one additional point that no one has mentioned: There is a section of the AT near Blood Mountain that requires the use of bear canisters for food storage. -Trail features are those listed in the 2009 Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Compaion, links take you to pages and/or pics depicting them where available.-Amenity abbreviations are as follows: S=Shelter, W=Water, L=Lodging, M=Restaurant, C=Camping, G=Groceries, O=Outfitter, Sh=Showers, Cl=Laundry Our pal, Judy Toppins of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Gainesville, GA, has good news about conflicts and encounters between black bears and AT hikers in Georgia. The requirement was developed in consultation with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division. The boxes in NJ contained A considerable amount of used paper plates with leftovers from locals accustomed to trash cans. I hike the GA and southern NC sections a lot since they are close to home, and use an Ursack and opsack combo because I really don’t like spending the time to find a good limbs and do an appropriate PCT hang. I did a section in the Smokies last year, and I know bear cables are common there, but I'm having trouble finding clear information about what's available in GA. Are bear cables/boxes rare in this section? Trail Distance: 78 miles (126 kilometers) Georgia brings much to your Appalachian Trail wilderness experience. Rain and thunderstorms are common in the spring. And if I'll need to hang from a tree every night, how likely is it that I'll find someone nice in a nearby campsite to double-check my work to make sure I'm not being an idiot? There’s usually plenty of eligible trees. -1 on OpSack seals as they don’t seem to hold up well beyond a few weeks of regular daily use. When hiking in the Georgia Mountains, keep in mind that the wilderness is home to bears. If you recall, the cables at shelters in the Smokies are only a few yards from the shelter itself. Wilderness visitors are asked to practice the Leave No Trace ethic, a set of guidelines for minimizing their impacts including planning ahead, staying on durable surfaces, disposing of waste properly, leaving what they find and respecting wildlife and other visitors. Bear canisters should be used to store food, food containers, garbage and toiletries. So, your chances are pretty good on getting bear boxes at a site. On the Appalachian Trail, my chosen method was to hang a bear bag, using about a 50-foot length of pcord. GEORGIA. The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Hi all, I'm hoping to do a section hike in Georgia in May or June, and have a couple questions about bears and food hanging. The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests provide the finest outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources in Georgia. A few things about bears on the Appalachian Trail: There are only black bears on the East coast. Saves me hours of time from tossing lines and rigging. A lot of people like to troll this subject. SOBO? Shelters . All the shelters along the AT in Georgia are similar, so if you tent near a shelter you're good. I've hiked significant sections of the AT in North Carolina, Virginia and Maine, and the 30-mile section I've walked in Georgia is among the most beautiful. [16] Weitere Fernwanderwege in den USA Section hiker? Anyone who’s done any amount of research into thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail already knows the above “threats” are minimal at best. Good familiarity with the principles of Leave No Trace and using them will help preserve the trail for everyone's enjoyment. The boys and I hiked about 6 miles in 3 hours (the path was up, down, and sinusoidal over many rocky … Before you can make such a commitment, you probably have some questions. Wildlife frequent the trail, including wild turkey, black bear, deer, wild hog, and songbirds. Smaller sites obviously don’t, but the only section that requires any kind of bear food protection is Jarrad gap to Neels gap ( right around Blood Mountain). Also everyone using the box is relying on the last person to put their food away at night to properly close and secure it- and unfortunately, understanding even the simplest of locking mechanisms is beyond the capability of some hikers. Best Time: Hike the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail in the spring or autumn. I just tie it to a tree, never had an issue with bears or other critters on my entire thru. If you've hiked or are planning on hiking the "AT", this is the place for you. This stretch is located between points 26.7 and 31.7 miles north of the southern terminus of the A.T. at Springer Mountain, Georgia, and includes Woods Hole Shelter, Slaughter Creek Campsite, and Blood Mountain Shelter. I thru-hiked the AT in 2012, and I know I did. +1 on UrSack with OpSack. Animals on the Appalachian Trail. "We took this measure to protect hikers and make our campsites less alluring to the bears that live here," said Blue Ridge District Ranger Andy Baker. The Appalachian Trail in Georgia, March 2016 --The bear canister debate can get intense. Appalachian Trail shelters are simple wooden structures scattered along the length of the trail for hikers to sleep in. Even though black bear attacks are few and far between, they are increasing over the years because bears become accustomed to getting food from humans in high impact, frequently used areas, like campgrounds or on the Appalachian Trail during peak season. I'll probably stick to being near the shelters, so this is very reassuring. You may have to share a cable with other hikers, so make sure your food bag is unique. That's great to know. Usually they are shy creatures who keep their distance and seeing one can be an uncommon thrill. She hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2012, and made a film... Appalachian Trail Backpacking Food. The storage regulation is mandatory for all dispersed camping in the Blood Mountain Wilderness within a quarter mile of the trail from Jarrard Gap to Neels Gap, which includes the Blood Mountain Shelter and Woods Hole Shelter. Practice before you go. They had … If you're not comfortable with hanging your food, you could always invest in an Ursack. Originally, Amy and Angie’s reunion didn’t involve the Appalachian Trail at all. Aspiring hiker? Bear-resistant canisters trap odors inside, eliminating the lure of food, and they are designed to be tamper-resistant against extreme force. Traditional food storage methods in the wilderness, such as hanging food bags between trees, are not allowed as a substitute for using a bear-resistant canister under this regulation. Although the section of the AT passing through Georgia can be accessed and enjoyed all year long, there are better times than others to make the trip. There are also a couple of larger camp sites south of Neels that have one or the other. Black bears are the only bears found in the east. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the Eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. Bears on the Appalachian Trail. Bears. Otherwise as mentioned, there are boxes and they are a godsend. Give yourself 30 minutes or so to find a good tree and set your line. Every thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail (AT) must confront a Yogi or two, but mostly they're the two-legged kind of bear trying to mooch their way to Maine. If you decide to tent, you can still use the bear cables, assuming you’re close to the shelter. The… After a bear killed a hiker's dog in the park, authorities with the Shenandoah National Park are warning hikers about increased bear activity. Several campsites in the mid-Atlantic have been closed, and a bear that frequently visited an AT campsite was euthanized in 2019. The shelters in Georgia have bear cables. Throughout the length of the Georgia Appalachian Trail there are many day hikes and paths you can enjoy. A thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail said it was agonizing when a bear bit him in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are particularly attracted to human food brought into wilderness in the early spring when natural food sources are not yet plentiful. But it's a good thing to be aware of so that you can plan around it. Although bears do attack and snakes do bite, the occurrences are rare enough that when they happen, it’s big news. Departing Springer Mountain, the AT follows its iconic, white trail blazes through the southern Appalachian Mountains, meandering through North Georgia’s rolling Blue Ridge Mountains and exploring some of this state’s most beautiful terrain. The Bear Necessities for Safe Hiking and Camping, Dahlonega, GA's Bear on the Square Festival, Hikers Warned About Increased Bear Activity, Bear Canisters Required on Appalachian Trail in Pisgah National Forest, Bear Truth About Hiking & Camping in Georgia. Have a look at these … If you tent at some stealth sight, learn how to hang. The Trail can sometimes be rugged, albeit navigable. If you venture past the terminus, you will enter the "Appalachian Approach Trail" to Amicalola Falls which is 7.8 miles away. Judy says there are fewer black bear conflicts along a five-mile AT section from Jarrard Gap to Neels Gap in the Chattahoochee National Forest. I used bear cables or boxes when able, but I never had to do a traditional "bear hang". Do you also combine your Ursack with Opsaks, as another redditor suggested? A map of the area covered by the regulation is available online, at nearby trailheads, and at the District Office. In case you’re not sure what type of food to bring to the trail, here is a non-exhaustive list of backpacker friendly foods to give you some ideas. Bradley … Blood Mountain was designated as a Wilderness Area by Congress in 1991. … Thank you for the warning. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has safety tips about what to do if you meet Yogi on the trail. :). Bears along the Appalachian Trail in GA are cute, except when they want your food. Canisters must be commercially made and constructed of solid, non … For their most recent adventure, they chose a 61-mile, 6-day section hike on the Georgia portion of the Appalachian Trail. I ask because I have doubts about my hanging skills (need more practice with this specific skill), and I'm terrified of A) luring a bear into camp and B) losing all my food. Have one or the other again beginning March 1, 2014 and ends bears on the appalachian trail in georgia 1st shelters. 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