Directions, Shuttles & Parking
Out-of-state hikers who come to Georgia will probably arrive in either Atlanta or Gainesville, GA. Gainesville, about 50 miles northeast of Atlanta, is the closest town to the trail served by public transportation.
AMTRAK and Greyhound Bus Lines operate between Atlanta and Gainesville. The easiest and least expensive way to get from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to the bus station in downtown Atlanta, or to the Amtrak station in Midtown Atlanta is to use the Atlanta public transportation, MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority).
There are also possible car shuttles from Atlanta to the Approach Trail at Amicalola Falls State Park. See below, some shuttle providers willing to provide car transportation for hikers. (Note that there may be many more services available, these are only a few that have requested to be listed).
Getting from Atlanta Airport to Gainesville
By Greyhound Bus:
Atlanta Airport to Atlanta Greyhound Depot:
- Take the MARTA train from the airport to Garnett Station (S1). Go out Garnett Station, turn left to Forsyth St. The bus depot is to your right on Forsyth St.
- OR take Atlanta Airport Shuttle bus to bus depot.
- OR take taxi to bus depot.
Call Greyhound at 1-800-231-2222 to confirm the latest schedule and fare information.
By AMTRAK train:
Atlanta Airport to AMTRAK station:
- Take MARTA train to Arts Center Station (N5), transfer to MARTA bus #110 at the Arts Center Station ; or walk to left uphill on 15th Street to Peachtree Street and walk one mile north (left) on Peachtree Street to AMTRAK station. The small AMTRAK station is on your left just after crossing over Interstate 85 on Peachtree Street;
- OR take Atlanta Airport Shuttle bus to AMTRAK station.
- OR take taxi from airport to AMTRAK station.
Call AMTRAK at 1-800-872-7245 to confirm the latest schedule and fare information.
MARTA bus routes and schedules are subject to change. Verify all information directly with MARTA prior to planning your trip. www.itsmarta.com
Getting from Gainesville to Approach Trail
When you get to Gainesville, a taxi driver will probably be at the bus or train station and will be more than happy to take you to the trailhead for the Approach Trail at Amicalola Falls State Park.
Traveling by car from Atlanta or Gainesville to the Approach Trail:
Several shuttle providers are willing to drive from various locations in Atlanta and Gainesville to Amicalola Falls State Park and other access points to the trail for a fee. See below under Transportation in the North GA Area.
Driving to the Approach Trail:
From Dahlonega, Georgia (about 60 miles north of downtown Atlanta via GA Hwy. 400) take GA Hwy. 52 west approximately 20 miles to Amicalola Falls State Park. Parking is available near the visitor center. Cars should be registered with the park. There is no additional charge for parking a car there for an extended hike, but there is a small entrance charge to the Park.
Point-to-point taxi or car rides:
Due to legality and liability, there is no official volunteer shuttle service available at this time. There are taxi services that will pick up from locations along the trail:
Uni Taxi in Gainesville, (770) 297-0255
See below service providers willing to provide car transportation for hikers for a fee.
Available at the major paved road crossings: Woody Gap (GA Hwy. 60), Neel Gap (US Hwy. 129/19), Tesnatee Gap (GA Hwy. 348), Hogpen Gap (GA Hwy. 348), Unicoi Gap (GA Hwy. 75/17) and Dicks Creek Gap (US Hwy. 76). Limited parking is available where the AT crosses Forest Service roads: Springer Mtn. (USFS 42). For extended backpacks, cars may be registered and parked at Amicalola Falls State Park. Contact the park for more details.
Trail Approaches To Springer Mountain
The usual approach is to start at Amicalola Falls State Park off paved GA Hwy. 52 and walk the 8.3 mile blue-blazed Approach Trail to Springer Mountain.
A shorter approach is to intercept the Approach Trail at Nimblewill Gap on USFS Road #28 and walk 2.5 miles north to Springer. NOTE: This section of USFS Road #28 is usually very rough, particularly after storms in the spring.
The shortest approach involves driving north of Springer to where the AT crosses USFS Road #42, then hiking south on the white-blazed AT one mile to the summit of Springer Mountain.
From GA Hwy. 52, 9.5 miles east of Amicalola Falls State Park or 8.5 miles west of Dahlonega, turn north at Grizzle's old store (closed, sign for store is damaged).
Go 2.0 miles and turn right on USFS Road #28 (look for sign that points to Georgia Wildlife Management Area on left and sign to Jones Creek Road on right).
After 2.2 miles, bear left at fork onto USFS Road #77 and go 5.1 miles.
Take hard left onto USFS Road #42 and go 2.7 miles to AT, passing a Benton MacKaye Trail crossing (diamond blazes) along the way. There is a large parking area along north side of road.
From GA Hwy. 52 in Cartecay (12.1 miles west of Amicalola Falls State Park or 7.4 miles east of Ellijay), turn north on Roy Road between Methodist Church and Stanley's Grocery and go 9.7 miles to end of road.
Turn right and go 2.2 miles to Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church (these are paved roads).
Turn right onto gravel USFS Road #42 and go 6.8 miles to the parking area on north side of road.
NOTE: These Forest Service roads can be quite rough, and may be impassable by car or van in winter or very wet weather. Contact the Chattahoochee National Forest Toccoa Ranger District in Blue Ridge, Georgia (706) 632-3031 for current road conditions.
Dr. Don Pruitt's medical clinic is 1 1/2 miles from Woody Gap in Suches, and is open for medical emergencies from Mon - Thurs, 9-5.
Transportation in the North Georgia Area: (updated 3/2009)
Dial-A-Bus / Lumpkin County Transport
(706) 864-6900 – or – 1-888-808-5021
Specifics: Provides service within Lumpkin County only: Dahlonega to Woody Gap or Neels Gap. – about $1/mile.
Specifics: All of N. Georgia, MARTA pickup in Atlanta. Sometimes can do last minute shuttles – Vehicle storage available.
Bob & Mary Swift - Chattahoochee Ridge Lodge
Specifics: Provides shuttle services, but NOT to/from Atlanta Airport. Call for rates.
Cell: (706) 669-0919
Specifics: Taxi or Shuttle service to Springer Mtn., Atlanta & Knoxville airports. Call for rates.
Sabin Wes Wisson
Specifics: Atlanta airport or Marta Station. Will shuttle gap-to-gap - year round. Will go as far as Fontana (and anywhere in between) to help a hiker in need. NO National Forest Land. Call for rates.
Specifics: Springer Mtn – Hot Springs, NC Call for rates – rate depends on time & distance.
Specifics: Willing to take hikers from Atlanta to Springer or Amicalola. Call for rates.
Josh and Leigh Saint
(770) 312-7342 - or – www.hikerhostel.com
Specifics: Complete shuttle and hostel service.
Specifics: Will pick up at the Atlanta Airport, Amtrak Train Station, or Greyhound bus Station and will take to Amicalola Falls State Park or to Springer Mtn., (USFS 42). Will also transport to other trail heads, but only from Atlanta. (For example, I can't pick up at Neel Gap and drop off at Woody Gap).
Specifics: Can go as far south as the Atlanta Airport; as far north as Deep Gap, NC.
Crown Mountain Limo & Group Transportation, Inc.
Specifics: Transportation for hikers.
Dawson, Dahlonega, Cleveland, Helen Georgia
706-300-7143 -or- www.Paddystaxi.com
Specifics: Transportation for hikers.
This listing is provided as an information service for A.T. hikers and does not constitute an endorsement by the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club of the dependability or safety of the individual service providers. While some service providers may be members of GATC, they are not representatives, employees or agents of GATC and their services are not in any way affiliated with GATC. GATC does not inspect, warrant, monitor, review or supervise the activities of the shuttle operators, and hikers should at all times use their own judgment in dealing with them.
The information provided here is subject to change and is beyond the control of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club.