The Georgia Appalachian Trail offers abundant opportunities to explore and connect with nature. Whether you're planning your first day hike or preparing for an extended section or thru hike, the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club can help.
As a member of GATC, you can participate in the many day hikes, backpacking trips, and hiking seminars offered throughout the year. We also offer valuable information about hiking etiquette, safety tips, shuttle lists, suppliers, water sources, and hunting seasons to help you plan your hike.
Planning Your Hike
Before you take your first step, take some time to assess your skills and answer the following questions to help prepare for your hike:
What is my physical condition?
Hiking in the woods is more strenuous than walking around your neighborhood; you may also be surprised to discover that your pace is slower on trails. Assessing your physical condition before your hike will help you select an appropriate hike and give you a more enjoyable experience.
How far should I hike?
GATC monthly adventures include day hikes ranging 5-15 miles to overnight backpacking trips ranging from 7-10 miles a day. Backpacking trips require additional equipment and may include a tent, sleeping bag, food, stove, extra clothing, and of course, a backpack.
When am I going?
Do you prefer more solitude and cool weather hiking conditions, or do you enjoy meeting more people along the trail and warm weather hiking? What's your tolerance for insects and gnats? The time of year you hike affects the condition of the trails and your overall hiking experience.
Where am I going?
If venturing off on your own, study the Georgia Appalachian Trail Guide to plan your hike or backpacking trip. Or select from one of the many monthly Adventures offered by GATC and led by our experienced trip leaders.
Do I understand the basics?
For a good hiking handbook that equips you with what you need to know and what you can expect while hiking on the Appalachian Trail, download the free e-book developed by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, "Step by Step: An Introduction to Hiking the Appalachian Trail."
Congratulations! If you've hiked the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail, you're eligible for a Georgia Thru-Hiker patch!
You do not have to be a member of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club to receive your patch. Just print and complete the application form, and mail the form and a check for $5 to:
P.O. Box 654
Atlanta, Georgia 30301
Make check payable to: G.A.T.C. (please do not send currency)