16.7 Mile AT Section Hike

Updated: Nov 6

Appalachian Trail Section Hike - 16.7 miles

Georgia: Dicks Creek Gap to Unicoi Gap

23 May to 24 May, 2020


SoBo Hike. Three people. Me, Andy, and Elizabeth.


We positioned our vehicles at Dicks Creek and Unicoi Gap.


This was a tough hike. I believe we have gained an appreciation for hiking in Georgia. The climbs were not too bad initially. And there were plenty of views, including a nice panorama for a snack. Lunch was at Addis Gap, pictured below.

Quick Group Selfie at the beginning, across from parking at Dicks Creek Gap. 16.7 Miles to go.

We decided to stay at Tray Mountain shelter before departing, and that is where we ended up. Exactly 11 miles on the first day.

We met a friend along the way.
Found a nice spot for lunch. Walter was happy just to get some more attention.

The mountains on the AT in Georgia are higher than I expected. Our campsite was at 4,100 feet, a bonus. I prefer higher in the summer. The gaps, like Dicks Creek, are low. This translates into some legit climbing.

With Walter as a companion, how can you not smile?

The toughest part of the day was the last climb. Tray Mountain. In less than 1.5 miles, we did 700 feet of climbing. Not terrible by itself, but at the end of an 11 mile day, I found it taxing considering this was my first hike of the year.


The campsite at Tray Mountain was the payoff for our efforts. A mountain view is hard to beat, and this one was great. The shelter itself was less than desirable, but a moot point. The campsite was about 50 yards before the shelter. We were lucky to arrive first. Around 12 campers in total ended up at this campsite.

A campsite with a mountain view. Hard to beat.
This was my view stepping into my tent.

Though there were more bugs than we would have liked (mostly gnats), we enjoyed a nice evening breeze with amazing views (the next morning was better - see below). I literally could not wait to have my morning coffee with the sunrise.

Elizabeth had a net to handle the gnats. Andy and I evidently didn't get the memo.

The second day we only had 5.7 miles to go. It did not seem like an "only" type of day. It was another challenging day. But at least we were able to enjoy coffee and breakfast with the following background.


Coffee with a view. Just awesome. That is all.
Can you take too many pictures of this view? Is that a rhetorical question?

We had two significant climbs to make on day two, and the second climb was as if the trail was telling us, "come back anytime."


It was a thousand foot climb in a little over a mile. On tired legs, not an easy one. We were all challenged. To end the hike, it was another thousand feet downhill, and steep. A different kind of challenge. As we began this last descent, Elizabeth had the quote of the weekend.

Elizabeth: "I think I'm gonna give up hiking. Andy: "oh yeah?" Elizabeth: "Yep. I'm just gonna stay home and flog myself from now on."


Walter says, "hey, it's this way! Let's go already!"

Needed a picture at the finish line. I feel pretty good about completing this hike.

After the hike, Andy and Elizabeth took me to my car back at Dicks Creek Gap, and I followed them to a brew pub in Hiawassee for a cold beer and some great food.


Overall, a great hike with great company. I felt rewarded for my efforts on more than one occasion during this hike.


#appalachiantrail #backpacking

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