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Appalachian Trail


moparots
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My wife just bought me a book "AWOL On The Appalachian Trail". I have only read a third of the book, and I already want to get my GPS, backpack and head to "Springer Mountain" Ga. (Southern Trail head)and start hiking. My understanding is there are no caches along the "AT", is that true? I know this trip would not be about Geocaching, but I would love to hear about any insights any one would have about what caching may be on the "AT" trail ahead? Maybe.......?

 

A year away........ just looking for insight. Moparots / Craig

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I know of many caches along the AT. Several years ago, the ATC (who manages the trail for the NPS) ordered that the caches along the AT be removed and provided Groundspeak with a specific list. The list was a curious one because it ignored hundreds of caches on the AT but included caches sometimes a mile or more away. Anyway, in the interest of playing nice, Groundspeak archived all of the caches on the ATC's list (it included caches in parking lots, so "sensitivity of the area" was obviously not a concern).

 

The ATC finally came up with a vague policy that appears to allow geocaching, but as it stands now, Groundspeak is not allowing new caches on the AT without express permission of the ATC. There are however many caches out there that survived the ATC's witch hunt.

Edited by briansnat
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I know of many caches along the AT. Several years ago, the ATC (who manages the trail for the NPS) ordered that the caches along the AT be removed and provided Groundspeak with a specific list. The list was a curious one because it ignored hundreds of caches on the AT but included caches sometimes a mile or more away. Anyway, in the interest of playing nice, Groundspeak archived all of the caches on the ATC's list (it included caches in parking lots, so "sensitivity of the area" was obviously not a concern).

 

The ATC finally came up with a vague policy that appears to allow geocaching, but as it stands now, Groundspeak is not allowing new caches on the AT without express permission of the ATC. There are however many caches out there that survived the ATC's witch hunt.

 

Interesting. I did not know there were some left. I haven't personally been on the AT since like 2005. But sure enough, I looked in the area I was last on it, and saw several. I panned up and down from that area a good 30 miles, and yes, the AT is shown on the Geocaching.com maps if you zoom in enough. Lets just say this was somewhere in the Mid-Atlantic region. :lol:

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Last year I hiked about 675 miles on the AT from Springer up through VA, was hoping to make it to Harpers Ferry but sadly ran short on budget at the end. I cached the entire time I was along the AT. There are most definitely (as of a year ago) caches along the AT, also in most of all the "Trail Towns" you will either go to for supplies or physically hike through.

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If I remember correctly certain areas of the trail were affected much more than others, depending on the person in charge of that particular section. As Brian posted above, they didn't really know which caches were on the trail and which ones weren't. They seemed to rely on descriptions and names instead of the true location. I know they lost several trail volunteers in Eastern PA over it.

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If I remember correctly certain areas of the trail were affected much more than others, depending on the person in charge of that particular section. As Brian posted above, they didn't really know which caches were on the trail and which ones weren't. They seemed to rely on descriptions and names instead of the true location. I know they lost several trail volunteers in Eastern PA over it.

 

It did seem to rely mostly on names. If the words Appalachian Trail were in the name or description they mostly found their way on the archive list. One cache I know of was 3 miles from the AT but the description said it could be accessed via the AT.

 

Anyway they apparently have subsequently adopted a policy that seems to allow geocaching.

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Thanks for the responses, I will get that book "Walk in the Woods". I also scanned up and down the trail (just Ga and NC)and I found many caches including virts and Earths (my favs) My climb to the Mt Lecounte virts is what hooked me on this. I'm sure there are plenty more up past the Smokey Mtns. I wonder if there is a bookmark list with the closest caches to the entire trail? Caches on a route maybe?

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Thanks for the responses, I will get that book "Walk in the Woods". I also scanned up and down the trail (just Ga and NC)and I found many caches including virts and Earths (my favs) My climb to the Mt Lecounte virts is what hooked me on this. I'm sure there are plenty more up past the Smokey Mtns. I wonder if there is a bookmark list with the closest caches to the entire trail? Caches on a route maybe?

 

We rented a cabin just outside Pigeon Forge for our vacation next month. Plan on doing quite a bit of hiking and Mt. LeConte will be one of our primary stops. I already have that virtual saved in my phone, as well as the Alum Cave virtual, which is on the way up. Can't wait.

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Bill Bryson's book 'A Walk in the Woods' is another great read on his experiences on the AT. A humourous and engaging read.

 

I will second this book. I only read about 2/3's of it before I move but I am going to get it and re-read it.

 

As noted elsewhere, I've hiked over a half of the AT. And I find that book to be the stupidest excuse for writing a book. "Oh. We had no idea what we were getting into, so we gave up. But let's write a book about it'????

As to the ATC requiring archival of caches: It does not own the land. PA State Huntng lands. NJ State Parks. Over-reaching of power. And stupidly done! Give some groups a little power, and they'll prove how stupid they can be.

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Bill Bryson's book 'A Walk in the Woods' is another great read on his experiences on the AT. A humourous and engaging read.

 

I will second this book. I only read about 2/3's of it before I move but I am going to get it and re-read it.

 

As noted elsewhere, I've hiked over a half of the AT. And I find that book to be the stupidest excuse for writing a book. "Oh. We had no idea what we were getting into, so we gave up. But let's write a book about it'????

As to the ATC requiring archival of caches: It does not own the land. PA State Huntng lands. NJ State Parks. Over-reaching of power. And stupidly done! Give some groups a little power, and they'll prove how stupid they can be.

 

I really enjoyed reading the book. It is entertaining, and I like the way Bill Bryson talks about some of the history of the land along various parts of the trail. That said, the author didn't actually through-hike the trail, so it isn't really a good account of hiking the whole trail. Actually, a pretty good guide of "what NOT to do" when through-hiking the AT. For a better account of actually hiking the trail, try "A Walk for Sunshine" by Jeff Alt. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm related by marriage to the author.) He through-hiked the AT about 12 years ago, and self-published a book about his experience. He actually talks a bit about the planning and logistics of doing the whole thing, as well as his day-to-day experiences along the trail.

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A bit off topic, but if anyone is interested in reading a pretty cool blog, a guy from my area that used to belong to our scout troop is about 1400 miles in with about 740 to go on day 87 I think. He blogs several paragraphs a day. Go to followingblazes.com. His trail name is Rayo.

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Bill Bryson's book 'A Walk in the Woods' is another great read on his experiences on the AT. A humourous and engaging read.

 

I will second this book. I only read about 2/3's of it before I move but I am going to get it and re-read it.

 

As noted elsewhere, I've hiked over a half of the AT. And I find that book to be the stupidest excuse for writing a book. "Oh. We had no idea what we were getting into, so we gave up. But let's write a book about it'????

As to the ATC requiring archival of caches: It does not own the land. PA State Huntng lands. NJ State Parks. Over-reaching of power. And stupidly done! Give some groups a little power, and they'll prove how stupid they can be.

 

It was my understanding that it was largely the work of a single anti geocaching zealot in the ATC who had a lot of pull within the organization.

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Local geocacher Gubbool doesn't log many caches, but when he does they are good ones! You can find mention of some caches along the AT in his profile or his blog.

 

From his profile:

In 2008, with the help of Jim, Betaman, Brown and other/fellow geocachers, I hiked six months covering 2,548 miles from Sylacauga Alabama to Mt. Katahdin Maine using Alabama and Georgia's Pinhoti Trail, the Benton MacKaye Trail, and the Appalachian Trail. Once there, and with the help of Steve, OldBoyHiker, deBoalts, I rode my red $60 bicycle 1700 miles back to Birmingham in 6 weeks. In 2009 I bicycled 1200 miles of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Virgina, and Mississippi highways before returning to B'ham and then I kayaked 651 miles down the Coosa and Alabama Rivers to Mobile on the Scenic River Trail only to find myself with too much summer remaining and nothing to so I kayaked 651 miles back to the Georgia/Alabama border; and then because my butt was tired of sitting, I yoyo-ed Alabama's Pinhoti trail during December, ending early January 2010. Come spring 2010, I embarked on an epic double crossing of these United States on bicycle - covering 10,000 miles, 27 states in 207 days. In 2011 I managed 850 miles of kayaking - From Guntersville Al on the Tennessee River, Tenn-Tom Water Way, and Gulf Coast from Mobile to Panacea Fl. This summer I'm all about finishing that water trip to he Keys. Once I start, you can follow me thru Findingwarren.com

 

As far as AT books unrelated to geocaching I just finished Skywalker: Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail which I downloaded for free on Kindle. There's a reason it's free, but it's worth reading anyway. It's an interesting tale of someone through-hiking with almost no preparation.

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Thanks for the responses, I will get that book "Walk in the Woods". I also scanned up and down the trail (just Ga and NC)and I found many caches including virts and Earths (my favs) My climb to the Mt Lecounte virts is what hooked me on this. I'm sure there are plenty more up past the Smokey Mtns. I wonder if there is a bookmark list with the closest caches to the entire trail? Caches on a route maybe?

 

We rented a cabin just outside Pigeon Forge for our vacation next month. Plan on doing quite a bit of hiking and Mt. LeConte will be one of our primary stops. I already have that virtual saved in my phone, as well as the Alum Cave virtual, which is on the way up. Can't wait.

The three Mt Leconte virts are awesome, well not the actual caches, but the journey up to claim them. I hiked it alone starting at 7am at the trailhead, was back at the car by 12-12:30, really fast. In retrospect, I wish I had slowed down a bit to smell the roses, I guess the Florida boy in me was just excited to be there. Going up was not bad, but coming down just blew up a brand new pair of cheap sneakers. : ) Its a good thing I was quick, because when I got back to our cabin on the other side of the valley, I watched a monster storm from our balcony come in and destroy the mountain, rain, lightning, and a lot of hail. Respect the weather up there, as it can change rapidly. Check out another virt "Porters Creek" http://coord.info/GCG159 just NE on 321 fro Gatlinburg.

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On 6/10/2012 at 6:06 AM, Rainbow Spirit said:

Bill Bryson's book 'A Walk in the Woods' is another great read on his experiences on the AT. A humourous and engaging read.

 I started reading it and really enjoyed it but he mentioned another, in passing, and I stopped to read it.  https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/delaware-diary-episodes-in-the-life-of-a-river_frank-dale/718962/#isbn=0813522838&idiq=11015673

 

Need to go back and pick up where I left off with Bryson.

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On 6/11/2012 at 6:03 PM, Harry Dolphin said:

As to the ATC requiring archival of caches: It does not own the land. PA State Huntng lands. NJ State Parks. Over-reaching of power. And stupidly done! Give some groups a little power, and they'll prove how stupid they can be.

 

That's what we presented after our hides were archived in '08 with a note to "view the guidelines".   

There are few guidelines for state game lands.  In fact, it was the other 2/3rds and a fellow cacher that made sure of that...   :)

 - More than 150' from the corridor into state game lands, D2/T4 each, and no one had to be near the AT al all to access them.

A friend picked up one (and a find),  the other 2/3rds the other.  She had guys in uniform watching her the entire way/back from a truck.

Found out soon after a gas line was crossing through the AT in that area,  and the clear-cut that's still visible on both sides of the mountain kinda exposed the fib it had anything to do with this hobby.

There's still many out there today.  Go figure...

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  On 6/10/2012 at 6:54 PM, edscott said:

 I know they lost several trail volunteers in Eastern PA over it.

 

Yep.  We're two.  :)

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After ten years as a trail maintainer, I stopped when the trail conference would not respond to me when I questioned them about their decision on this subject.  Two e-mails, one letter.  No response.  Made me feel that they considered me lower than ...

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