From: June 20 to June 24, 2018

Destination: Dahlonega, GA

  • The Art of Mountain Hiking - the Appalachians

    Although hiking is essentially putting one foot in front of the other, there are many tips that can make hiking both more enjoyable and safe. There are two ways to acquire the knowledge necessary to hike safely in a variety of terrains: either through experience, or by learning from others with that experience. If you want to jump start your learning and your experience, join us for five days of experiential education in the Georgia Mountains with two experienced hiking guides. Maximum group size: 12

  • Day 1
    We'll meet at the Atlanta airport at 1 pm. From there we'll take the metro to the spot where the shuttle picks us up and transports us to Barfoot Hills, our home for the trip. After getting settled in we have our first lesson: how to adjust, hold, and place trekking poles. This is a basic skill that we'll be practicing all week so next we stretch our legs and practice using poles with a short walk on the loop hike around the property. After the first of many hearty dinners we'll start discussing hiking basics: what to wear and what to bring with you, how to adjust your pack for maximum comfort, foot care, and how to choose a hiking pace.

    Day 2
    This morning we'll have a workshop on how to read a map, use a compass, and plan a hike. Map and compass are a topic that can only be learned with practice, so we'll put this morning's lessons to use throughout the rest of the trip. In the afternoon we'll hike a 3.5 mile section of the Appalachian Trail, from Gooch Gap to Woody Gap with about 400 feet elevation gain. Before and during the hike we'll review how to effectively use hiking poles on uphill and downhills and hiking techniques such as the rest step. Along the way and at the top of the mountain we'll pull out maps and compasses.

    Since first aid is such an important topic, we will spend time this evening looking at what you should carry in a First Aid Kit and how to treat a couple of the most common problems. In particular, since painful feet are the most common way to ruin a hike, we will review foot care in depth with hands on practice.

    Day 3
    This morning we'll discuss conditioning, nutrition, how to determine how much water to carry and various methods of treating it. We'll also discuss common safety issues: getting lost, getting injured, bad weather, hypothermia, heat exhaustion, bears, river crossings, and lightning. Of course after that we may be feeling too scared to ever want to hike again! But that will quickly disappear on our next hike. We'll hike 5 miles, starting at Springer Mountain (yes, the start of the Appalachian Trail) and hiking to 3 Forks. If we have time, we can add another 2 miles with an out and back hike to Long Creek Falls. 3 Forks has several streams so this will be a great place to practice water crossings.

    Using the skills and knowledge we've gained over the previous days, we will put it all together as we spend the evening planning tomorrow's hike.

    Day 4
    Today is an all-day hike where we'll put together everything we've learned. We'll start at Nimblewill Gap and hike to Len Foote Hike Inn. This hut is similar to the AMC huts in the White Mountains and, just like them, is a great place to reward yourself with a refreshing glass of lemonade. We'll then continue to Amicalola Falls State Park. The moderate trail traverses diverse landscapes, dipping and rising across ridges and down through mossy, ferny creek valleys. The total mileage is 6.1 to 7.1 miles, depending on whether we stop at the top of the Falls or continue to the Visitor Center.

    Tonight, feeling like the accomplished hikers we now are, we'll go out to celebrate and share a final farewell dinner.

    Day 5
    This morning after breakfast, we'll spend a little time talking about hiking destinations and where to find more information about them. We'll then pack up before enjoying a short last hike to DeSoto Falls. At 2 miles it is long enough to stretch our legs but not so long that we’ll get sweaty. We'll plan to be off the trail by 1PM and those who are flying home can plan to flights after 4:00pm
  • $995 (see this page for travel discounts) $300 deposit. There are 4 single rooms available for an additional $275. You can see our cancellation policies here.

    Trip Includes

    • two experienced hiking guides
    • four nights lodging in bunk rooms - 4 women per bunk room (4 single supplements available @ $275/person/week)
    • all meals from dinner Sunday to lunch the following Thursday
    • all transportation once you arrive in Atlanta, GA

    What's not included: Travel to the Atlanta airport, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Gaining a solid foundation in the skills and knowledge needed to hike safely and have fun in the mountains
  • Learning to anticipate and prevent the most common hazards: weather changes, lightning, animals, getting lost etc
  • Learning to read a map and use a compass
  • Participating on a variety of mountain hikes
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of other women who love to hike

Register for this trip today

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