Today, Greg and I took Beans the Hiking Corgi up to Lake Winfield Scott to hike the Slaughter Gap to Appalachian Trail to Jarrard Gap Loop. Just shy of 6 miles, this hike is a goody.
We pack up our gear last night so that we could get an early start this morning. We were out of the house by 7:10am and on the trail by 8:10. It was 54 Degrees when we got out of the truck. The chill felt so good, a welcome tease of fall, but the day warmed up quickly. It took us a smidgen over 3 hours to do the 6-mile loop, stopping for a 15 minute break near the half-way point.
This was only the third time we’ve done this hike, but it was the first time for Beans. It was also the first time that we’ve done it without getting lost — the first time was going the opposite way, the trail head for the Jarrard Gap end is kinda hidden… and the sun was in our eyes… and… you know. Stuff. The second time was also starting from the Jarrard Gap end. There is a spot about 1.5 miles in where the trail seemingly forks. Word to the wise – Take the right fork. The left fork will get you there, but it’s a bit more of a climb and a longer trek up a gravel road.
We had no hiccups this time and Beans enjoyed herself, she even got to play in several of the streams we had to cross.
And even though it was an amazing day, we hardly met any other people on the trail. Early on, we passed a group of very polite young men (possibly scouts), with a couple of chaperones, and then didn’t see anyone else for a couple of hours. Eventually, we came across a few other people (4 in total), and three other pups.
I love this area, and I love how there are so many trails that interweave with the Appalachian Trail around Blood Mountain.
There were several points on the trail where I just stopped and took a deep breath, letting the fresh mountain air rejuvenate me. There’s nothing quite like hiking through a hilly forest on a cool, low humidity day. I’m ready to tackle this upcoming week.
As the weather cools, we will be hitting the trails more and more around North Georgia.
More pictures from the trail: