Top three reasons to hike the A.T. in your golden years
Well-maintained trails and a great community in the wilderness
Sweeping views from iconic balds and iconic stops along the way
Gain more confidence by hiking over 50 miles in less than a week
Over 5000 outdoor enthusiasts attempt to cross the Appalachian trail each year, but even more decide to hike this long-distance challenge for American wanderlust in sections. This 6-day hike dedicated to anyone over 50 lets you unwrap the wonders of the Appalachia and get the feel for long-distance hiking. Although there are many 50+ people on the trail, this tour joins you with a group of your own peers, letting you form long-lasting friendships, and giving you a better sense of your own abilities. Starting from Amicalola Falls State Park, you will explore the remnants of Appalachian mountain culture, discover the beauty of the backcountry, and challenge yourself by hiking over 50 miles in less than a week. With an experienced guide and a motivating group by your side, you will gain more confidence, feel empowered, and feel the thrill of hiking through one of the most famous trails in the world!
Atlanta, GA is 1.5 hours away from the Amicalola Falls State Park
Beginner to advanced
Book this adventure
Week-Long Appalachian Trail Hike
Explore a section of the Appalachian Trail with a group of your peers and an experienced guide! Your days will be filled with exploring interesting sites on the trail, and nights will be spent around the campfire and under the stars. This section hike will show you the beauty of the A.T. and maybe even give you the motivation to do a longer hike. With each mile, you’ll feel more confident and get a more refined sense of self than you had before. Learn all about geology, explore the wildlife, and make life-long friendships!
Day One: Arrival and orientation
The first day of your week-long hike is dedicated to arrival and orientation. Once you meet your guide at the agreed meeting point around 1:00PM, you’ll register for the hike and go over the itinerary and what to expect, including discussing gear and food. After a short 2.5-mile hike to stretch the legs, you’ll head to town for a lunch and a beer. The evening will be spent sleeping in tents. If you drive to the meeting point, your car can remain parked there for the entire duration of your hike.
Day Two: Start your hike
In the morning, you will start hiking to the first shelter. It’s a six-mile uphill hike under the beautiful forest canopy providing shadow. Filtering water along the way, you’ll camp and cook food. If the shelter (a basic, three-sided building) is open, you can opt to sleep there rather than in your tent.
Day Three: On the Appalachian Trail
After a climb to the top of Springer Mountain, you will officially be on the Appalachian Trail! An easier day of hiking, it’s eight to ten miles depending on the skill level of the hikers in the group. Another night spent in tents.
Day Four: Pace it up
Hiking between six to eight miles, this is one of the challenging hiking days, with several steep uphill climbs and descents. Enjoy nature and wildlife along the way and spend the night under the stars.
Day Five: Stop for a break
Depending on the mileage of the previous day, this day is an easier hike in terms of terrain. You’ll get your first real view of the mountains. After hiking out of the woods you’ll shuttle back to the park to have a meal and then make your way back up to the trailhead to camp.
Day Six: Reach your final stop
To maximize the fun on your final day on the trail, you will be slackpacking today. This means that you’ll only carry a daypack with just water, snacks and daily provisions. There are two options for hiking. The first option is to hike the 11 miles up and over Blood Mountain, a trip highlight with amazing views. This is a full day of hiking from 9am to 5pm. The other option is a shorter six-mile loop up and over Blood Mountain. It’s a later start with more time spent on top of the mountain enjoying the views! Once you return to the hostel, pack up and head back home.
Please note: Typical itinerary includes hiking between 6 to 10 miles per day over the course of a week. Your exact itinerary will be discussed with the guide after booking.
Meet your guides
· 9 years of experience
Wandering Boots Adventure ToursWandering Boots Adventure Tours
Wandering Boots Adventure Tours
Get complete checklist for hiking and camping equipment.
Things to know
Covid measures in Atlanta, GA
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Atlanta, Georgia, please refer to the Georgia Department of Public Health website.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- Six days of hiking
- One night at the hostel
- One dinner at the hostel
- Shuttle from and to the airport
- Group camping gear
What’s not included:
- Camping food
- Personal camping gear
- Personal items
- Additional night at the hostel if you need a shuttle back to the airport (around $60 per night with dinner)
How fit do I need to be?
The best thing about this Appalachian hiking tour is that it was created with people above the age of 50 in mind. Each day you will hike up to 8 miles per day, taking you through accessible terrain and crossing around 50 miles total. There might be some scrambling and balancing along the way, but the hike is beginner-friendly. Take shorter hikes to prepare, and pay attention to what your body can handle. And don’t worry—you’re not alone. Plenty of people hike the trail after 50. If you are looking for adventure and up to the task of multiple days or weeks of full-day trekking, you’ll be rewarded immensely.
What do I need to bring?
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Backpack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 35-45L bag)
- Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
- Camp food
- Hiking poles
- Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
- Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
- Spare clothes for layering
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- First aid kit
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
You can rent any hiking and camping gear from your guide for $100 per week.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- For this hiking trip, the usual client to guide ratio is 5:1.
- The cost does not decrease as the group grows. All prices are per person.
- Singles over 50 are always welcome on this hiking trip! You will join a group of other hikers with a similar experience and skill level to ensure that everyone gets the most out of their experience.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- This hiking trip was created specifically for people over 50 years old. Although many people that cross the A.T. in their golden years, this trip will follow the less challenging parts of the trail.
Deposits and cancellation policy
A deposit of $200 per person is needed to secure your spot. Full amount should be paid one month prior to departure. If you cancel the trip over 48 hours after booking, the deposit is not refundable.
With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.
In light of the current situation, we’re working to handle all trip cancellations appropriately. Cancel within 48 hours of booking your trip and get a full refund minus the deposit. If you need to change your plans up to 31 days ahead of your scheduled adventure, we offer a full refund on most trips. Within 31 days we offer free date changes or the option to convert your booking to credit to use on any 57hours adventure at a later date.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Amicalola Falls State Park, most people fly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport 1.5 hours from Atlanta. After booking, your guide will give you all the info on transportation from the airport to Amicalola.
You’ll typically meet your guide on Sunday for a day of preparation ahead of the hike. On Monday morning, the guide will bring you to The A.T. trailhead. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.
Leave No Trace policy
While you’re on the trail, follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace (LNT). In the last few years there has been a rise in usage of the trail with several negative corresponding results: more trash which leads to bears becoming used to food lying around, shelters getting closed because they’re overwhelmed with rodents and garbage, and overall degradation. Do your part to leave the trail as you found it.