Trail Town Spotlight: Dahlonega, GA
Even though thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is about seeing beautiful nature scenes, overcoming obstacles and testing yourself, it’s also about traveling to new places.
Scattered along the trail, there are little mountain hamlets that are famous among thru-hikers as being places to resupply or take a zero day (a day where zero miles are hiked) to relax and recuperate. As I come across these pockets of civilization nestled in the wilderness, I want to talk a little about them and shed some light on what’s available for other hikers.
In episode 3 of my YouTube series chronicling my journey, I visited Dahlonega, Georgia. Dahlonega is a nice, cozy town in northeast Georgia, near the Chattahoochee National Forest. The town gained notoriety in 1829 when it became a boom town due to the Georgia Gold Rush. A lot of the town’s history revolves around gold. Even the name “Dahlonega” is a derivative of the Cherokee word “Dalonige,” which means “yellow” or “gold.” There was a branch of the U.S. mint in Dahlonega for 24 years in the 19th Century that only minted gold coins. There’s even a gold museum inside the courthouse on city square.
Needless to say, gold is a big deal in Dahlonega.
Beyond gold-centric history, there are some cool places for hikers and tourists alike (you can find links to the businesses at the end of this post). I went to Outlaw Jerky and Trail Grub, which had every kind of jerky imaginable, even vegan jerky. I also paid a visit to Woodland’s Edge, an outfitter that is a good place to pick up some gear as you head north. And of course, I have to give a shoutout to Ron’s Appalachian Trail Shuttle, who has proved invaluable to me in more than one way.
There are also some really good places to kill time, have a piece of cake, sip some coffee and grab a drink. The dessert selection at The Picnic Café are as delicious as they look, and I had a blast listening to live music at Shenanigans Pub.
Dahlonega was a great place to have a zero day, and I encourage all those hiking the Appalachian Trail to check it out along their way, whether you need fresh supplies or just want to enjoy some creature comforts before continuing the hike.
Woodland’s Edge – http://woodlandsedge.indiemade.com
Outlaw Jerky & Trail Grub – http://outlawjerky.com
The Picnic Café – http://thepicniccafe.blogspot.com
Ron’s Appalachian Trail Shuttle – www.facebook.com/Rons-Appalachian-Trail-Shuttle-174270272614034/
Shenanigans Pub – http://www.theshenaniganspub.com/
Hotels in Dahlonega:
The Smith House – http://www.smithhouse.com/
The Park Place Hotel – http://www.parkplacedahlonega.com/