The vernal equinox marks the first day of spring. In 2012, the equinox occurs on March 20, right in the middle of the NorthBound Thru Hiker kickoff season at Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
The second annual Spring on Springer Dahlonega Trail Fest will celebrate Dahlonega’s designation as an AT Trail Community by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Dahlonega’s position as the southern gateway to the Appalachian Trail.
It will be held on March 16-18 on the cusp of the first day of spring in Dahlonega, Georgia. The Trail Fest will include camping, speakers, films, live music, shuttles to Springer Mountain and Amicalola Falls, equipment vendors, and workshops on such topics as safety, camping techniques, and equipment. Fun trail related activities such as a 5k trail run, canoeing/kayaking, guided hikes, and local tours will be held.
2012 featured speakers/authors include: Warren Doyle, record holding 16 time thru hiker; Gene Espy, second person to ever thru hike the AT in 1951; Paralee Dawson, section hiker and author; Sandra Friend, author of over 15 hiking guidebooks; and Johnny Molloy, author of over 38 hiking guidebooks.
Films will include: TREK: A Journey on the Appalachian Trail and Walking the West: Hiking 2600 Miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail.
The Trail Fest will be a fun-filled weekend celebrating Dahlonega’s Trail Community designation, the importance of the Appalachian Trail to Dahlonega and Lumpkin County, the significance of Dahlonega to the many users of the AT, and all aspects of responsible use of the north Georgia forests for recreation. For information and details, check the Trail Fest website at www.dahlonegatrailfest.org.