Campers, hikers, canoers, kayakers and others may celebrate the great outdoors and the Appalachian Trail during Dahlonega’s annual trail fest this weekend.
The fourth annual Dahlonega Trail Fest will be Friday, March 14, through Sunday, March 16, at Hancock Park in Dahlonega. It celebrates Dahlonega’s designation as an Appalachian Trail Community by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Dahlonega’s position as the Southern Gateway to the Appalachian Trail.
The free Trail Fest will include camping for hikers, speakers, films, music, shuttles to Springer Mountain and Amicalola Falls, equipment vendors and workshops on topics such as long-distance hiking, safety, camping techniques and equipment. Fun trail-related activities will be a 5K and 10K trail run, trail bicycle rides, guided hikes and local tours as well as kid friendly outdoor activities.
Speakers will be Gene Espy, the second person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in 1951; Danny Bernstein, hiked the entire Mountains-to-Sea Trail and author of three trail guides; Cindy Ross, completed the Triple Crown and authored six books on hiking; Sean Gobin, founder of the Warrior Hike Walk Off the War program and Appalachian Trail hiker; and Dr. Robert Fuller who completed a 1,500-mile journey by canoe from the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River, across the Gulf of Mexico, and up the Mobile/Alabama/Coosa/Etowah Rivers back to Dahlonega. Featured films are “Appalachian Impressions,” the epic story of a six-month Appalachian thru hike, and “Beauty Beneath the Dirt,” the story of an Appalachian thru hike.