The Pine Mountain Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the United States. The 23-mile trail follows central west Georgia's Pine Mountain Ridge and is located in Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Park on land previously owned by the late president. The trail is home to breathtaking elements of nature including glistening streams, dense forests, raging waterfalls, scenic views and all sorts of wildlife. Over 60,000 people venture to hike the trail every year. From novice hikers to seasoned pros, the Pine Mountain Trail has something to offer everyone. Here are a few tips to consider if you're planning to hike this beautiful, scenic trail.
Although the Pine Mountain Trail is considered to be very safe, hiking alone is not recommended. Nature is unpredictable and anything can happen, so it is a good idea to hike with a friend or a group. Even if you consider yourself an expert hiker, venturing the trail alone can be dangerous. If you happen to injure yourself during the hike, or venture off the path accidentally, having a friend around to help can be a real life saver. Bringing a cell phone on your hike is a good idea as well, as you will be able to contact the park office in case there is an emergency.
If you're outside for an extended period of time, the sun can be brutal despite protection from shady trees. Even on cloudy days, wearing sunscreen is a great way to protect against sunburn and dangerous UV rays that can harm your skin. Hats are great for protection against the sun as well. Consider wearing a hat with a wide brim that will protect your face throughout the day.
Nothing can ruin a day on the trail like a bad pair of shoes. You will be on your feet, covering all kinds of terrain and incline, and having a pair of sturdy, comfortable shoes is the best way to get you through the day without pain or discomfort.
Whether you're hiking for a few hours or a few days, you'll be exerting a ton of energy and will need to rehydrate and refuel, so packing plenty of food and water is important. When packing food, bring healthy items that are easy to carry and won't spoil. Apples, bananas, carrot sticks, peanut butter sandwiches and granola bars are great snacks that will keep your energy up on the trail. Make sure to bring plenty of water as well. Although it may be the heaviest item you pack, it's probably the most important.
When hiking the Pine Mountain Trail, there are a few basic survival items you should bring with you in case of emergency. Items you may want to consider bringing with you include a whistle, a flashlight, binoculars, extra socks, a poncho, pocket knife, binoculars and a first-aid kit. While some of these items may seem superfluous, it's always better to be safe than sorry when venturing into the great outdoors.