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Women smiling from raft near Appalachian trail
Women smiling from raft near Appalachian trail
Women's group horseback riding adventure through the Appalachian Trail
Taking a break on a rock after a long day of hiking
Excited woman jumps into river
Horseback riding the Appalachian Trail
Female travelers posing by a river
Beautiful vineyard on a sunny day with blue sky
Women rafting together on a group tour
Eager traveler jumps into river

Appalachian Autumn Adventures

Destination: Dahlonega, GA

Northern Georgia, the jumping off point for the Appalachian Trail, offers an astounding array of activities for those who like to get out and play in the crisp, invigorating air of fall. So on this four day getaway, we will sample as much as we can: horseback riding, hiking, and whitewater rafting. We will also take advantage of the burgeoning foodie culture here, with dinner at one of the many fine restaurants and an outstanding brunch at a local winery. In between we'll plan time for relaxing and hanging out with each other at the hostel. Maximum group size: 12

Highlights

  • Riding well-trained horses on forest trails and back roads
  • Whitewater rafting on the Chattanooga River
  • Hiking on the legendary Appalachian Trail
  • Savoring a sumptuous brunch at Wolf Mountain Vineyards
  • Enjoying down time and camaraderie

Departures and Prices

September 24 to September 27, 2020
$1230.00 - Available
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Inclusions

  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Roundtrip transportation to and from the Atlanta Airport
  • All meals from dinner on Thursday through brunch on Sunday
  • Three nights lodging in a beautiful vacation home shared by the group
  • All activities on the itinerary, including horseback riding, rafting, and hiking

Not Included: Airfare to and from Atlanta airport (ATL) or the stable/lodging if driving (ATL), guide gratuties, alcoholic beverages and trip insurance.

Details

This trip is suitable for any healthy active woman who loves being active outdoors in the fall and exploring this beautiful area with its rich culture that ranges from its Appalachian roots. The hikes we've chosen are reasonably short but they are in the mountains, so women should be in sufficient condition to hike uphill for a couple of hours. A rating of 2 is suitable for any woman who regularly walks at a brisk pace 3 to 4 days a week for 35 - 45 minutes. Rating: 1 [2] 3 4 5.

We will go horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and hike on the Appalachian Trail during our long weekend getaway. We will also enjoy a wonderful brunch at a local winery! None of the activities require previous experience - we'll teach you everything you need to know to have a safe and fun time.

We will spend three nights at the Retreat on the Ridge , a luxurious 7-bedroom 5.5 bath majestic mountain home where you can enjoy the north Georgia mountains in luxury, style, and convenience. It's seven miles north of downtown Dahlonega with spectacular panoramic views, a saltwater pool, and a firepit. There are six bedrooms for participants that are a mix of single and shared rooms, plus a "bunkroom" with four beds (two singles and one bunkbed). There is a discount for the bunkroom, and two single rooms (one with its own bathroom and one with a shared bathroom) are available for a single supplement ($150); otherwise, rooms will be assigned randomly.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
We pick you up at the Atlanta (ATL) airport at 12 pm and begin our adventure with an afternoon of horseback riding. We'll start with a short lesson, making sure that everyone is comfortable on her horse and knows the basics of riding. Our two hour trail ride is just the right length- long enough that we can enjoy the scenery and cover some ground on forest trails and backwoods roads, but not so long that we are too stiff to walk afterwards! After our ride, we continue to our amazing vacation home for a hearty and delicious dinner. Well fed and well exercised, we will be ready for bed tonight!
DAY 2
After a hearty breakfast, we're off for a day of whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River. If the name of the river sounds familiar, yes - it is where Deliverance was filmed. Regardless of what else you remember about the film, you were undoubtedly struck by the beauty of this river. The section we'll be paddling is known for its breathtaking scenery, abundant plant and wildlife, and playful Class 2 and 3 rapids, ending with one big Class 4. This raft trip is suitable for women without previous rafting experience and even if you don't think rafting is your cup of tea, it's really the only way to experience the river's solitude and wildness. After a full day of excitement we'll return home for another delicious dinner and relaxing evening.
DAY 3
After another hearty breakfast, we will don our hiking boots for a 6-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail from Jarrard Gap to Neel Gap, crossing Blood Mountain. Blood Mountain is the highest peak on the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail and the sixth-tallest mountain in Georgia, with an elevation of 4,458 feet. There are scenic views from the large rock formations that top the mountain, as well as a two-room stone shelter built in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Our hike will probably take about five hours, as we stop often for pictures and to eat lunch. After some significant up and down, we end our hike at the only place on the AT where the trail passes through a man-made structure: Mountain Crossings Outfitter. After we've had a chance to shower and change, it's time to head to the square in Dahlonega for the Appalachian Jam: every Saturday folks bring their instrument(s) and just start playing and/or singing on the Dahlonega square. If Appalachian music is not your style, there are also lots of shops to check out. After a couple of hours we'll meet and adjourn to a local restaurant for dinner out.
DAY 4
Our breakfast will be rather light this morning because we need to save room for the brunch at Wolf Mountain Vineyards! Yumm!! Brunch is typically buffet style and served with a glass of Estate wine. Since getting a little exercise before being presented with a feast is always a good idea, we'll first go on a casual 2 mile hike at DeSoto Falls. After savoring our last meal together, we head to the airport where you can plan a flight out after 5:30 pm.

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "Did this trip meet your expectations?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

Yes, beyond words can describe. So much thought, effort and care were put into every single detail of this trip. As a planner in my social circle, this is the first time I didn't plan a thing and truly reaped the benefits of a stress-free vacation. To know that you'll be cared for, everything is planned, and all you have to do is show up to have fun...priceless. This is my first trip with an all women's company and I feel like I hit the lottery having chosen them. I'll be booking soon. Thank you, Leigh and Chris, for making this one of the most memorable trips for me ever.

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/26/2019-9/29/2019


The day of rafting was absolutely my favorite and while the hike up and over Blood Mountain was a bit challenging for me, I felt so accomplished after completing it. Chris and Leigh were perfect guides who made us feel pampered and cared for. Both are knowledgeable and fun. The accommodations were great - the house is gorgeous. I'm not an early riser but happily woke each morning to see the sun rise over the mountains. Excellent trip.

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/26/2019-9/29/2019


White water rafting and the hike up Blood Mountain.

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/26/2019-9/29/2019


The white water rafting and "water experiences." A little out of my comfort zone, but so glad I did them.

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/26/2019-9/29/2019


This was an amazing trip! Our guides (Leigh and Chris) was wonderful: knowledgeable, extremely dependable, extremely patient, highly organized, attentive to all details, and so much fun!! Via Chris and Leigh, I increased my knowledge about backpacking, hiking, and rafting. With this being my first rafting experience, both knew just what to say and do to alleviate my concerns and anxiety. Hiking over Blood Mountain was on my bucket list! I highly recommend this trip!

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/26/2019-9/29/2019


White water rafting

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/26/2019-9/29/2019


Relaxed but active getaway. Great way to spend my first visit to Georgia and first hike on the Appalachian Trail. Rafting was a hoot.

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/27/2018-9/30/2018


I was impressed by the AGC website and pre-trip information so I was skeptical that it could be as good as it appeared. Therefore, I was so pleased to discover that the trip was well organized, the guides knowledgeable and friendly, the food terrific and the companionship interesting and supportive. The activities were engaging, challenging and fun!

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/27/2018-9/30/2018


Rafting was a blast

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/27/2018-9/30/2018


This was an exploratory trip with AGC to see how trips were organized and run. I was quite pleased. My husband and I travel with a number of different groups/companies and AGC is up there with the best of them. The all-women environment was very nice and relaxing.

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/27/2018-9/30/2018


I enjoyed everything we did

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/27/2018-9/30/2018


Meeting new friends and enjoyed hiking the most but horseback and rafting were fun

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/28/2017-10/1/2017


The guides, Leigh and Laurie, were fabulous, knowledgeable and FUN! The women were all nice and we got along very well....it was great that we all wanted to be there and enjoy the same things. The hostel was lovely, the setting amazing, and all the meals delicious! Not to mention, each of the activities was challenging and memorable. All in all, I loved EVERYTHING about this adventure!!! I brought my two eldest daughters along, so it was especially memorable!

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/28/2017-10/1/2017


The water rafting trip was awesome! As with all else, there was not a time I felt like I was in need of one thing, the guides wrre excellent.

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/28/2017-10/1/2017


This trip was much needed time that I got to spend with my mom and sister! Everything was planned so very well and our guides, Leigh Saint and Laurie Priest were AMAZING!! What I loved the most (aside from time with my family) is that I didn't have to think or plan anything. That is the nature of my work - to plan, think through logistics, trouble shoot, etc. - for me, NOT having to think about anything that we were doing and just going with it - was really a wonderful blessing of this trip!

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/28/2017-10/1/2017


The trip was well organized. The guides shared their hiking knowledge. They were understanding of the various levels of skills amongst the group.

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/28/2017-10/1/2017


I loved the variety of adventures offered on the trip - the hiking was my favorite.

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/28/2017-10/1/2017


The whole trip was perfect. I travelled alone and met some wonderful ladies. I liked the different events each day. It was all a great adventure.

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/28/2017-10/1/2017


Very well organized but flexible. Excellent guides. Accommodations. Other participants. The actual activities.

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/28/2017-10/1/2017


Welcoming, encouraging guides. Loved variety of activities

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/29/2016-10/2/2016


Horseback riding, white water rafting, hiking the AT, our beautiful hostel, the delicious food at every meal, our guides, and my traveling companions. Everything was wonderful!

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/29/2016-10/2/2016


Loved the interaction with different t women from areas in the Midwest and south. The hostel was very acccomadating, the food delicious, the host/tour guide Leah, amazing. She made everything look easy with her organization. Her expertise made me feel very reassured.!

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/29/2016-10/2/2016


Meeting so many wonderful women, doing amazing outdoor adventures, bonding so quickly with "strangers", delicious food, laughing so hard like only a group of women can laugh, and feeling confident in doing activities that I had never done before!

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/29/2016-10/2/2016


The hiking segment rated as a #2. Other participants felt it was at least a #3 due to the elevation up of 2.5 miles and down 2.5 miles. However, the rest of the trip segments were fantastic. Being a "Newbie" to AGC, I was impressed with the overall trip. Attention to detail was excellent, staying on schedule at all times, food was excellent, totally enjoyed the group of women, but above all, I had soooo...... much FUN!

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/29/2016-10/2/2016


Great group of women, well planned fun activities, great food

Appalachian Autumn Adventures 9/29/2016-10/2/2016


  1. Where do we eat?

    The guides will be cooking breakfasts and most dinners at your lodging with one dinner and one brunch out. At breakfast the guides will put out 'fixings' for lunch and you will pack your own lunch and snacks.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    No, you only need to pay a single supplement if you want to be guaranteed you have one of the singles. Otherwise we'll pair you up with someone.
  4. I have not ridden a horse in years! Will I be OK on this trip?

    Absolutely. The horses are used to novice riders and you’ll get enough instruction to have a good time.
  5. This trip has a rafting trip. I've never been rafting. Is it appropriate for beginners?
    You just find yourself fallng in love with rafting. The rafting trip is perfect for beginners. You will be given a helmet, lifejacket and waterproof jacket. The rafting guide will also suggest spots in the raft where you might be most comfortable.
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