Whether you are an avid outdoorsman or a novice hiker, Dahlonega is the perfect place for you on the weekend of September 9th through 11th. You will discover a diverse celebration of outdoor recreation at the Dahlonega Trail Fest. This festival serves to welcome thru-hikers finishing (or starting) their nearly 2,200-mile journey along the Appalachian Trail and celebrate hiking, the great outdoors and this beautiful part of the country in general. The festivities will include outdoor events, vendors, food, live music, guest authors and speakers, and will be held free of charge on Dahlonega’s Historic Public Square.
Dahlonega is the ‘Southern Terminus to the Appalachian Trail’ – the closest access southern access point to the AT -- and is a hub for outdoor recreation. Trail Fest will showcase outdoor events such as, hiking, biking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, orienteering, and horseback riding. The festival will feature trail films, bluegrass bands, silent auctions, and beer and wine tastings, as well.
Three trail films, ‘Tell it on the Mountain’, a documentary view of the Pacific Crest Trail; ‘A Long Start to a Long Journey’, a documentary on the Appalachian Trail; and ‘A Walk in the Woods’, a short film, will be featured at the Wine and Beer Garden.
Live music will be played by the Threadbare Skivvies bluegrass trio Friday night at 6:30 PM and by the Gopher Broke Band Saturday night at 6:30 PM. The silent auction will include top-of-the-line outdoor gear donated by Trail Fest sponsors, including tents, camp chairs, sleeping bags, backpacks, cook stoves, outdoor apparel, and more. The Wine and Beer Garden will feature beverages produced exclusively in Georgia, including Terrapin Beer Co., Urban Tree Cidery, and Tiger Mountain Vineyards. Adjacent to the Wine and Beer Garden, food catered by local restaurants, Shenanigan's Irish Pub and the Bourbon Street Grille, will be available in the Grub Tent.
Book signings, Q&As, and guest appearances will be given by famed authors of the Appalachian Trail Community. Authors include Gary Sizer, author of ‘The Trail is Full of Surprises’; Byron Kerns, author of ‘Wilderness Survival: Packing Your Brain’; and Richard Judy, author of ‘AT Thru-hiking: Generationally Speaking’. Gene Espy, the second ever Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, who completed his hike in 1951, will be a guest speaker at Trail Fest Saturday at 2:00 PM. Espy will also be signing copies of his book, ‘The Trial of My Life: The Gene Espy Story’.
Dahlonega Trail Fest is sure to be a wonderful event filled with opportunities to learn more about North Georgia outdoor recreation. The mountains are calling, listen to their voice, and come down to the Dahlonega Square September 9th through 11th. The event is hosted by the Yahoola Trails Conservancy, and sponsored by the Dahlonega Trail Fest Partners.
This blog post is the first produced as part of a collaborative with the University of North Georgia’s English Department – and professor Michael Rifenburg. The concept is looking at Dahlonega’s events, attractions and overall ambiance through the fresh eyes of UNG freshmen. The first blog, looking forward to this coming weekend’s annual Trail Fest festivities is by Alex Chastain, Ethan David, and Samantha Ethridge
Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau | 13 South Park Street | Dahlonega, GA 30533 | (706) 864-3711 or (800) 231-5543.