Hi Friends of Georgia Overland,
I have great news for those asking when we will see new updates to The Georgia Traverse and the Georgia Overland site. 2018 is the year! The first phase will be the migration of the blog content from the original site I began in 2010, to this site. The original site will remain, for now, as a way to preserve the user comments as (unfortunately) the comments are not easily migrated. The second phase will be an update to The Georgia Traverse point and linework coming sometime in Q2 2018. Many thanks to the community for the support, community updates and 'Thank You' messages I've received. It is greatly appreciated!
All the best,
P.S. If you're interested to see where it all began you may access all (60+) posts from my original Georgia Overland blog here.
Clearly it's been too long since I last published a blog post. Here's where we stand with the Georgia Overland site and the Georgia Traverse...
Tens of thousands of users have visited my humble project. Hundreds of emails received. Countless hours spent answering questions and supporting folks wishing to get out there and explore North Georgia and now I will leave it to you, this great community of explorers and travelers, to help each other. Rather than over-complicate the issue with a forum, I will simply post another blog entry for users to comment on. If you have recent Georgia Traverse experiences to share with the community (road conditions and/or closures, trees down, difficult terrain, etc.) please feel free to post a comment. Users can visit the comment section and get a sense of what to expect as the road conditions along the Traverse change quite frequently. I've also added a FAQ page. While the Georgia Overland site is a labor of love, the costs associated with keeping the site up and running (I neither receive advertising income nor do I sell a product) and the hours spent responding to questions are taking a toll. I hope the blog comments and FAQ will help to reduce the time spent on this project, keep the site content relevant and allow me to shift focus to another project that I've wanted to pursue.
PS. If you would like to join the small, yet extremely appreciated, family of supporters that help keep the hosting bills paid, a donation is always welcome!
Many of you use the standard version of Google Earth in the office and at home. As of January 20, 2015, Google Earth Pro no longer requires the annual $399 license fee. Google Earth Pro is now free.
Comparison between Google Earth and Google Earth Pro
Google Earth Pro builds on the amazing functionality of Google Earth with even more powerful tools. Some of the most compelling features of Earth Pro include:
* Advanced Measurements: Measure parking lots and land developments with polygon area measure, or determine affected radius with circle measure.
* High-resolution printing: Print Images up to 4800x3200 px resolution.
* Exclusive Pro data layers: Demographics, parcels, and traffic count.
* Spreadsheet Import: Ingest up to 2500 addresses at a time, assigning placemarks and style templates in bulk.
* GIS import: Visualize ESRI shapefiles (.shp) and MapInfo (.tab) files.
* Movie-Maker: Export Windows Media and Quicktime HD movies, up to 1920x1080 resolution.
Georgia Overland recently received a feature request from Georgia Overland user, Jake. Jake was looking for The Georgia Traverse in geospatial .pdf format for use in the Avenza PDF Maps app, as well as other applications. Visit the Download page and take a look!
For 2015, Georgia Overland has started fresh with a brand new website and the official launch of The Georgia Traverse and The Georgia Traverse .gpx file. The Georgia Traverse is a collection of county, state and Forest Service roads that comprise a (mostly) off-pavement route across North Georgia. It was designed to be traveled east to west, beginning at Burrells Ford Road along the Georgia / South Carolina border. The Georgia Traverse visits North Carolina and Tennessee before ending at the Georgia / Alabama border. The total mileage of all paved and unpaved sections is 390 miles, with 226 miles of unpaved road surfaces, 164 miles of pavement (40% of the paved miles found west of the Cohutta and Big Frog Wilderness Loop) and The Georgia Traverse includes over 500 waypoints.
I'm proud to relaunch Georgia Overland on an entirely new platform and I am excited to announce The Georgia Traverse waypoint and track .gpx files. If you are receiving this blog update via email, you will need to resubscribe on the new Georgia Overland site. Enjoy!
Georgia Overland will have an entirely new look and feel very soon. Stay tuned.
I debated whether I should include this section as you must travel a substantial distance on pavement between the Cohutta WMA and Taylor Ridge. I included it because I appreciated the completeness of the route. I started the Georgia Traverse project on the east side of the state at the Georgia/South Carolina border and I really wanted to wrap it up on the west at the Georgia/Alabama border. It took some time to find suitable, connected roads to include in the final section of the Traverse and I'm happy with the results.
Download the Cohutta WMA to Taylor Ridge .kmz file.
I have updated the ArcGIS Online Map to show all the features and linework that represent the East-West Traverse across North Georgia. The map contains over three hundred features and many, many miles of dirt and gravel to explore. Special thanks to my good friend Daniel over at Decatur Garage for the 'East-West Traverse' name! Soon I will offer the data available for download in a variety of formats, beyond the current .kmz files. In the meantime, enjoy the new map!
It was inevitable, I suppose. It appears the formatting that once allowed users to select a waypoint or route section when viewed in Google Maps is no longer fully supported. That is unfortunate and I'm not sure when I will have this corrected. It's actually been an issue for some time. In the meantime, I encourage users to download the .kmz files and view them (correctly) in Google Earth.
Great news Georgia Overlanders,
I have begun the final route cleanup and conversion process. Stay tuned for the release of a GPS-friendly .gpx file. Soon you will be able to easily load the Georgia Overland route into your favorite GPS device and start your exploration of the North Georgia Traverse.
As you can clearly see, I had to take a break from the Georgia Overland project. This year has proven challenging with an overwhelming number of important family issues to contend with. The plan was to be finished with the final route by now...and that simply is not going to happen until late summer or early fall.
Come back soon and, hopefully, I will have a great route to share with you!
I've been quite busy with a lot of non-Georgia Overland, non-offroad activities with the family. I apologize to all my readers for not getting the data wrapped up and publishing the final route. I still have much to do...but it WILL get done. Once I make a final, complete pass of the route I can provide all of the exact route distances. Until then, please enjoy the .kmz files available for download on the Maps and Downloads page.
I receive many emails from readers regarding route and device suggestions. I wanted to pass along a few course offerings at the Buford REI (other locations have similar offerings) that may be useful.
If you enjoy using your GPS device while traveling the backroads of Georgia, but are not completely comfortable with it, you may want to give the GPS Navigation Basics class a try. And if you happen to be one of the many Garmin device owners, you may want to check out the GPS & Computer Class: Utilizing Garmin's Mapping Software.
The complete Buford REI class and event calendar is found here.
I should also add that I strongly encourage everyone to take a map and compass navigation course just to have a basic understanding of how to use a map (you do carry a map with you, don't you?) and compass (pack one of those, too). While a GPS is extremely useful, they are not foolproof and still rely on batteries and/or external power.
Well folks, the route is still not wrapped up and I've been busy enjoying life. Back in June I mentioned the final scouting trip to areas west of the Cohutta Wilderness. I'm rather disappointed in what I found and I'm now left with a dilemma. I originally intended to build an off-pavement route across the northern section of Georgia but I'm finding the gaps between pavement and non-pavement are a bit too large to consider for the route. Do I link together the bits and pieces of dirt and gravel road, even if there is an undesirable amount of pavement, just to complete the route 'across' Georgia to Alabama? Or, do I end it on the west side of the Cohuttas and be done with it? Anyone have any thoughts on this?
I'm also now considering the creation of a loop into Tennessee and North Carolina, rather than the East-West route I initially intended. Why not? Loops are more fun, right?
Stay tuned and maybe, just maybe, I will get this finished up with a nice set of cleaned up .gpx/.shp/.kmz files to share with everyone. And perhaps, a fancy printed map too.
Another reason I have not made more progress is I choose to squander my time doing fun stuff. Here's a few pics from the 2012 Overland Rally...
Come on out for a great weekend of camping and workshops while meeting offroad and travel enthusiasts.
The Overland Rallies and Workshops aim to bring overland and expedition travel enthusiasts together. The event embraces all skill levels of vehicle-based adventure travel and a multitude of vehicles, trucks, 4x4, dual-sports motorcycles, bicycles and more.
The Rally is a family and pet friendly event focusing on training and camaraderie, promoting safe and environmentally sustainable adventure traveling off the beaten path in the US and abroad.
•Synthetic winch line repair
•Motorbike long trip preparation
•Motorcycle Trail riding technic
•Spanish phrases for your trip and dos and don’ts in Latin America
•Knots and other fun and useful outdoors stuff for kids
Round Tables Discussions:
•International traveling, border crossing
•Traveling with kids
•List to be continued
E-mail to email@example.com
Hello Georgia Overland friends,
I invite you to come on out to Decatur Garage (my friend Daniel Palazzolo's shop) on Sunday, August 26th at 8pm for a special free screening of an amazing film, One Crazy Ride.
Bring a chair and beverage and join us in supporting the work of our very talented filmmaker friend, Gaurav Jani. One Crazy Ride and Riding Solo to the Top of the World DVDs will be available for purchase as well. The official announcement and film trailer are below.
For more information about his films, visit http://dirttrackproductions.com/
We hope to see you there!
I received a trail report for the Old Bucktown Road and Nimblewill Gap Road area from Larry C., owner of a very nicely modded 2009 Hummer H3T. You may recall seeing his rig before as Larry previously sent a pic of his H3T in the Cohuttas. His H3T has the Adventure package, which includes front and rear locking differentials, 4.10 gearing and Hill Start Assist. He added a 2" torsion bar crank in the front, 1" shackle lift in rear, 35" Toyo Mt's, Rancho Shocks, Trail Duty Extended Bump Stops in front, UCP, Rolling Lock Bed Cover, removable Tire Carrier, Cobra 75 WX ST CB Radio and he will be adding a winch soon. I can't wait to see the H3T in person! Larry's report and images are below. As usual, I'm adding this to all reports...
Since I have not verified the accuracy of the descriptions, I feel obligated to state the obvious...Use the following information at your own risk.
Now, on to the report. Larry writes:
I went up and ran Old Bucktown Road, Forest Service 46 out of Amicalola Falls State Park, and Nimblewill Gap Road today. Here's a few pics and a brief description of the route I took.
I initially wanted to start on Old Bucktown Road but lost cellphone coverage and my Google Map went down so I missed the turn. Instead, I started in by going to Amicalola Falls State Park and headed up High Shoals Road / FS 46, there the road starts off paved and turns into gravel once you pass the last set of cabins in the park. For this section of road a high clearance vehicle is recommended as there are some deep ruts and puddles, but nothing too major where major modifications are needed.
This roads goes for about 3-4 miles and it looks to have been graded within the last year or so which made its pretty easy going, but bumpy.
After traveling FS 46 for a short time you eventually come out at the junction of Old Bucktown Rd and Nimblewill Gap. At this point I chose to take the right and check out Nimblewill Gap Rd. Surprisingly the road is in very good condition with hard packed gravel, the Forestry Dept. must have just graded it because it was easy to go 20-25 mph at some points. You could even take a car on it driving slowly.
About 5.3 miles of Nimblewill Rd is gravel, three miles of which is hard packed rocky gravel and 2 miles is packed Pea Stone which forms a loose pavement, then the last 5 miles is straight, smooth pavement. The total road length is about 11 miles.
After I got to the end of Nimblewill Church Rd I still had more time for exploring so I turned around and went back up Nimblewill Gap Rd to the junction where FS 46, FS 28-2, and Old Bucktown Rd meet. I went down Old Bucktown Rd, and as you had said the road had been graded sometime recently. You will need to have a high clearance vehicle because it is very rocky and when raining it will be very muddy and will have water running across the road from runoff coming down the mountain.
About 3.2 miles of Old Bucktown Road is rough gravel and after that the rest (approximately five miles) is paved right up to Roy Rd. All in all it is a nice easy ride. In the Fall the views should be pretty spectacular once the leaves fall off the trees because there is a view of the valley for most of the ride.
I hope this info comes in handy to someone, hope to have more soon. Best regards, Larry
Thank you very much, Larry, for taking the time to write the report and send the images. I'm certain it will be useful to Georgia Overland readers.
Last weekend marked the final Georgia Overland trail scouting trip for the East-West route across North Georgia. As I anticipated, the off-pavement opportunities are reduced west of the Cohuttas and I am still debating whether to establish the 'end' of the route along the west of the Cohutta and Big Frog Wilderness Loop or to continue the route across a fairly lengthy section of pavement (Eton, Georgia to Johns Mountain WMA) so that I may include dirt and gravel roads along Taylor Ridge. Over the coming month I will review and format the data captured in this final trip and begin to assemble the complete East-West route in the Fall. Stay tuned!
After a decade of telling myself "maybe one day", I finally took the plunge and purchased my first motorcycle. Meet the 'new' Georgia Overland 2000 Kawasaki KL250 Super Sherpa. Now I just need to learn how to ride it! Thanks to generous friends (Daniel and Bryan), I have a helmet and jacket and soon I will pick up the necessary gloves, pants and boots. And then the real work begins when I take the motorcycle safety course and begin to figure out this new two-wheel world.
My friends at ATL to the Arctic are back at it again for the 2012 ride. This ride for breast cancer awareness and support is now in its third year with two new riders (Gary Lewis and Galen Evans) taking on the challenge of riding from Atlanta, Georgia to Alaska.
Visit the blog here and donate directly to Susan G. Komen Passionately Pink for the Cure here.
Safe travels to Gary and Galen!