trail water sources.

a hydration planning guide.

















sw.   Seasonal Water

Springs are dependent on very regular rain cycles.

High elevation springs ~ Will usually flow 1 or 2 days after rain.

Low elevation springs ~ Will usually flow maybe a week or more after rain.


rw.   Reliable Water

Creeks are dependent on semi regular rain cycles.

They will (usually) flow continually, except maybe during extreme drought conditions in the hot months.


Rivers will always have water.


Lakes will always have water.


I have read that because of the quanity and quality and also the multitude of different sources that form rivers and lakes, filtering doesn't work as well as it does with smaller bodies of water and the possibility of ingesting bacteria and pollutants is a little greater. I've done it and you probably have too. Just saying...


planning strategy.

So let me just say that anytime you use seasonal springs in your planning strategy, you are

taking a risk. Most springs that you will find at elevation will only flow for a few days after rain. Springs at lower elevations will flow for a longer period of time. If your house is sitting right on the trail then you know when it rained on this spot the last time, but if your house isn't on...


Reliable creeks are the way to go. So maybe you will need to carry 2 quarts of water or more, sometimes or maybe regularly. Water is only 2 lbs. per quart, so Just leave the ax and BBQ grill at home, you'll be fine :)


Use the list below to determine the distances between reliable water sources on the sections you plan to hike. Then figure in things like how far you can go on a quart of water, how many meals before the next water source and weather you will set up camp before the next source. 


pinhoti southern terminus.

section 1.

0.0 ~ FLAGG MOUNTAIN TRAILHEAD

0.4 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW? (RW doubtful)
1.0 ~ CREEK REED PATCH ~ SW
1.8 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
2.1 ~ WEOGUFKA CREEK SHELTER ~ RW
2.3 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW? (RW maybe)
4.7 ~ FOOTBRIDGE ~ RW
6.0 ~ WEOGUFKA, AL ~ RW
12.6 ~ AL 21 TRAILHEAD ~ RW


section 2.

0.0 ~ AL 21 TRAILHEAD ~ RW

7.1 ~ TRAMMEL TRAILHEAD


section 3.

0.0 ~ TRAMMEL TRAILHEAD

0.4 ~ BOGG AREA ~ SW
1.1 ~ SPRING ~ SW
11.3 ~ AL 148 CROSSING (1 mile off trail) ~ RW, SW

11.4 ~ BULLS GAP TRAILHEAD


section 4.

0.0 ~ BULLS GAP TRAILHEAD

0.4 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
11.8 ~ SPRING DOWNHILL ON RIGHT ~ SW

12.6 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

14.4 ~ CREEK CROSSING ~ RW

14.5 ~ SCOTT'S CASCADE ~ RW

14.7 ~ SCOTT LAKE ~ RW

15.1 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

15.3 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

15.5 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

16.1 ~ SPRING CROSSINGS ~ SW

18.0 ~ PORTER'S GAP TRAILHEAD


section 5.

0.0 ~ PORTER'S GAP TRAILHEAD

3.4 ~ TALLADEGA CREEK BRIDGE ~ RW
5.2 ~ CAMPSITE ~ SW
6.5 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
6.6 ~ CAMPSITE ~ SW

13.8 ~ SPRING CROSSING
13.9 ~ DOUBLE SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

14.3 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

14.4 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
15.3 ~ SKYWAY LOOP TRAIL ( left on Skyway Loop Trail ~ sw 0.1/rw 0.8) ~ SW, RW
15.5 ~ ADAMS GAP TRAILHEAD


section 6.

0.0 ~ ADAMS GAP TRAILHEAD

1.2 ~ 1.6 ~ 6 SPRING CROSSINGS ~ SW
3.2 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
5.5 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
5.9 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
6.0 ~ LITTLE CANEY HEAD ~ (pretty darn reliable :)

10.2 ~ HERNANDEZ PEAK ~ SW
11.3 ~ CHEAHA TRAILHEAD


section 7.

0.0 ~ CHEAHA TRAILHEAD

0.2 ~ AL 281 CROSSING / CHEAHA STATE PARK (0.4 miles off trail)  ~ RW
0.5 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
0.9 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
1.7 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

1.9 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

2.0 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

4.0 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

4.2 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
5.2 ~ CCC ROAD / CHEAHA ROAD ~ SW
6.2 ~ ZULU CANYON ~ RW
8.2 ~ HILLABEE CREEK CROSSING ~ RW
8.7 ~ 6 SPRINGS / 2 CREEKS ~ SW, RW
9.4 ~ CAMPSITE ~ RW
11.7 ~ FRIENDSHIP CAMPSITE ~ RW
12.4 ~ CR 24 CROSSING ~ RW
12.6 ~ MORGAN LAKE SWITCHBACK ~ SW, RW
13.2 ~ CREEK CROSSING ~ RW
13.3 ~ CREEK CROSSING ~ RW

14.7 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
14.8 ~ SMALL CASCADE ~ SW
14.9 ~ LITTLE HILLABEE FALLS ~ RW

15.2 ~ HILLABEE CREEK BRIDGE ~ RW

15.4 ~ HORSEBLOCK MOUNTAIN TOWER VIEW ~ RW

16.6 ~ HORSEBLOCK FLATS CROSSING ~ RW

16.8 ~ CO~OP BRIDGE ~ SW

17.6 ~ US 431 TRAILHEAD


section 8.
17.6 ~ US 431 TRAILHEAD ~ SW, RW
0.2 ~ SPRING / BOG CROSSING ~ SW
2.3 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW, RW
2.4 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
2.7 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
3.2 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

3.8 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

4.2 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

5.3 ~ CREEK CROSSING ~ RW

5.6 ~ RIO GRANDE CROSSING ~ RW
7.0 ~ INDIAN CAVE ~ SW
8.3 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
9.4 ~ SHOAL CREEK RANGER STATION (100 yards off trail) ~ RW

There are 2 spigots outside the office and Ranger Lesley said we were welcome to use them!
9.5 ~ SOUTH FS 500 TRAILHEAD ~ 935’ ~ SW


section 9.
0.0 ~ SOUTH FS 500 TRAILHEAD ~ SW
1.4 ~ 1.8 ~ 3 SPRING CROSSINGS ~ SW
2.2 ~ 2.7 ~ 2 SPRING CROSSINGS ~ SW
4.1 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

6.2 ~ HOLLY SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
7.7 ~ LOWER SHOAL CANYON  ~ RW

7.8 ~ LOWER SHOAL SHELTER ~ RW

9.8 ~ SW

10.5 ~ CREEK CROSSING ~ RW

10.7 ~ EAGLE BRIDGE ~ SW

11.0 ~ FS 531 CROSSING ~ RW

11.1 ~ SPRING CROSSING
11.3 ~ HIGHROCK LAKE ~ RW
11.4 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
11.5 ~ CAMPSITE ~ RW
13.0 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

13.1 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
13.6 ~ PINE GLEN CAMPGROUND ~ RW


section 10.
0.0 ~ PINE GLEN CAMPGROUND ~ RW
0.1 ~  ATA DOUBLE BRIDGES ~ SW
2.3 ~ ATCA BRIDGE ~ SW
2.6 ~ SWEETWATER LAKE ~ RW

3.0 ~ SWEETWATER PARKING AREA ~ RW

3.2 ~ CREEK CROSSING ~ RW

4.6 ~ LAUREL SHELTER ~ RW
5.1 ~ CREEK CROSSING ~ RW

5.2 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

5.5 ~ ALUMINUM BRIDGE ~ SW

6.1 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW

6.9 ~ ATA / AHS BRIDGE ~ SW

7.2 ~ USFS COLEMAN LAKE CAMPGROUND BRIDGE ~ RW

7.6 ~ ALUMINUM BRIDGE ~ RW

7.9 ~ FS 500 CROSSING ~ RW ~ 1.2 MILE TO CAMPGROUND ENTRANCE
10.6 ~ CHIPMUNK CANYON ~ RW
10.8 ~ CHIP'S CAMPSITE ~ RW
10.9 ~ DALE'S CAMPSITE / CASCADE ~ RW
11.0 ~ SON OF BILLY GOAT CAMPSITE ~  RW
11.8 ~ CREEK CROSSING ~ RW
12.1 ~ ROCK ISLAND CROSSING ~ RW

12.5 ~ TWENTY FEET CREEK ~ RW
14.8 ~ CHOCCOLOCCO CREEK WATERSHED ~ RW
14.9 ~ CHOCCOLOCCO CREEK SHELTER ~ RW

15.3 ~ CHOCC HOLLOW ~ SW
16.3 ~ BURNS TRAILHEAD ~ RW


section 11.
0.0 ~ BURNS TRAILHEAD ~ RW
2.7 ~ JONES BRANCH ROAD ~ SW (go left or right to water)
8.2 ~ NORTH DUGGER FLATS ~ RW
8.8 ~ NORTH DUGGER WILDERNESS BOUNDARY ~ RW
8.8 ~ NORTH FS 500 TRAILHEAD ~ RW


section 12.
8.8 ~ NORTH FS 500 TRAILHEAD ~ RW
2.4 ~ TERRAPIN CREEK WATERSHED ~ RW
3.1 ~ DOUBLE SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
3.3 ~ NORTH SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
5.1 ~ NORTH OAKEY CAMPSITE ~ SW
6.8 ~ SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
8.1 ~ CHIEF LADIGA RAIL TRAIL / TERRAPIN CREEK BRIDGE ~ RW
8.8 ~ 94 SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
12.5 ~ LANIE GAP ~ SW

13.6 ~ LANIE HOLLOW ~ SW
15.4 ~ LANIE CREEK CROSSING ~ RW
16.2 ~ HIGH POINT TRAILHEAD


section 13.
0.0 ~ HIGH POINT TRAILHEAD ~ RW
1.6 ~ DAVIS MOUNTAIN SWITCHBACKS ~ RW
4.9 ~ HURRICANE CREEK BRIDGE ~ RW
5.4 ~ HAWKINS HOLLOW ~ RW

5.5 ~ CREEK BRIDGE ~ RW
5.6 ~ HAWKINS HOLLOW SHELTER ~ RW
5.6 ~ HAWKINS HOLLOW TENT PLATFORM ~ RW
5.7 ~ INDIAN MOUNTAIN SWITCHBACKS ~ RW

10.8 ~ SHAGBARK FLATS ~ SW

10.9 ~ SPRING CREEK SHELTER ~ SW

11.0 ~ LEAD DOG BRIDGE ~ SW

12.2 ~ DOUBLE SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
12.8 ~ JACKSON CHAPEL TRAILHEAD
pinhoti northern terminus.



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