- Always check for updates to the guides, usually listed as a free resource on the host trail website. For example: Mid State Trail Section Updates.
- Additional information may be found at the official Great Eastern Trail site.
- The most up-to-date trail information, in my experience, comes from Facebook. Track down all the trail clubs you can on Facebook and pick their brains.
- The following resources are not guaranteed to be sufficient for navigation; make your own decisions about what you need to ensure your safety on the trail.
Mr. Parkay's Maps : These are a free resource. They reflect the trail when Mr. Parkay hiked. Since then, there has been a dramatic reroute south of Bull Gap onto Rebecca Mountain.
Pinhoti Trail Alliance Guide : There is tons of useful information on this site, all of it free, but it will take some copying and pasting into a document to get a workable file.
Pinhoti Trail Maps - Click "download the order form" to see selections - select "Pinhoti Trail." Covers the 140 miles in Talladega National Forest, including the Rebecca Mountain Reroute. I haven't actually seen these maps in real life, but I suspect they are well-worth the price.
Georgia & Alabama incursion
Update: Recently the preferred route of the GET changed to include some incredible sights in northern Alabama. The Georgia Pinhoti sections and Cloudland Canyon section of the GET remain unchanged.
This section may look overwhelming, but with the guide it isn't difficult to figure out at all.
Mr. Parkay's Georgia Pinhoti Maps : These are the best Georgia Pinhoti Trail maps out there, with the same footnote about reroutes. The trail has gone through significant re-routing off of roads on its way into Cave Spring. When in doubt, follow the blazes and not the maps, as internet resources are not always updated to reflect reality. Watch out - the Great Eastern Trail splits from the Georgia Pinhoti at Taliaferro Creek and the GET isn't marked at this location!
The Georgia Pinhoti Trail Association Facebook Group is the place to find updates to this quickly-developing section. This is a very active group! They have lots of maps and guides, both for the Georgia Pinhoti as a whole and for the GET in Georgia (often called "Lookout Mountain Section")-- just click on the "Files" section of this group to access everything.
Georgia Atlas & Gazetteer : Once the Great Eastern Trail leaves the Pinhoti Trail at Taliaferro Creek, this becomes your best bet for maps.
Old GA route along brow of Lookout Mountain,saved for posterity's sake:
You may need to know the whereabouts of the following plots of public land:
Zahnd Natural Area
New GA/AL preferred route:
The preferred route would dip back into Alabama. This area is not officially designated as the GET, but hopefully will be soon, and is hike-able as-is.
Little River Canyon resources include a camping guide, links to trail information, and a map of the area.
DeSoto State Park Map - Useful if used in conjunction with the Guide for this section.
Cloudland Canyon State Park Map - This does not show which trails the GET follows, but it's useful for general orientation.
Guide to the GET in Tennessee
A big map of Chattanooga would be helpful but not completely necessary.
Cumberland Trail Conference Maps : Great maps and guides are available online for free!
To connect the sections via roads, I highly recommend the Delorme Tennessee Atlas & Gazetteer. Because there are no official roadwalks (no blazes), we would have been totally lost without this. Of all states, this is the most crucial state for the Gazetteer.
Cumberland Gap National Historic Park Maps
Martins Fork Lake WMA Map - Information and map regarding an area on the current southern KY roadwalk
Kingdom Come State Park - This page has links to a brochure and various maps, like this highly useful one. Note that the maps have not been updated to reflect beautiful Black Bear Shelter just off the Little Shepherd Trail in the park.
Pine Mountain Trail Conference Maps : Fantastic maps and guides for free!
Also recommended: a state map. Several pages of the Delorme Kentucky Atlas Gazetteer may be useful, but overall this Delorme book is much less necessary than it is for Tennessee or Georgia. I recommend getting this book from a library and photocopying the few pages that might be useful.
Contact me if you plan to link Elkhorn City, KY and Matewan, WV by foot.
Southern West Virginia:
Contact me for maps and information. I am working on an unofficial guide to this area, but I don't expect completion until late-2015 at the earliest. I'm slow. In the meantime:
Trails Illustrated Map 242 shows the trails/country roads that make up the route from Camp Creek State Forest to Bluestone WMA. The route is not designated on the map as GET, but drop me a note and I can walk you through it.
Appalachian Trail Guide : The AT and GET co-align for about 16 miles. I was able to photocopy a page from my old guide. If you join the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association for $10/year, you can download the companion for free and support a great cause. Water is scarce, so I think it's important to have a guide for this section.
Allegheny Trail Guide : This includes a written guidebook, a map set, and a wildlife guide - it is a total bargain. As with every guidebook, remember to print information on re-routes and hiking guide changes. This is particularly important with the Allegheny Trail as the guide is many years old. Businesses and routes have changed.
Print directions for the Allegheny Gap : Also, bring a WV state map, if only for that section. I would highly recommend Google-mapping this gap ahead of time and bring your print outs!
Headwaters Section Guide : This is soon to be an honest-to-goodness book! Very excited to see all this hard work finally go to print! Until that time, it is a free resource.
There is also a brief overview of Pearisburg to White Sulphur Springs, but you'll need more in-depth information, so I still recommend the Allegheny Trail Guide and some sort of AT Guide.
PATC Headwaters Maps and other information. There is also a spreadsheet available for download that I would recommend having.
The following maps are necessary:
Trails Illustrated Map 791: Staunton/Shenandoah Valley
Trails Illustrated Map 792 : Massanutten & Great North Mountain
Tuscarora Trail Guides : The Great Eastern Trail co-aligns for the middle portion of the Tuscarora Trail, meaning you need both guides IF you are hiking the eastern route. If hiking the western route, only the southern guide is needed. The maps were waterproof and useful, although not strictly necessary.
C&O Towpath : I bought this very affordable book on the C&O because I was interested in the history of the C&O, which the Tuscarora Trail briefly follows. In terms of navigation, this book is not necessary - you would really, really have to try to get lost on the C&O. If you are taking the western route of the Great Eastern Trail, it may be more useful. I enjoyed having it, especially considering how cheap it was.
Green Ridge State Forest Map : This map is only for those hiking the western route of the GET.
Standing Stone Trail Guide : If you hike the western route of the Great Eastern Trail, this guide is not needed. This link brings you to all things Standing Stone Trail.
Mid State Trail Guide : This is a fantastic book and they also have full-color maps available. While we didn't have the maps, they would have enhanced our experience and I recommend them. I particularly recommend maps if you are taking the western route of the Great Eastern Trail, as the southern half of the MST is very dry. Having maps would help a lot in locating the water sources which are often significantly off-trail. Basically, just get the maps.
Resupply information, which changes frequently, is found in a free, useful, and amusing PDF. Check website for more up-to-date version of PDF in case I don't update this often enough.
Crystal Hills Trail Maps with Guide : In a brilliant move, the Finger Lakes Trail Conference folks print their guide on the back of their maps. All you need are the three CH maps, though if you feel ambitious you could extend your trip to Watkins Glen.
For ideas on where to send the maps to yourself as you hike, see my Map Maildrops page.
First written on 2/9/14. Contact me with updates, mistakes, broken links, addition information, etc. Thanks!
2/15/14 - added Martins Fork Lake map & Kingdom Come information for KY, Cloudland Canyon for GA
3/6/14 - I messed up a name
4/12/14 - added information about the alternate/preferred GA route that now meanders back into AL. Added information about Parkay's maps into Cave Spring
4/29/14 - cleared up some stuff about the alternate/preferred GA/AL route, added more please-don't-sue-me-if-you-get-lost warnings. (I'm broke anyway.)
5/12/14 - Added Chattanooga map recommendation and link to WSS-Pearisburg link.
5/22/14 - Added overview maps link
7/6/14 - Added MST map info for western route
11/19/14 - Cleaned up some broken links
1/2/15 - Added PATC map link
1/20/15 - Added Map 242 for West Virginia. Bart got it for me for because he's nice. We should have had it in 2013. Who knew?
3/26/15 - Added new Pinhoti Trail map link! Hooray.
3/28/15 - Updated link to Standing Stone Trail maps/guide.
5/5/15 - Added link to Map Maildrops.
8/7/2015 - Updated MST PDF link to a newer version.
2/6/2016 - Updated information about GA Pinhoti Facebook Group, which is awesome.