Georgia Appalachian Trail Club (GATC) monitors the quality of water as part of its Trail Management Plan. Best practices recommend that hikers filter, boil, or chemically treat all water before consumption or use. Water purity in the backcountry cannot be guaranteed.
GATC is an all volunteer organization so is not able to monitor water availability on a daily basis. Water information is updated as often as possible based on reports from credible sources but may not always be completely current. GATC recommends that hikers replenish water supplies wherever water is available.
Please note that in colder months, some springs may freeze.
In the linked table, we use the following definitions:
- Good - Water level is in the range of normal, full flow and water collection is easily accomplished
- Low - Collection remains easy, though may take more time or use of alternate pool or cascade.
- Marginal - Water level is noticeably low. Collection is significantly impacted requiring more time and perhaps 'scooping' of water out of low pools.
- Dry - Effective collection not possible. Water is very shallow or not existant. Source should be considered dry and unusable.