We will gather peacefully for silent meditation the morning of July 4th, 2018 from dawn until noon; and a peaceful assembly of free speech and expression from July 1st through the end of Vision Counsel; in the southern Appalachian Mountains. DIRECTIONS TO THE GATHERING ARE HERE (and contain road closure info, and other critical information. This post is updated frequently so check back for the latest.To learn how to get into the gathering without getting a mandatory court appearance ticket, click here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Howdy Folks (a.k.a. Directions to the Gathering)

Updated July 2 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

47th Annual Rainbow Family Gathering of the Tribes

End of June (give or take) to July 7

Join us July 4 for the silent meditation/prayer for world peace from dawn until high noon

We, who are brothers & sisters, children of spirit, families of life on earth, friends of nature & of all people, children of humankind calling ourselves the rainbow gathering, humbly invite:
  • All races, peoples, tribes, communes, men, women, children, individuals -- out of love.
  • All nations & national leaders -- out of respect
  • All religions & religious leaders -- out of faith
  • All politicians -- out of charity
to join with us in gathering together for the purpose of expressing our sincere desire that there shall be peace on earth, harmony among all people. & to hold open worship, prayer, chanting or whatever is the want or desire of the people, for three days, but upon the fourth day of July at noon to ask that there be a meditative, contemplative silence wherein we, the invited people of the world may consider & give honor & respect to anyone or anything that has aided in the positive evolution of humankind & nature upon this, our most beloved & beautiful world -- asking blessing upon we people of this world & hope that we people can effectively proceed to evolve, expand, & live in harmony & peace.

Feel free to arrive a few weeks early to create the gathering and/or stay a few weeks late to clean it all up. Please be respectful of the First Nations' land, culture, and spirituality.

We love you!

Where is the gathering?
The gathering is taking place in the Chattahoochee National Forest in northern Georgia.  Coordinates 34.586450, -84.124448
Main Circle is at N 34.60726 W -84.12053.
The Atlanta Lightline has very different directions than I do, I'm not sure which are correct. You can call them at  770-662-6112

Map 1 as of 6/30 (click to enlarge)
Map 2 (click to enlarge)

DIRECTIONS: From Interstate 75 south east of Chattanooga, Tennessee, take highway 76 east  approximately 68 miles towards East Ellijay, Georgia. From East Ellijay, take Highway 52 east towards Dahlonega.

From Atlanta, Georgia take Interstate 75 North to Interstate 575 North to Hwy 15 north to Hwy 136. Turn right on 136 go approximately 19 miles toward Talking Rock Mountain ~ 19 miles until you hit a "T" intersection at Hwy 183. Turn left on Hwy 183. Go 4 miles until you hit another "T" intersection and then turn right on Hwy 52. Go approximately 8 miles. Turn left on Nimblewill Church Road.

From Greenville, South Carolina, take Interstate 85 south.  From I-85, take exit 22 for US-129 North toward Gainesville/Jefferson. From Gainsville, take GA-60 North approximately 22 miles to Dahlonega. From Dahlonega, take Highway 52/9 west towards East Ellijay approximately 5 miles from where Hwy 52 and 9 split. Turn right on Nimblewill Church Road.

TIP: Nimblewill Church Road is an upside "U" shape so if you come from the west you enter one end of the road and if you come from the left you enter another end. 

From all directions: Go north on Forest Service Road 28-1 to Winding Stair Gap Road and turn left. Parking is on one side of the road only. Park as close as you can to the next car while leaving room for them to get out. Make sure you are not blocking the road to the extent that emergency vehicles such as fire trucks are denied access. Look for family to tell you what to do next.

KITCHENS:  For kitchen unloading only from 28-1 turn left on Road 83/Bull Mountain Parking Road. Go 1.5 miles. No parking is allowed on Road 83 and I've heard the turn around is tough.

PARKING/SHUTTLE:  There are supposed to be shuttles set up to get you from parking to the Front Gate. From there I've heard 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile hike in. 

EVERYONE: Rumor has it that Front Gate is 3/4 of a mile from the main part of the gathering. While parking may be a couple of miles away, you MAY be able to drop gear and passengers, go park, and then only one person has to do the long hike on the road. I say MAY because sometimes the USFS stops us from allowing things like this and the situation may change. Ask the people at Front Gate if you can pull over, unload people and gear, and then go park. If they say no or wave you on, don't argue, just keep driving as there is a reason they have given you those instructions.

For a PDF version of the directions, click here.

There are rolling and intermittent mandatory check points that people are going through.   Please read Rap 420 and make sure you know your rights.

**** Be prepared for rain and thunderstorms! ****

Only motorized vehicles that are licensed and legal for use on public highways in the state of Georgia may be operated on Forest Service roads. Motorized vehicles are NOT allowed on trails or closed roads unless posted. Some trails are restricted for a certain type of use. Motorcycles, bicycles, equestrians and others should be sure they remain on designated trails marked specifically for their use.

USFS Parking Rules as of 3:45 PM on Sunday, June 17:
Several temporary closures and restrictions are in place at Bull Mountain in the Nimblewill area of Lumpkin County for public safety related to the 2018 national gathering of the Rainbow Family of Living Light. This is an update to the road closure plan shared on June 15.
Several temporary closures and restrictions are in place in the Nimblewill area of Lumpkin County for public safety related to the 2018 national gathering of the Rainbow Family. This is an update to the road closures announced on June 15.


    FS77 from 28A to FS42 (now closed at the intersection of FSR 77A)
    FS77A (except to private landowners)


    FS28-1 from Nimblewill Church Road (126) to FS80
    FS83 (Bull Mountain parking lot is open)

    FS77 from FS28-1 to FSR 77A


    FS Road 42 near FS Road 77-- south side only.

Parking allowed in yellow on south side only (click to enlarge)

Roadside parking on designated routes must allow adequate access for through traffic. Road shoulders may be narrow or soft. Do not block gates. Access for emergency response is paramount.Roadside parking along the right side of these designated parking routes must allow adequate access for through traffic. Access for emergency response is paramount. Be cautious as road shoulders may be narrow or soft. Do not block any gates. Violators will be towed.

We appreciate your understanding as this situation evolves and we determine the best methods for keeping visitors, neighbors, partners and our employees safe. Please see signs posted in the area for more information, and stay tuned for further updates.
Visitors to the area should also be aware of the possibility they may encounter Army training activities authorized through a long-standing permit between Camp Frank D. Merrill and the U.S. Forest Service. These activities are conducted under a joint operating plan that intends to reduce conflicts between Army training activities and public visitors. However, interaction on roads and visibility of Army activities on the national forest should be expected. These regularly recurring activities are not related to the 2018 national gathering.

Photo of parking map taken June 30 @ 6:12 PM.


Ignore all rumors of cancellation or organization!
Live lightly with the Land and People!
Be the peaceful and loving person you want to see more of in this world.
Please copy and distribute this information widely


Roads and parking situations will be in flux for the next week. When you make it home, please listen to the people on the land and park where they tell you. Then in a few days touch base with INFO to see if the parking rules have changed so your car doesn't get towed. YES, the USFS does that. They tell people they can park in an area, then USFS changes their mind and puts a 72 hour notice on your car to move it.

Folks on the land are working with the USFS to open up new parking areas. Please go home and follow the parking instructions given by the parking crew. Please park tight as parking will be hard this year. Please save Handicamp for those with mobility issues.

Misc. Additional Information

Dahlonega is supposed to be a university town with a health food store.

Main circle is 1700', Most of the site is 1500-1800' It will cool down a decent amount at night due to elevation but not that much. Expect 80s day and 60s night. It is very wet and rainy lately so it will be humid.

Due to rain, Mosquitoes are very bad this year. Yes to ticks (also worse than normal). Yes there is Lyme in this area but not huge. Chiggers likely.

It is a tad far north for most venomous snakes, there could be but not likely. Don't know site specific but yes poison ivy is common in this area.

Apparently this area is not used for cattle grazing. 

If you are interested in the USFS information on critters, floods, etc., including weather reports for the forest, click here

Public Transportation Options:

Greyhound has a bus station at the Atlanta airport which can take you from the airport to Gainesville, Georgia that is about 20 miles from Dahlonega for just over $20. The buses leave the airport for the connection at the downtown station at about 5:40 am and about 2:30 pm, so if you get there in time for either of those, take the bus. Someone has commented that they think the bus leaves at 4 PM but when I checked Greyhound it indicates it leaves the downtown at 6:40 p.m. and from at airport at 2:30 pm. If you check for yourself, in the from location for the airport select "Atlanta Arpt, GA"

Amtrak's "Crescent" leaves Atlanta's Brookwood Station at 8:21 pm and arrives in Gainesville, Georgia at 9:16 pm. Not much schedule flexibility though. Only the one train daily. Base fare is about $14.
Gainsville, Georgia  is about 60 miles North East of Atlanta. Gainsville, Georgia is about 20 miles south of Dahlonega.

There is a bus network called MATS in Gilmer County that operates on a non-fixed route, taking passengers to their requested destinations. They work to accommodate all passengers and their vehicles are equipped to aid individuals with disabilities. They do request advance notice, so call them at (706) 276.6287 for details. Pretty cheap $2 or $3.

You can also take Greyhound from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Dalton, Georgia. From there you can try MATS or hitchhike the route listed above.

For more info on the gathering, visit Welcome Home or Karin's Blog. If you FaceBook, try Group 1 or Group 2 or use an old fashioned telephone and call the Atlanta Lightline 770-662-6112.

 For a printable, downloadable PDF flyer with directions, click here.


  1. peace, please post if the gathering sight is full of cattle manure. specifics, like lots every 3 yards is a cow patty or if you look you can spot some here & there, like a cattle manure pile every 20 yards, & if it varies, for i can't attend health wise if full of manure like last years gathering, i get sick easily, & infections, i hope there was options of fields to choose from, that we have a clean field, like utah provided if i recall correctly, was very clean, sanitary. thank you

  2. Blessings to all with safe travels and communing.

  3. Can't wait to see you again, Karin! It's been 3 long years since I've been to a gathering:( I'll see you and all our sisters and brothers again soon!

  4. Thanks this is the first time I ever seen directions for any rainbow gathering

  5. Thanks this is the first time I ever seen directions for any rainbow gathering

    1. https://img.wennermedia.com/920-width/rs-218635-18--ackbar-b6dfad9a-3296-4a9e-ba4a-16b756d7b962.jpg

  6. The GPS coordinates should be on the main directions however telling folks to follow written directions as well. I personally would like to see coordinates yet use both together.

    1. The coordinates have been on the page, they were in an image further down on the page. I moved the image up a bit.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Can someone, anyone, please help!! By bf and I are in desperate need of a ride to Rainbow!!! We will be arriving in Atlanta at 8:30 am on the 4th. My contact info is 4697788472. We are coming in by megabus.

  9. Local people relax! I'm old, and a property owner in Dawson County. I regularly hike Bull Mtn. vicinity. I stumbled on a Rainbow Gathering back in the late 70's/early 80's while backpacking in the Cherokee NF in Tennessee. It was an awesome life changing experience. Rainbow people (which can include YOU and ME!) are peaceful, loving, and conscious custodians of our land.

  10. Glad to see the Nationals in the South again...finally! Am interested in attending...went to the ones in Arkansas and Alabama many years ago. When does it start? In other words, when are most people going to start arriving? Is June 28 (thur) too early? And, when do most people start leaving? How many people attend National Rainbow Gatherings? Thank...

  11. peace, found a cure for chiggers! soak in ocean for about an hour. Arkansas gathering, had chiggers for many months afterwords. then visited south florid, got chiggers from banana trees, decided to go for a swim in ocean, & in an hour were gone for good. ocean isn't that far away from atlanta. if you never had chiggers, they are so tiny almost not seen, also called redbugs, live in hot humid areas, & itch so much, you bleed from unconscious scratching them, then infection forms, can last several months as female lays eggs in you. i believe calm put calamine lotion, that eases itch for a few hours.

    1. Fingernail polish is what we use. Just paint over the bumps. It smothers them... Calm may against that I don't know the political correctness of it but, my own family have done that for years and it works.

    2. peace, i researched again, it reads different now, 'claiming larva that has many chiggers from ground where they hatched, clings to us & enzymes from them where they pierced skin they suck up digested tissue, their digestive enzymes cause itch'. as to research at arkansas gathering, where i believed internet claimed female is parasitic & lays eggs that hatch in us & if eggs are not stopped they hatch & can go on for a long time till they all die or cycle somehow ends. i had them for at least 4 months & itch was worse then poison oak. i once got poison oak during a different year, poison oak itch also lasted at least 4 months, nothing rid it, only relieved itch at times. today wikipedia explanation i didn't see in explaination how they can lasted 4 months, wikipedia made it look like after 10 days itch is gone, so i question what is written there. but ocean worked many times, for i'd get them anytime i picked banana's from banana trees & other plants in subtropical conditions. hot showers, soap, etc... relieved itch, but didn't end them till in ocean, i'll keep in mind about nail polish, when ocean isn't there, or is too cold to go into for an hour. thanks for info.

  12. Will there or will there not be a bus village near site?

  13. So freaking excited...can't believe nationals are in GA..can't wait to love your "hippy" faces...hoping green and purple kitchen makes it..I wouldn't have 2 beautiful boys if gnp hadn't got stuck in Knoxville 10 years ago..can't wait for them to meet their family they have always heard about..

  14. peace, made it to gainesville 2 hours ago, after 4 days on greyhound from West coast. appeared going further too impossible for a 65 disabled worker, no local buses from greyhound. this is the 20 gathering for me, wish i could get there. for now on i'll only go if I have a car. spent rest of money for greyhound to charlotte, on my way, blessings of peace for the 4th of July celebration.

  15. why the fuck are rainbow gatherings so hush hush on where they take place? STUPID!

  16. peace, welcomehome.org has on front web page- Rainbow Newsgroup, alt.gathering.rainbow (aka AGR) that has been there for decades it seems. click on google further down web page, takes one to the news group named- 'alt. rainbow gathering'- recently this appears when newsgroup is clicked on- 'Banned Content Warning - The group you are attempting to view (alt.gathering.rainbow) has been identified as containing spam, malware, or other malicious content. Content in this group is now limited to view-only mode for those with access.
    Group owners can request an appeal after they have taken steps to clean up potentially offensive content in the forum. For more information about content policies on Google Groups see our Help Center article on abuse and our Terms of Service.
    my 1st national rainbow gathering was new mexico in late 1970's, before any known internet or welcomehome.org existed to me. about 20 years later i attended my next gathering in oregon 1997, i did try to attend to several before that, but was too disabled. being a disabled worker i have become dependent on the welcomehome.org news group to help me attend the national rainbow gathering, it has been a great source for having questions answered, discussions, what is happening at nationals gatherings, & other helps one could read that was given to many. when facebook came about, alt.gathering.rainbow attendance diminished over the years, then vicious type posts appeared, but one was able to get information about where national gathering is, directions etc..., this year i traveled from west coast & made it by 4 days on greyhound to gainesville, georgia, july 2nd, but within about a minute of getting off the greyhound bus, a clean cut fellow asked me for help getting cab fare to get out of that greyhound bus stop at a small grocery, said been there 24 hours, i said i just got off bus, i wish i could help. i lost all hope as a disabled worker, now up in age, almost 20 gatherings, of getting to gathering, grocery attendant said no local gainesville bus service nearby. have lived in florida for over 12 years years ago, so i knew what to expect weather wise, but if welcomehome.org newsgroup would of been up, i believe i would of been inspired to go on to gathering, even hitching. without welcomehome.org inspiring one to welcomehome at national rainbow gathering, it seems motivation was missing in me to go onward to gathering, have hitched many times to gathering, have driven also to nationals, & greyhound many times, so i was prompted to use rest of funds to continue on greyhound & head back from wence i came, the west coast. but stopped in charlotte for a while to gathering my thoughts about getting to nationals, but was motivated to west coast, though it was like a pain in my heart i wasn't going any further to nationals, some 30 miles short. so i am asking for return of newsgroup on welcomehome.org when clicks google on welcomehome.org to get 'alt.gathering.rainbow' newsgroup. if you know owners to ask them if they will comply & clean up alt.gathering.rainbow newsgroup, so it may continue to bring blessings to those in need. i am not a facebook member & plan not on joining, already belong to too much social media before facebook came out. thank you alt.gathering.rainbow newsgroup for all those years of peace that has been given me from that site on welcomehome.org

  17. peace, just read on facebook from karens rainbow blog, vision council is still happening, far from deciding where next years gathering area is. welcomehome.org reads 1989 was nevada gathering, i tried to go, but was too disabled. is there something one should know why nevada has not been considered much, that is about 29 years ago. been to probably 12 vision councils, to me they been like a heart song circle, that is what usually happens 1st as feather is passed around circle allowing individuals to introduce themselves. wish i could be there. like to offer some facts that seem obvious as to this years gathering. the city of atlanta is about 70 miles away with about 1/2 million people, & 6 1/2 million people in metropolitan area, with nimblewill being the closest to the national forest mountains for camping, hiking around. i read over 900 citations given, is that a record? if 4 people per car, forest service claims 4,500 attended, that is covering 3,600 people, like was there any party of people not ticketed? it seems a very much amount of many people use that area from nearby atlanta area, & maybe didn't like not able to go hiking or camping where they usually go maybe for even a day trip. has the gathering ever happen so near a heavy populated area? maybe why so many citations. though i am glad georgia had the gathering. the impact on land this year from gathering seemed to of gone banana's in complaints when reading forest service reports, etc..., made me wonder, maybe if the u.s.a. was divided in 6 regions as to colors of rainbow, red, yellow orange, green, blue, violet, & rotate each year what region is what color like this years southeast region is red this year, next year orange or violet, maybe moving like a clock from west to east looking north, as the way earth spins from west to east, or whatever is a better idea. to have 6 nationals a year, on 4th of july, one in each region, to lessen the impact on earth & reduce amount of garbage, open to all as to what gathering one would attend. this would need rainbow people to rise up to accomplish such, & maybe many are waiting to rise up when the call happens, now old enough to become seriously involved in facilitating the gatherings. there is already unofficial light lines called hot lines in about every region of the u.s.a., there is maps of u.s.a. divided in 6 regions, like northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest, north central, south central. i believe if that could happen, 6 nationals in 6 different regions covering all of the u.s.a. it could bring about much peace that seems is not happening. for whom likes to attend a gathering with all the citations given, etc..., no-one i know of. i think those whom are given authority to monitor the gathering like the forest service because gatherings have been in national forests, if there was more emphasis by the gatherers that the gathering is to celebrate the 4th of july as the u.s.a. rainbow family of living light, other nations on earth have their own gatherings, then when reading u.s. forest service reports, news, etc..., for it seems the writers such as u.s. forest service officials, news reporters, etc.., don't seem to get that it is a 4th of july celebration & basically over after the 4th of july, in honor of our country, our nation. the news & reports have written way too much i believe that it is an alternative culture gathering. this way when the people see the forest service write in their reports, the rainbow family of living light is coming to so & so national forest for our 4th of july celebration to celebrate the 4th of july in our community, people maybe would be more excited that many are coming to there here to celebrate the 4th of july, a national holiday. maybe this already goes on, i just fail to witness it. i been to regionals, there is hardly any impact & cleanup is quick. then if nationals happened in 6 regions, complaints maybe would be hard to come by.