Hiking Trails in the North Georgia Mountains
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Hiking Trails in Fannin County, North Georgia Mountains

Visit Fannin County in the North Georgia Mountains

Aska Adventure Area Trails

The Aska Trails Area is a 17-mile hiking-mountain biking trail system in the National Forest near Deep Gap on Aska Road in Blue Ridge. Trails range from one to 5.5 miles and vary in difficulty. Trails climb to 3,200 feet with views of mountain ridges and descend to the shores of Lake Blue Ridge. A hiker can expect to hike through forested areas with mature hardwoods and thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron.

Trailheads are located at Deep Gap, Stanley Gap, Shady Falls Road and Forest Road 711 by way of Campbell Camp Road. Parking fee is $5 per vehicle. Bulletin boards at trailheads show maps of the area and the trail system.

The trails offer gentle to moderate hiking grades but are challenging for mountain bikes. 17 miles.

The Aska Trails system includes the following trails:

Stanley Gap Trail - 5.5 miles
Green Mountain Trail - 4.6 miles
Flat Creek Loop - 5.8 miles
Stanley Gap/Flat Creek Connector - .1 mile
Long Branch Loop - 2.0 miles

Directions: From Blue Ridge, go east 0.25 mile on Old US 76 to Aska Road. Turn right (south) and continue 4.5 miles to Deep Gap. The trail crosses the road just below gap. To reach Stanley Gap, go on Aska Road an additional 3 miles to Stanley Gap Road. Turn right on a gravel road and travel 4.2 miles to the trailhead. To reach the lakeshore, go 2.5 miles an the Aska Road and turn left on campbell Camp Road. Travel 2 miles on forest Service Road 711 to the trailhead.

Benton MacKaye Trail

The Benton MacKaye Trail, named after the Massachusetts forester and regional planner who originally envisioned the continuous trail along the crest of the Appalachian Mountain chain (A.K.A. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail), is a primitive, backcountry hiking trail with 80 miles in Georgia alone, and more than 280 miles in the southeast over all. It connects with the Pinhotti Trail and Appalachian Trail, forming loops ideal for day hikes and journeys fit for long distance backpacking. Passing through the Cohutta and Big Frog Wildernesses, expect strenuous difficulty levels, similar to that of the AT in Georgia while traversing this trail. The BMT in Georgia offers a plethora of opportunities to experience the rarely-seen side of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest.

The trail in Georgia stretches from Springer Mountain to Double Spring Gap on the Tennessee border. The first 20 miles of this trail merge with the Appalachian Duncan Ridge Trails. From Springer Mountain, the Benton MacKaye Trail goes north to Rhodes mountain and turns west, crossing the Toccoa River at Shallowford Bridge. The trail uses county roads near Stanley Gap, and then follows ridge tops to Cherry Log. The trail then crosses private property before following state and county roads to Bush Head Gap. The entire trail is marked with white diamonds and blazes on trees. 78.6 miles.

Shallowford Bridge Access: From Blue Ridge, take old US 76 for one mile east to Aska Road. Turn right, and go south for 9 miles to a steel bridge. GA Highway 60 Access: From Blue Ridge, take Old US 76 east for 5 miles to Morganton. There, turn right on GA 60 and travel south 15 miles near Tooni Gap.

The last 7 miles are located within the Cohutta Wilderness. The terrain varies from streams to laurel and Rhododendron thickets to scenic ridge tops, mature forest, and county roads. On the Cohutta District, the trail merges with the South Fork, Jacks River, and Hemptop Trails, where horse travel is permitted within the wilderness.

Watson Gap: Take GA 5 northwest out of Blue Ridge for about 4 miles. Turn left at Watson Gap directional sign onto Old GA 2 and travel 10.5 miles to Watson Gap, a four-way intersection, where the trail enters the road.

Dyer Gap: Follow directions to Watson Gap. Then turn left onto Forest Service Road 64 and go 3.5 miles to the Dyer Cemetery. The trail crosses the road just beyond this point.

Dally Gap: Follow directions to Watson Gap. Then turn right onto Forest Service Road 22 and go about 3.5 miles to Dally Road and the Jacks River trailhead, hike down the Jacks River Trail about 0.8 mile to the Benton MacKaye Trail intersect.

Duncan Ridge Trail

This challenging trail follows high, dry ridges for most of its length. The trail begins on Long Creek near Three Forks on the Appalachian Trail, goes north, and crosses the Toccoa River on a 260-foot swinging bridge. The trail then leads north and west along Duncan Ridge through Mulky Gap to Slaughter Gap. it includes many steep climbs and descents over several mountain tops. The trail is blue blazed for all of this section but also has yellow blazes on the eastern portion, where the Coosa Backcountry Trail shares the same treadway and also will have the white diamonds of the Benton MacKaye Trail from long Creek falls for Rhodes Mountain. About 1.25 miles on the eastern end are within the Blood Mountain Wilderness. A 60 mile loop trail can be made by combing this trail with the Appalachian Trail.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 9.5 miles. Turn right (west) onto GA 180 and go 3 miles to Wolfpen Gap. The trail crosses GA 180 in the gap. The trail can also be reached in Mulky Gap by Forest Service Road 4, Mulky Gap Road.

"Eyes on Wildlife" Trail

This trail starts at Cooper Creek Scenic Area parking lot, goes west across Tom Jones Branch to the ridge top and returns. It traverses a variety of bird habitats with a 200 foot elevation gain. 1.2 miles.

Directions: Take GA 60 north from Dahlonega for 26 miles. Or take GA 60 south from Morganton 16 miles and turn left on Forest Service Road 4 for 6 miles. Turn on Forest Service Road 236 for 0.5 mile. trail begins across from Cooper Creek Scenic Area parking lot.

Grassy Mountain Tower Trail

The trail begins at the dam on Lake Conasauga and makes a gradual accent to the old fire tower atop Grassy Mountain. The fire tower stairs remain open for outstanding views of the surrounding countryside. Novice hikers and family groups will enjoy this relativity easy trail. 2.0 miles.

Directions: Take US 441 north from Chatsworth and go 3 miles to Eton. Turn right at the only traffic light and follow the road, which becomes Forest Service Road 18 for 10.4 miles. Turn left, staying on Forest Service Road 68 and travel 5.5 miles. Turn right, park in the Lake Conasauga picnic or boating parking lots, and walk to the trailhead on the dam.

Lake Blue Ridge Trail

The loop trail follows the shoreline of Lake Blue Ridge and offers a beautiful view of the lake. it is flat and a good trail for families with young children. 0.6 miles.

Directions: Take Blue Ridge, take Old US 76 east for 1.5 miles to Dry Branch Road. Turn right and go 3 miles to the entrance of the Blue Ridge Recreation Area. the trail begins and ends in the picnic area.

Lake Conasauga Trail

Encircling the highest lake in Georgia, the trail connects fishing spots, camping areas and picnic sites. this trail is ideal for short family hikes. 1.2 miles.

Directions: Take US 441 north from Chatsworth and go 3 miles to Eton. Turn right at the only traffic light and follow the road, which becomes Forest Service Road 18 for 10.4 miles. Turn left, staying on Forest Service Road 68 and travel 5.7 miles to the T-intersection. Turn left, staying on Forest Service Road 68, and travel 5.5 miles. park either in the Lake Conasauga picnic or boating parking lots.

Mill Shoals Trail

This trail begins north of the Cooper Creek Recreation Area nd ends at Shope Gap on Forest Service Road 39. Hikers enjoy diverse forest scenery from mature white pines and hemlocks to new-growth areas, as well as scenic views crossing streams. 3.4 miles.

Directions: Take GA 60 north from Dahlonega for 22 miles. Turn right in Forest Service Road 33 for 0.8 mile. Turn left on Forest Service Road 236 for 3 miles to Cooper Creek Recreation Area parking. From parking lot, walk north along Forest Service Road 236. Continue pass Yellow Mountain Trailhead for 100 yards to Mill Shoals trailhead. at approximately 2.4 miles the trail joins and then runs concurrent with Forest Service Road 39 for about one mile before reaching Shope Gap.

Shope Gap Trail

This trail branches left off Yellow Mountain Trail after 1.3 miles. It follows a ridge line to Forest Service Road 39 at Shope Gap.

Directions: Take GA 60 north from Dahlonega for 22 miles. Turn right in Forest Service Road 33 for 0.8 mile. Turn left on Forest Service Road 236 for 3 miles to Cooper Creek Recreation Area parking. From parking lot, walk north along Forest Service Road 236 for 0.1 mile to the trailhead. hike 1.3 miles on Yellow Mountain Trail where Shope Gap Trail forks to the left.

South Fork Trail

From its southern end near a horse camping area, the trail winds through fields and hardwood forests along the south fork of the Jacks River. It fords the river once before ending at Forest Service Road 126A. Wildlife sightings are a common occurrence in the grassy meadows. This is a good ride for novice mountain bikers and horse riders. The Benton MacKaye hiking trail merges with this trail for a short distance.

Directions: Take GA 5 northwest from Blue Ridge for about 4 miles. Turn left (west) at the Watson Gap directional sign onto Old GA 2 and travel 10.5 miles to the four-way intersection at Watson Gap. Turn left onto Forest Service road 64 and go 4.2 miles to the trailhead. Parking is available just past the trailhead in the Jacks River Field camping area.

Stanley Creek Trails

This trail connects a parking area on Stanley Creek Road to nearby Brownlow Gap at the Rich Mountain Wilderness boundary. there is a gradual scent (200 feet) from the creek to the gap.

Directions: From Blue Ridge, travel east 1.5 miles on East First Street (Old US 76) to Aska Road (Harmony Church is on your left0. Turn right and go south 8 miles. Turn right on a gravel road and go 3.5 miles to trail parking area.

Yellow Mountain Trail

The trail meanders through a forest of hemlocks, white pines, and hardwoods. At 1.5 miles from the trailhead, the footpath splits into two trails. The Shope Gap trail leads to the left 0.9 mile to Shope Gap. The Yellow Mountain trail follows the right fork across Bryant Creek and ends at Addie Gap. 2.7 miles.

Directions: Take GA 60 north from Dahlonega for 22 miles. Turn right in Forest Service Road 33 for 0.8 mile. Turn left on Forest Service Road 236 for 3 miles to the 14.

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