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

Visit Union County in the North Georgia Mountains


Arkaquah Trail

Trail descends along a ridge from Brasstown Bald parking lot to Track Rock Gap. There are ups and downs, some steep along the way. The final mile has several switchbacks. Open ridge tops provide excellent views. The trail is within the Brasstown Wilderness for about 5 miles of its length. This trail is not blazed.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 8 miles. Turn left (east) onto Georgia 180. Go 8 miles and turn left (north) onto Georgia 180 spur. Follow this road 3 miles to the Brasstown Bald Visitor Center parking lot.

Bear Hair Gap Trail

This trail forms a loop beginning and ending at Vogel State Park. 4 miles include an optional side trail to an overlook offering a panoramic view of the park and lake. The trail is located on a combination of old roadbeds and constructed trail. It is well marked with orange blazes. However, the blazes are spaced more widely apart on the part of the trail that is within Blood Mountain Wilderness than on the part outside the wilderness.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 10 miles. Turn right into Vogel State Park.

Byron Herbert Reece Access Trail

This trail, fairly steep for about half its length, provides access to the Appalachian Trail at Flat Rock Gap. Since the trail is entirely within Blood mountain Wilderness, the blue trail blazes are widely spaced. 0.7 mile.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 12 miles. Turn right into the Byron Herbert Reece Memorial and continue to parking lot on left.

Cooper Creek Trail

This is a connector trail between Mill Shoals and Yellow Mountain Trails. It can be reached by hiking 0.6 mile from the trailhead of Mill Shoals Trail or 1 mile from Yellow Mountain trailhead.

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.

Coosa Back Country Trail

This yellow blazed loop trail begins in Vogel State Park and returns there after many ups and downs, crossing through gaps and over mountains. Some ascents are made gradually around the slopes and others steeply up the ridges. It is somewhat easier if hiked in a counterclockwise direction. Approximately one forth of the trail crosses through the Blood Mountain Wilderness. Blazes will be farther apart on this section. A permit is required for both day hiking and backpacking and is available free from Vogel State Park Visitor Center.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 10 miles. Turn right into Vogel State Park.

DeSoto Falls Trail

This trail begins at the bridge in the lower loop of DeSoto Falls Recreation Area. A relatively easy 0.25 mile trail leads south to lower falls; the upper falls is about 0.75 mile one way to the north. 2.5 miles.

Directions: Take U.S. 129 north from Cleveland for 15 miles or U.S. 19 north from Dahlonega for 18 miles to the DeSoto Falls Recreation area.

Dockery Lake Trail

This trail provides access to the Appalachian Trail. The trail winds north for 3 miles over an old logging road and terminates at Miller Gap. About one mile north of Dockery Lake, the trail enters the blood Mountain Wilderness. Blazes will be less frequent in this section. The footpath parallels a portion of Pigeon Roost Creek and provides scenic views of nearby mountain ridges and peaks. 3.0 miles

Directions: Take US 19 north from Dahlonega for 8.2 miles to the intersection of GA 60 for 3.6 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 654 opposite the Dockery Lake Recreation Area sign. Travel 1 mile to the picnic area. The trail begins at the parking lot.

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 Back Country 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. 3.5 miles.

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.

Freeman Trail

This trail begins west of Neels Gap at Flatrock Gap on the Appalachian Trail. The trail meanders around the south slopes of historic Blood Mountain to Bird Gap, intersecting with the Appalachian Trail again. 1.8 miles.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 north from Dahlonega for 21 miles to Neels Gap or Byron Herbert Reece Trail.

Jarrard Gap Trail

This trail climbs gradually from Lake Winfield Scott Campground to its junction with the Appalachian Trail slightly south of Jarrard Gap. The last 0.25 mile of this blue blazed trail is within the Blood Mountain Wilderness. 1 mile.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 9.5 miles. Turn right (west) onto GA 180 and go 7 miles to the main entrance to Lake Winfield Scott campground. Turn left into campground. Follow this road over a hill and continue straight ahead into a gravel parking lot at the foot of the hill. From the parking lot, hike along the paved road passing the guard rail at the head of the lake. The trailhead is on the right of the road just past the guard rails.

Jacks Knob Trail

This blue blazed trail begins with a short climb out of the Brasstown Bald parking lot, then descends nearly 1,500 feet through a series of switchbacks that cover about 2 miles. It crosses GA 180 in Jacks Gap and then climbs about 2.2 miles to the Appalachian Trail at Chattahoochee Gap. Approximately 0.2 mile south of Jacks Gap, the trail enters the Mark Trail Wilderness. Blazes will be farther apart on the wilderness portion of the trail.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 8 miles. Turn left (east) onto Georgia 180. Go 8 miles and turn left (north) onto Georgia 180 spur. Follow this road 3 miles to the Brasstown Bald Visitor Center parking lot.

Lakeshore Trail

This loop trail encircles Dockery Lake and is accessible to people with disabilities. Footpaths provide access to fishing areas around the lake as well as an accessible fishing platform located on the dam.

Directions: Take US 19 north from Dahlonega for 8.2 miles to the intersection of GA 60 for 3.6 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 654 opposite the Dockery Lake Recreation Area sign. Travel 1 mile to the picnic area.

Lake Winfield Scott Trail

This loop trail follows the lakeshore on a gentle grade, allowing easy access for fishing. part of the trail is paved but most is gravel surfaced. 0.4 mile.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 9.5 miles. Turn right (west) onto GA 180 and go 7 miles to the main entrance to Lake Winfield Scott campground. Turn left into campground. Follow this road over a hill and continue straight ahead into a gravel parking lot at the foot of the hill. Walk straight through the parking lot to reach the trail.

Logan Turnpike Trail

This former toll road of the 1800's crosses some of Georgia's most rugged terrain and accesses Raven Cliffs Wilderness. A historical marker on the approach road to the trailhead designates the toll keeper's house. The trail parallels Town Creek. The first mile is easy but the next is strenuous. This historic trail accesses the Appalachian Trail at Tesnatee Gap

Directions: Take US 19 north from Dahlonega for 13.5 miles to Turners Corner. Turn right and proceed south on US 129 for 2.8 miles. Turn left on Town Creek Road (paved first 1.5 miles) and go 2.8 miles. parking area is at the wilderness boundary. Trail begins at the parking area.

Helton Creek Falls Trail

This short trail descends to the first waterfall then climbs beside the creek to the second and larger waterfall. The rocks are deceptively slippery around these falls. Exercise caution.

Directions: Take U.S. 129 south from Blairsville, 11 miles. Go past Vogel State Park and turn left on the first gravel road (distance from Vogel Park uncertain but more than a mile.) Go down gravel road 2.2 miles and you'll see a pullout parking area. The trail will be to the right.

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.

Slaughter Creek Trail

Located partly on old roadbeds, the trail leads from Lake Winfield Scott campground to the Appalachian Trail at Slaughter Gap. This moderate blue blazed trail enters the Blood Mountain Wilderness about 1 mile before reaching Slaughter Gap. Blazes will be farther apart on this section of trail. 2.7 miles.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 9.5 miles. Turn right (west) onto GA 180 and go 7 miles to the main entrance to Lake Winfield Scott campground. Turn left into campground. Follow this road over a hill and continue straight ahead into a gravel parking lot at the foot of the hill. From the parking lot, hike along the paved road passing the guard rail at the head of the lake. The trailhead is on the right of the road just past the guard rails.

Sosebee Cove Trail

This loop trail circles through one of the finest stands of second-growth hardwood in the region and is also noted for the variety of wildflowers that flourish on the forest floor.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 9.5 miles. Turn right (west) onto GA 180. Go 2 miles to the Sosebee Cove parking lot on the right.

Wagon Train Trail

This trail follows an old roadbed from Brasstown Bald through the Brasstown Wilderness to the National Forest boundary approximately 1 mile south of Young Harris. 5.8 miles.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 8 miles. Turn left (east) onto Georgia 180. Go 8 miles and turn left (north) onto Georgia 180 spur. Follow this road 3 miles to the Brasstown Bald Visitor Center parking lot.

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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