Southern Hiker.com

Rocktown – Hiking on Pigeon Mountain

by JP on Mar.21, 2010, under Georgia Hiking Trails, Rock Climbing

Lafayette, Georgia

Distance: 1.0 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Blaze: Brownish Pink

Pigeon Mountain

Just outside of Lafayette, Georgia is a little known wildlife management area known as Crockford-Pigeon Mountain. Pigeon Mountain extends along the northwestern corner of Georgia crossing over into Alabama. The wildlife management area itself is packed with numerous miles of trails that are difficult to find. Most of the area is open to horseback riders, mountain bikers, and rock climbers.

The exception to this, is the area we recently visited, known as Rocktown. Rocktown is a day use only area for hikers and rock climbers. The area is known by most rock climbers in the south for its unique sandstone formations, and numerous climbing routes available for beginners and experts alike.


The most unique aspect of Rocktown’s geological formations are the sandstone hoodoos that dot the mountain top plateau. Hoodoos are tall thin spires of rock protruding out of the ground, and appear to be unconnected to any larger rock formations. There are several of these hidden among the bluffs and boulders of Rocktown, each of varying shape and height.

Rocktown

Rocktown Rocktown

The trail to the Rocktown village is easier to hike than the drive up to it. Once atop Pigeon Mountain, the ugly brownish pink blazes bring hikers along an almost entirely flat one mile trail.

As hikers leave the parking area, the trail immediately crosses a bridge, and an old building foundation to the right. After this, the trail makes a very gradual climb along the sandy trail. Not long after the trail tops the small hill, one of several forks appear. Rocktown is covered in these trails that carry climbers out to numerous boulders that are scattered throughout the area.  If one keeps left at the first fork, and follows the pink blazes, the major rock village area appears.

Rocktown

The first real signs of the major climbing area are two large bluffs that appear to surround both sides of the trail. A large boulder ceiling hovers over the trail in the area. Just past this point, the trail really ends, and hikers are left to explore and scramble around the hundreds of different rock formations in the area. Climbers could easily spend days exploring the sandstone formations, and still miss some of them. One of the most photographed formations in the area seems to be the Champagne Flute Hoodoo (larger Picture Above). While it is more fun to simply stumble around the area until its found, its GPS location is marked in the trail map below.

Rocktown

Even if rock climbing is not your thing, the top of most of these bluffs can be accessed with some simply scurrying somewhere.  On the last day we visited, we didn’t do any real rock climbing, but were able to access several very tall bluffs to look off. Just be careful with the crevices that often cut these rocks in half. It would be easy to misjudge a leap over one, and suffer severe injuries. Of course, one could always go the other way, and explore under these crevices, just look out for snakes, spiders, and other wildlife. I recently read about one climber who scared a bobcat in one of the rock’s holes.

Rocktown Rocktown

Rocktown RocktownRocktown

Rocktown is one of only a handful of places to explore on Pigeon Mountain. We plan to explore it all in the upcoming months, and leave details about other, lesser known trails.

Hood Overlook

It should be noted, that one of the best views in the area, can be had approximately two miles away from the Rocktown parking area. The Hood Overlook (pictured at top of article) provides an open view of the towns of Lafayette, Trion, Summerville, and even Johns Mountain and Taylor’s Ridge in the distance.

Hood Overlook
<br /> <a href=”http://www.trailguru.com/wiki/index.php/Track:BTOI” mce_href=”http://www.trailguru.com/wiki/index.php/Track:BTOI”>Rocktown Trail – Pigeon Mountain (Hiking) | Gadsden, AL 35901, USA</a><br />

Directions From Downtown Lafayette, Georgia:

VEHICLES WITH HIGH CLEARANCE ARE RECOMMENDED

1. Turn onto Highway 193 and follow for 2.7 miles.

2. Turn left onto Chamberlain Road (a brown sign with an arrow indicates this is the direction to Crockford-Pigeon Mountain WMA).

3. Turn right in 3.3 miles onto a gravel road, marked with the entrance sign.

4. Pass the Visitor’s Center, and follow the gravel road up Pigeon Mountain. Follow the road over a series of switchbacks, until there a a junction with a brown sign.

5. To the left is the Hood Overlook. Turn right towards Rocktown Junction.

6. In 1.3 miles, turn left on a dirt road marked with a Dead End sign. This road ends at the parking area (really a muddy cul-de-sac) for Rocktown. The trail is on the right corner of the parking area.

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