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Tag: Fort Mountain State Park

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain State Park

by JP on Jan.31, 2009, under Georgia Hiking Trails

Big Rock Nature Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 0.75 Miles

Blaze: Yellow

Big Rock Nature Trail in Fort Mountain State Park is perhaps my favorite short loop trail in Northwestern Georgia. This trail has almost everything, a great hike, two babbling creeks, wonderful overlooks, and cascading falls.

The Big Rock Nature Trail begins just past the road crossing the lake. Parking for the trail is in a gravel area to the left of the trail.

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Don’t let the beginning of the trail discourage as it does not look like much, as it is somewhat muddy, and crosses under a section of power lines, but shortly after continuing down this hill, the hiker will enter a section of deeper forest where the trail really begins to become enjoyable.

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Follow the Yellow blazed trail down the pathway for a few hundred yards where it will begin to run parallel to a babbling creek, and intersects the the much longer Gahuti Trail at a wooden bridge marked with Orange Blazes.IMG_1987 IMG_1988

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The trail does not cross the bridge, instead, follow the trail to the right. Although I do recommend standing on the bridge as the creek runs underneath, as the forest opens a bit for a beautiful overlook.

The trail then descends farther into the mountain hollow before turning back up the mountain ridge as a Yellow and Orange Blaze (marking Gahuti and Big Rock Nature Trail). This ridge provides some wonderful overlooks.

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

As the trail bends back around the ridge, it will meet up with Gold Mine Creek.

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Gold Mine Creek cascades down the mountain ridge. The Creek provides some beautiful views of cascading waterfalls as it runs towards the hiker. Hike up largest section of the cascades, and don’t forget to look backwards now and again for overlooks.

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

At the top of the trail, Gahuti and Big Rock separate. Gahuti crosses over the creek via a bridge, Big Rock continues back up the mountain. The trail leaves the forest at the base of a dam blocking the lake.

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

At the base of the dam, there is also small birding area with signs indicating some of the local birds in the area. The trail ends back at the road that crosses the lake.

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort MountainBig Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Nearby Trails:

Old Fort Trail - 1.1 miles

Gahuti Trail - 8.8 miles

Lake Trail - 1.2 mile loop

301 Biking Trail - 14.6 mile loop

Gold Mine Loop Biking Trail - 6.3 miles

Directions:

1. Follow I-75 to exit # 333 towards 411

2. Take GA Hwy. 52 8 miles past Chatsworth onto Fort Mountain

3. Turn left onto park entrance.

4. Once in park, turn left towards the lake, and follow to the right of the trail, cross the dam.

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Fort Mountain State Park - Old Fort Trails

by JP on Jan.14, 2009, under Georgia Hiking Trails, Hiking Trails

Panoramic Fort Mountain Overlook

Length: Slightly over 1.1 miles

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Blazes: Red, Blue, Yellow

The Old Fort Trails at Fort Mountain State Park is a combination of three trails that are in the same area, and can be made into a few different combinations of hiking loops.

Each trail has its own unique features and benefits, and as such, I will cover each individually, then discuss the path I believe provides for a great combination loop.

The trails that make up the Old Fort Trails are the CCC Stone Tower Trail, the West Overlook Trail, and the Stone Wall Trail.

Stone Wall Trailhead - Fort Mountain Stone Tower Trail Red Blaze - Fort Mountain

To begin this hike, I suggest starting with the CCC Stone Tower Trail that is an uphill climb which will first arrive at the Stone Wall.

The CCC Stone Tower trail head begins near the parking area. The trail head starts with a red blaze, and slowly climbs up a rocky path.

Fort Mountain

This path is made up of several rocky staircases and is an easy to moderate climb.

Fort Mountain - Tower Trail

Fort Mountain - Tower Trail Fort Mountain - Tower Trail

Fort Mountain - Tower Trail

Approximately halfway up the CCC Stone Tower Trail the hiker will intersect the Stone Wall Trail. This is where I suggest the first detour.

Stone Wall Fort Mountain Stone Wall - Fort Mountain Fort Mountain Steps

Fort Mountain Fort Mountain

Instead of continuing along the CCC Stone Tower trail, climb to the top of the rocky wall, and read the marker about the legend of the Moon People and about some interesting theories on the creation of the stone wall. From here, take a right down the Stone Wall Trail.

Fort Mountain Stone Wall

Fort Mountain Stone Wall Fort Mountain Stone Wall Fort Mountain Stone Wall

Fort Mountain Stone Wall Fort Mountain Stone Wall

This trail runs parallel to the mystery stone wall. Along this trail, one can seeĀ  the true extent of this wall, and some of its more unique features, the “love” nests that periodically dot the wall. These nests, like the wall itself are a bit of a mystery, and only local legends can be relied on as to their reason for existence.

Take in one of Georgia’s interesting mysteries as you follow along the blue blazed trail. At the end of the Trail, the trail will again intersect a portion of the CCC Stone Tower Trail.

This time take a left and return onto the CCC Stone Tower Trail, marked by a red blaze.

KeepĀ  your eyes open in these forest, last time I hiked here, I was surprised to find two white tail dear grazing in these woods. They apparently had little fear of hikers, as they never darted off (although I did keep my distance).

CCC Tower Trail - Fort Mountain

CCC Stone Tower Trail -Fort Mountain

Continue down this trail and you will reach the park’s namesake Tower. This large stone tower is an interesting site, and one can enter the bottom of it, although the top is chained off and boarded up.

CCC Tower - Fort Mountain

Take a look around the Tower, or take a seat on one of the near park benches for a short rest.

Once finished enjoying the Tower, head straight across the opening from where you entered the area. The red blazes will continue for a short time before turning into yellow blazes as you begin a descent towards the West Overlook.

Western Overlook  - Fort Mountain Western Overlook - Fort Mountain Western Overlook - Fort Mountain

Western Overlook Trail - Fort Mountain Western Overlook Trail - Fort Mountain

The West Overlook is at the end of several sets of stairs. Once your arrive at the Overlook, you will be able to see a 180 degree, unobstructed view for miles. of the Chattahoochee National Forest and Chatsworth, Georgia.

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Western Overlook - Fort MountainWestern Overlook - Fort Mountain

Western Overlook - Fort Mountain Western Overlook - Fort Mountain

This may be one of the best overlooks in all of Georgia, mainly due to the face that there is little to nothing obstructing the views.Be careful while on the Overlook, however, the wind can get pretty hard up there.

Once finished with the Overlook, proceed back up the first set of steps, and notice a large boulder marked with a red blaze on your right. Follow along this ridge until it intersects back up with the West Overlook Trail (yellow blaze).

Western Overlook Trail - Fort Mountain Western Overlook Trail - Fort Mountain

Follow back along this ridge and enjoy the boulders in the area, including the other end end of the Stone Wall, This last portion of the Overlook Trail provides for some additional views of the Chattahoochee National Forest area.

Western Overlook Trail - Fort Mountain Western Overlook Trail - Fort Mountain Western Overlook Trail - Fort Mountain

Western Overlook Trail - Fort Mountain Western Overlook Trail - Fort Mountain Western Overlook Trail - Fort Mountain

Western Overlook Trail - Fort Mountain

The trails ends in the parking area close to where you started this hike.

Old Fort Trails - Fort Mountain Picnic Area

Nearby Trails:

Big Rock Trail - 0.5 miles

Gahuti Trail - 8.8 miles

Lake Trail - 1.2 mile loop

301 Biking Trail - 14.6 mile loop

Gold Mine Loop Biking Trail - 6.3 miles

Directions:

1. Follow I-75 to exit # 333 towards 411

2. Take GA Hwy. 52 8 miles past Chatsworth onto Fort Mountain

3. Turn left onto park entrance.

4. Once in park, Stay straight, and keep right towards Old Fort (not towards Lake area).

Fort Mountain State Park

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