Nestled amidst the scenic North Georgia Mountains, surrounded by lush forest, pristine rivers, rushing waterfalls and sparkling lakes, the town of Ellijay is the perfect base to explore the network of miles of hiking and biking trails through unspoiled mountain beauty and sublime panoramic views.
Springer Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest is world-famous as the start of the Appalachian Trail. The longest hiking-only footpath in the world, the Appalachian Trail is 2,190-miles long traversing through 14 states. Explore this trail on shorter hikes from Ellijay, set off on a 4.9-mile hike to Raven Cliffs Falls cascading through the cliff sides or the shorter 1.9-mile hike from Springer Mountain to the rushing Long Creek Falls. The Appalachian Trail has the perfect hike for each of its explorers. Another trail from Springer Mountain is the Benton MacKaye Trail, extending 288-miles through the rugged and remote Appalachian Mountain to the Cohutta Wilderness. At the Three Forks, veer off onto the Duncan Ridge Trail winding through the remote forest to the Swinging Bridge crossing over the Toccoa River.
The Cohutta Wilderness Area is 60 square miles of rugged mountain terrain home to an extensive 95-mile trail system with several loop hikes and footpaths through fields of vibrant flowers, rocky gorges and along the Conasauga and Jacks River, two of Georgia’s richest trout streams. Access the Cohutta Wilderness at the Lake Conasauga Recreation Area, watch the weather forecasts for raging waters and be prepared to get your feet wet!
There are many trailheads and access points along this trail system offering several one-way and loop hikes. The Emery Creek Trail is a beautiful 6-mile trail along the Jack’s River Falls Trail that crosses the creek through the primitive and scenic Cohutta Forest to the gorgeous and secluded Emery Creek Falls near Blue Ridge, to then cool off in the calm pool of water. A couple of trails accessible from this access area are the 13-mile Conasauga River Trail along an old railroad through large hemlock trees, climb Bald Mountain on the strenuous 3.2-mile Tearbritches Trail or head to the Jacks River Falls on the difficult 16.7-mile Jacks River Trail that crosses the river 42 times! The Pinhoti Trail, one of the crown jewels of North Georgia starts just west of Blue Ridge intersecting with the Benton MacKaye Trail in the Cohutta Mountains, extending 335-miles southwest to Weogufka in East Central Alabama. There is a split in this trail to Bear Creek Trail, home to the second largest living tree in Georgia, the Gannett Poplar.
Mountain Memories Cabins has the perfect cabin rental from which to make mountain memories and wishes you happy trails in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia.
Photo Credit: Martin Lopatka via Flickr