The Appalachian Trail is a continuously marked trail 2,135 miles long from Katahdin Mountain in Maine to Springer Mountain near Dahlonega in Georgia. Thirty miles of the Appalachian Trail run along the northern border of Lumpkin County of which Dahlonega is the county seat.
The bronze marker shown at the right marks the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The Marker was placed by the Georgia Appalachian Club.
For more information, visit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
The Appalachian Trail is marked for travel in both directions with white paint blazes two inches wide and six inches high. In some areas, diamond shaped metal signs or stone cairns mark the trail.
Access to the trail in the Dahlonega area
The Appalachian Trail can be accessed from paved state highways at Neels Gap on U. S. Highway 19 and Woodys Gap on Ga. Highway 60. Gravel surfaced National Forest roads provide access to the trail at Gooch Gap, Cooper Gap, Hightower Gap, Three Forks area and Springer Mountain parking lot. A General Highway Map of Lumpkin County that shows all roads (including paved roads and gravel surfaced roads) may be obtained from the Georgia Department of Transportation. U.S. Geological Survey topo-graphical maps that cover the Appalachian Trail in the Dahlonega Area may be obtained from the State of Georgia or many outdoor sporting goods stores. A Chattahoochee National Forest map showing the AT and Forest Service roads can be purchased at the U. S. Forest Service Visitor Center in Dahlonega.
From the Springer Mountain parking lot a moderate hike south 0.9 miles on the AT brings you to the Summit of Springer Mountain.
A pretty and relatively easy walk of 3.1 miles from the parking area where the AT intersects FS 42 described above to the Three Forks area and FS 58. This walk after a few up hill stretches descends gradually on an old logging road along Stover Creek through a forest of hemlocks, white pine and rhododendron. Stover Creek, Long Creek and Chester Creek meet at Three Forks to form the Noontootla Creek.
Long Creek Falls
A one mile hike north on the AT from the Three Forks area leads to Long Creek Falls which is worth the additional hike.
Gooch Gap to Woody Gap
A relatively level hike of 3.5 miles with some scenic views. Shuttling is required. Gooch Gap can be reached by FS 42-2 which turns off Hwy. 60 at Tritt's store in Suches. Woody Gap is 15 miles North of Dahlonega on Hwy. 60 and just a short distance from Tritt's store.
Woody Gap to Neels Gap
This is a more strenuous but pleasant hike of about 11 miles. Good views from Big Cedar Mountain (3737 ft. elev.) near Woody Gap and spectacular views in all directions can be had from Blood Mountain (4461 ft. elev.). A 2-room stone shelter near the summit of Blood Mountain was built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The Walasi-Yi Inn at Neels Gap has hiking and camping supplies as well as rest rooms and showers.
Lake Winfield Scott to Blood Mountain
There are two trails from Lake Winfield Scott which can be taken to Blood Mountain. The Jarrard Gap Trail which is 1 mile to the AT and The Slaughter Gap Trail which is 2.7 Miles to the AT. From Slaughter Gap to Blood Mountain is about 1 mile. So a nice loop from Lake Winfield Scott to Blood Mountain and return is to take the Slaughter Gap trail to the AT and then to Blood Mountain (3.7 miles) and return via the AT and the Jarrard Gap Trail (3.8 miles). Lake Winfield Scott is 22 miles from Dahlonega via Hwy. 60 and Hwy. 180 at Suches. For more specific information about the AT in the Dahlonega area visit the Appalachian Trail site on these pages and for more general information visit the Appalachian Trail Home Page.