The Georgia Pinhoti

This site has expanded much since I began a 'small' trail guide to share the Pinhoti with others. Most of the inspiration for the different features come to me while on the trail. However, my part in the dream of the Pinhoti being part of a larger entity - the East Coast Trail - covering the entire east coast of North America was inspired mostly by the Wanderlust Nomad. The East Coast Trail is a 4400 mile network of trails and an occasional road walk that connect Key West to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in New Brunswick. Currently the connection from the Florida Trail to the Appalachian Trail has the most gaps in it, including about 200 miles on the road to the Alabama Pinhoti and another 80 miles or so on the road where the Georgia Pinhoti is not yet complete. This section of trail is a work in progress.

Although information on the Georgia Pinhoti is hard to come by, I believe what I'm presenting here to be up to date and accurate. It is however second hand reports since I have not yet been able to get up to North Georgia to hike these sections of trail. Currently the Georgia Pinhoti including the road walks is about 155 miles, 60 miles of which is on the trail. The trail inside the national forests is pretty much done. The trail outside the national forests is being completed by the Georgia Pinhoti Trail Association and is still a long ways from done. Much of the trail, outside the National Forest, is part of the Rail-to-Trail network and is multi-use trail on old rail road beds.

I'm providing a number of pieces of information here. First is a guide from the Alabama Pinhoti to the AT written by Marty Dominy, dated October of 1999. This guide lists mileage, land marks, and camping sites. It is split up by days, suggesting 8 - 11 miles per day, suggesting 23 days from the GA line to the AT. My goal is also to provide maps for the trail and the road walk in GA. I currently have copied topo maps with the trail/road walk hand drawn in by Nomad. My goal is to have these maps traced into MapTech some time in June. At that point the maps and track will be posted to the web site for download. Finally, I'm detailing as much of the trail as I can based on Marty's description and Nomad's maps and trail journal.

 

Marty's Trail Guide (In Rich Text Format)

 

Trail Maps:

These are large hand drawn maps, meant only to aid you in finding the trail. The maps are scanned in and not yet field verified.

High Point Trailhead to Hammond Gap in three sections. Section 1. Section 2. Section 3.

Pilcher Pond to Dug Gap in three sections. Section 1. Section 2. Section 3.

 

Trail Descriptions:

Simms Mountain Rail Trail.

The first completed section of the Georgia Pinhoti, this 5 mile rail trail (will be over 7 miles when complete) is maintained by the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority. The trail starts about 10 miles west of Rome GA, take 20 west, turn right on Huffaker Road for a couple miles to the trail. At some point the trail is no longer completed. When the trail ends, follow 100 north a few miles to the High Point Trailhead and the start of the trail in the national forest.

High Point Trailhead to Hammond Gap.

It appears as though 17 miles of trail is constructed here. From the trailhead climb about 800 feet up to High Point and then follow Taylor ridge for about 8 1/2 miles to Mack White Gap. Nomad notes that this section of trail is quite beautiful allowing for views on both sides of the ridge. At Mack White Gap the trail crosses US 27 and apparently continues for another 8 1/2 miles on the other side (note, this section was not completed in 1998 but apparently has now been finished). At the end of this section the trail follows forest service roads through Hammond Gap. Directly after the gap is another 1.6 miles of trail. From here it is over 15 miles of paved and logging road walks to the Johns Mountain Trail. Maps of this section are available above.

Johns Mountain.

The Pinhoti follows Johns Mountain trail and the Keown Falls loop trail for just a couple of miles down the entrance of Keown Falls. Johns Mountain trail is a 3.7 mile loop and the Keowen Falls trail is a 1.8 mile loop. Camping is available at Keown Falls. The GA Pinhoti continues from a trailhead east of the road to Keown Falls.

Pilcher Pond to Dug Gap.

This appears to be a complete 22 mile section of trail in the National Forest. There is a trailhead with parking at Pilcher Pond across from Keown Falls, And another just over 6 miles down the trail at GA 136. From Pilcher Pond the trail heads up Horn Mountain and then down to Snake Creek Gap. After crossing GA 136 the trail heads 16 miles up Mill Creek Mountain, down and up Middle Mountain, and follows Hurricane Mountain over to Rocky Face Mountain. Here the trail ends at Dug Gap. (Note, some sections of the trail here were incomplete during Nomad's hike, I have yet to field verify the existence of all this trail). Nomad also reports that there are some great views in this area.

This is the last section of complete trail, for a total of just under 50 miles. From here the trail will eventually wind its way through the Cohuttas - a very beautiful wilderness area - to the Benton MacKaye Trail, which connects 65 miles south to Springer Mountain. 

This site is sponsored by the Alabama Hiking Trail Society.  We hope you find the information useful and will consider supporting the AHTS. 

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Last Updated: April 2003

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