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The Appalachian Trail Starts Here
Beginning of the 2,000+ mile trek to Maine's Mount Katahdin
Springer Mountain in southern Fannin County is the start of a 2,000+ mile trek to Maine's Mount Katahdin known as the Appalachian Trail. As the trail follows the eastern ridge of the Appalachian Mountains it passes through 14 states, and although the slogan is "Maine to Georgia," most people hike the trail the other way, Georgia to Maine. Georgia's mild climate plays a role in this, since hikers like to start the 6 month trek in April. Another reason: the toughest part of the trail, in New Hampshire and Maine is saved for last, when hikers are in condition to handle it.
Georgia has nearly eighty miles of the AT running from Springer Mountain on the Fannin-Gilmer line to Bly Gap, where the trail enters North Carolina. Some excellent backpacking adventures await those who decide to hike the Georgia portion of this National Scenic Trail.
Access to the starting point of the Appalachian Trail is in southern Fannin County at Springer Mountain. From Blue Ridge, take Aska Road 13.5 miles until it deadends into Newport Road. Turn right on Newport Road, go 4.5 miles until it dead ends into Doublehead Gap. Turn right on Doublehead Gap and go 2 miles to FS Road 42 (on the left). Turn left and go approximately 6.5 to 7 miles to the parking area on your left. A short hike from the parking lot (across the street) leads to the summit.
A junction of the Appalachian Trail and Benton MacKaye Trail, located on FS Road 58 on Noontootla Creek. You can also start a 3.7 mile hike to Springer Mountain from Three Forks. From Blue Ridge, go south on Aska Road to the end. Turn right onto Newport Road, go 4.5 miles to end. Turn left onto Doublehead Gap Road, cross a concrete bridge and come to a gravel/dirt road. Follow the gravel roada .3 miles to the intersection of FS Road 58, sharply on the right. Turn right into the forest and uphill 5.3 miles to Three Forks.
Long Creek Falls
Access the trail to Long Creek Falls across the road from the parking area at Three Forks. There is a gradual hike alongside Long Creek, with three short ascents before reaching the blue blazed side trail to the falls at 1.1 miles.
There are three day-use parking areas covering the Fannin County section of the Appalachian Trail, two on FS 42 (Springer Mountain and Hightower Gap) and on FS 58 at Three Forks.
Outdoor Adventures Hiking Access Points