Hike the Appalachian Trail
Two of the greatest outdoor adventures in the world begin in Fannin County.
Both the Appalachian and Benton MacKaye Trails start at the top of Springer Mountain. There are over 300 miles of hiking trails in the area, including short trails suitable for beginning hikers and families. Try these two hikes to experience the Appalachian Trail's beginning and see beautiful Long Creek Falls. Take snacks and lots of water; the hike to Long Creek Falls from Three Forks is a 1/2 day experience by itself.
Hike to Long Creek Falls on the Appalachian Trail
From Blue Ridge, go south on Aska Road 13.5 miles to end. Turn right onto Newport Road, go 4.5 miles to end. Turn left onto Doublehead Gap Road and continue on this road about .8 miles to intersection with dirt-gravel USFS Road 58 intersecting sharply from right. Turn onto FS 58 and continue into forest and uphill 5.3 miles to Three Forks. The parking area is on the right at Noontootla Creek, a beautiful trout stream (Hiker's Crossing Sign). The trail to Long Creek Falls is on the left. Noontootla Creek is on the right as you drive. The trail to the falls starts as a gradual hike alongside Long Creek. There are three short ascents before reaching the blue blazed side trial to the falls at 1.1 miles. N 34°39.815' W084°11.053' is the trailhead fix.
Hike to Springer Mountain
This is the starting point of the Appalachian Trail on its 2,200 mile journey north to Maine. From Blue Ridge, take Aska Rd., 13.5 miles until it dead ends 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 parking area on your left. From the parking lot take the trail back across the road for a short .9 mile hike to the summit. Parking lot - N 34°38.262' W084°11.712'
Find lots more hiking adventures by downloading the maps below.
Be prepared for wilderness and carry the 10 Essentials (wiki or Google it). See the USFS web site at www.fs.fed.us/conf/. The law of the forest is “leave no trace”. See www.LNT.org for info. Please pack in all you will need and pack out all your trash. If you build a fire, never leave it unattended. Use good judgment when hiking, particularly around waterfalls where rocks are often wet, moss covered and slippery. If hiking during hunting season, wear a brightly colored vest. Please respect our precious natural resources.