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Trail is tough. Not super crowded. No views, but beautiful area. Summer growth is over taking trail in places.

Gorgeous trail with a great rest stop at the inn, in which you can book a night

We did this trail and absolutely loved it. My kids 10& 12 rocked it but there are places that are a little scary. During the first mile, there is a picturesque area with big rocks and and a mountain stream to take pictures and play in the water. As you wind your way up, it gets harder and becomes very steep. We climbed through rocky, dense tree areas and then reached the peak by climbing up man-made ladders onto boulders. Several trails merge so it was a bit crowded at the top. Beautiful views! One of our favorite family hikes!

I've been away from hiking for a few years but I've recently retired and moved to the north Georgia mountains and plan to do a lot more hiking now. This hike is my first Georgia peak in the Georgia 4000 Challenge. It was a pretty easy summit, trail to the top and only 2 miles (one way). Trip reports indicate great views, and there were some, but I would recommend this mountain in the fall for the colors or in the winter for the best views. We started at the state maintained parking lot, 1/4 mile north of Mountain Crossings. The way up starts on Byron Reese Trail. There is a plaque with a poem from Bryon near the start, but I think Mr. Reese is more famous for his peanut butter cups than his poetry :-). The Bryon Reese Trail connects to the white blazed Appalachian Trail about 7/10th of mile up the mountain and you can just follow the AT to the top. You'll see a USGS Benchmark in a rock at the top.

loved the views. Truly worth the drive. Would like to go in fall and even start over night.

Views are beautiful and it’s very peaceful at the top. Like others have said, it’s not much of a “hike” it’s more of a walk to the top, take in the scenery and head back to the bottom. All and all tho, it’s definitely beautiful up there.

Some steps, some switchbacks but generally a moderate climb. The parking lot leads down a winding trail for over a mile, so the return was a bit tougher than usual out and back climbs. Pack a jacket for the gusty stuff up top.

This is not a hike it’s short and beyond easy. The 8 mile drive up the mountain is more eventful than the “hike”.

There is are fantastic views at the summit and great sunsets, but good luck enjoying them. Due to the simplicity of the “hike” there will be tons of people at the summit to provide you with a relaxing atmosphere of pizza, loud music, and obnoxiously loud laughing and screaming. If you’re looking for relaxation and a peaceful evening then skip this one

Diverse and beautiful hike with a glorious view at the summit. Took us 5.5 hours up and back. Not a trail for those with balance or knee issues- parts of the trail flooded very quickly in the rain, and wooden steps and rock scrambles became very slippery - but would happily do it again!

I’ll give it middle of the road, if you like hiking or what to see what it’s like on parts of the AT this is a good place. There’s not any overlooks past the Bear trail and no waterfalls but for pure hiking this is still fun. Our family enjoyed it.

We did the full loop, clockwise, in just under 5 hours. I’ll give it three stars because no matter what, it’s still in beautiful north Georgia. Downsides include lots of road noise, major overgrowth (at times I couldn’t see my feet and the growth was above my waist), pretty much zero scenic lookouts in the summer, and bears. There was one loose at the camp site when I started the hike and I’ve noticed a common theme in these reviews.

Nice trail. Very beautiful, plenty of water splashes, counterclockwise makes for a reasonably easy hike with enough difficulty to be interesting. Mileage will be more than the 3.7 indicated, we logged 5.1 miles from the trailhead, including the approach and a little less than .5 total for the overlook offshoot. We are a bunch of out-of-shape 30 somethings and we managed the whole loop in about 2:45 including a couple of rest stops and photo ops. A few portions of this trail are on very old, disused road beds (probably not used in 50 years or more) which made for nice breaks from the climbs. My only complaint was that the intersection with the Coosa is a little confusing, and is not portrayed well on the official park map.

Started on the right side behind the visitor's lodge and hiked up, then took the steps back down. Highly recommend going in the morning before it gets hot and people start flowing in! We were finished around noon (on a Sunday) and the steps were packed with people on our way down. Also as a previous review stated please do not take your dog on the steps! There are so many other ways up or down that are less painful for them.

The trail is actually 8.5 miles (Website), and challenging beginners. We missed the right turn on Duncan Ridge trail and made a right on a blue trail walking a mile in a half off trail to Bird Gap. We had to turnaround to get back on course. Loved the hike, I would do it again, but taking my time not to missed the right turn.

hiking
19 days ago

Great trail! Beautiful view! Super helpful staff.

Did in November and was a challenge then counter clockwise and was even more challenging in the summer clockwise!

We did run into a few bear cubs, but nothing major and was safe hanging in a plastic bag unexpectedly spending the night on trail!

I love this track. It’s a great challenge and wonderful workout! I have been able to complete counter clockwise in one day, but clockwise always catches me a few miles short for a one day completion. I’ll get there!

My main reason for setting camp was the downpour and being out of water after the Duncan ridge split. Clockwise, it was straight up!

Heard the thunder threatening, and booked it to a camp site I’ve stayed beforehand re and knew water is close. Hunkered down for the rain in the hammock. Once it moved on, came out for a nice fire since we covered the firewood and a warm mountain house meal!

Tried to catch some rest, but after the storm and out location in hammocks, the breeze was a bit chill. May have slept 3 hours. Got up, warmed by a nice fire, mountain house meal for breakfast and come coffee. A few miles and we were off the trail.

We parked in an intersecting road and tapped the tail from there. Much recommend if you want the “free feeling.” Not as in not paying out park fees, but able to do what you like. We entered a great spot to start our trip.

Great track! Get out and hit it! It’s a great conditioning run!

Great hike with classic Appalachian beauty: big rhododendrons, views of rolling blue-green hills, ferns, a lovely creek, and large flat boulders at the top. The trail was nice in most places, with patches of slippery rocks and roots. I was visiting NC from my home in WA state and this was a great "bang-for-your-buck" hike to experience this area.

Based on other reviews I thought it would be more difficult. Although it wasn't exactly easy, I made it to the top in 2 hours, but maybe it's because I'm fortunate to be able to hike hilly trails a couple of days a week at home. When I got to the top there were patches of clouds blowing in and out, so there were only partial views, but it was still worth it to hike through the lovely green forest. All in all, maybe not for the out-of-shape or new hiker, but if you are an avid hiker, it's not too bad. :)

backpacking
24 days ago

Just finished an overnight on this loop. Last nights highlights:

-torrential rain, has a rain forest jungly feel
-trails are clear but lots of growth hanging over and slapping my bare legs, i recommend long pants unless you like thousands of plants slapping your ankles. i was astounded i had no poison ivy rash or any issues though so the plants on this trail are not mean
-i rounded a corner and surprised a black bear on the trail..fortunately he panicked first and sprinted down hill so fast he started tumbling
-lots of climbing and elevation(for georgia) 4200 ft. that means cooler air and a nice sleep if you camp above 3500
-not stunningly scenic but a great workout loop. you should be in decent shape or the climbing might get old
-personal pet peeve with this trail is hearing highway noise while in my tent. i like hearing owls, crickets, and running water when im in my tent. maybe it was where i camped.

This trail was the first trail that I ever went on; it made me fall in love with hiking.

More painful than Standing Indian.

I was told how fantastic that place was, and drove about 2hours for it. I will admit I was a bit dissappointed. If you are around, sure do it! But otherwise...

backpacking
28 days ago

Beautiful trail covered with Oak trees and palmettos. Took the main road up to my campsite at Hickory Hill, then Parallel Trail back down to the dock... much more pleasurable than the main road! Went in July so it was pretty hot, and the mosquitoes were horrible. Bring extra repellent.

Great trail. It's (now) well-marked with green diamonds. Make sure to take the Vogel overlook turn off at the top of the ridge. It's a short (.2-ish) loop back to the main trail and you'll be in for a treat with a view of the lake at Vogel State Park. The trail is fun, with varied terrain. Our GPS said the mileage was a bit more than stated here, but I imagine it depends on where you start charting.

Great short loop. Beware if you have seasonal allergies, they will flare up!

Very rocky. Not suitable for dogs. It was cloudy/foggy but had some amazing areas/overlook places. Overall a very amazing trail!

hiking
1 month ago

The hike followed nice, clear trail. A few downed trees along the path.

Max Patch is one of my absolute favorite hikes! The views are incredible any time of the year. My favorite time to visit if for the sunset/sunrise! It is a fairly easy hike, suitable for all ages!

Great trail, very rough climb on the way back. Saw a black bear around mile 4.4 so keep a look, apparently he likes to stay around those parts. Nice campsites all over the trail (obviously, it’s the AT!) Great intermediate backpacking trail.

Did this hike the other day and it was spectacular! The hike itself is really short and easy - there were a few families up there with some little kids. The 360-degree views were stunning and you could see for miles! It was about an hour’s drive to get there, but it was absolutely worth it!

backpacking
1 month ago

First things - We did not hike the entire trail. We only hiked to Earl's Ford (it was my daughters first backpacking trip and we wanted to keep it light.

I guess I was just hoping for more highlights. We thought a lunch at Earls Ford would be nice - play in the water and then work our way back... Earls Ford is beautiful and would be a perfect picnic spot, except for the car campers and ORV folks. Lots of trash and trucks.

The trail isn't used much by hikers - we saw 1 hiker over the past 2 days. The campsites are large, but nothing too exceptional, and they seem to be spaced out ever 3 miles or so. There were a few sections with lots of horse traffic (although marked as hikers only), and the spiders are plentiful.

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