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Hiked from Brasstown Bald to Trackrock Gap! Being a senior citizen (70) & “flatlander” (Louisiana), I thought I’d try the predominantly downhill trail first! Look forward to going back later in the fall for more great views! Other reviewers mentioned the tough “uphill” from Trackrock at the beginning, but it wasn’t a picnic for these tired old knees going downhill either! Very little water so better pack yours in! Definitely take hiking sticks! Lifesavers! 3 1/2 hours! Not bad for an old guy! Hike on!

hiking
7 days ago

Not the most scenic route until you get to the end but good exercise. Overall I think it rates easy but there are a few elevation changes that are some work. I did it in under three hours with a 20 minute lunch break and some water/picture breaks. I would recommend having a walking stick or grabbing one from the trail, mine saved me from walking through at least three banana spider webs! Much of the first mile is a sandy creek bed so be aware it’ll be wet, especially after it rains.

Awesome hike! I loved this so much. The hike up to Blood Mt. summit wasn’t too bad and the trail is well marked for the most part (although I did get turn around at some points) and the view from the top as incredible. The Freeman loop was not as fun. It is very rocky and you have to watch your footing while also watching out for spider webs. I ran into some hugggeeee spiders, which was not ideal. Good news is that if you go soon, I already cleared them out for you! Most definitely would hike again!

Just a heads up: the trailhead is on the opposite side of the road from the parking lot. Don't make the mistake I made, and take the game trail in front of the parking lot.

Did this yesterday. Beautiful day, beautiful hike. Not for amateurs. I expected the Freeman’s Loop portion to be easier than it was. Very rocky. Some people brought dogs but I think my dog (who is great on some hikes) would have struggled.

This is a great trail. We started from the Springer Mountain parking lot instead of 3 Forks because of the road conditions at 3 Forks. I would recommend going to Long Creek falls when doing this section, it's only a mile past 3 Forks and well worth it. Have fun.

Did his about a week ago and had the best time ever! We should’ve stayed up top and just played around. The views were beautiful and the old shelter was cool (can’t wait to see what my fiend wrote on our next visit).

Very solid and well maintained trail. I'd recommend using Guthook's Guide as well as AllTrails app since you are walking the AT for most of this loop. It'll help with planning your water stops. Finished the trail in 2 days, but I'd recommend 3 if you want to have a more casual time. The shelters and sites are spaced pretty well if you'd rather average 8-9 miles a day.

I headed counter-clockwise down the Kimsey Creek trail first. It was bit overgrown and there were several blowdowns for the first half mile or so, but as long as you are paying attention you shouldn't have any issues. This portion follows and cuts across streams almost constantly so you will have no problem with water. I'd suggest filling up before heading up to Standing Indian mountain though, just in case.

After Carter Gap shelter, it's pretty much smooth sailing until a couple miles before the Long Branch junction. On my trip, there was a massive blowdown fully blocking the trail. I climbed over the tree, but I would 100% recommend that you try to squeeze under it or maybe hike up the mountain a bit to walk around it. It had rained earlier that day and everything was slippery.

If you are heading NOBO, the hike up Albert Mountain is pretty intense. It's half stairs, half rock climbing. There is a bypass you can use which follows a forestry service road for a bit and reconnects on the other side. It took me roughly 30 mins to climb the 0.3 mi from the base to the fire tower. I hiked this part after it rained, and the rocks were pretty slippery. You can always do the bypass then just hike SOBO up to the tower.

hiking
16 days ago

This is a good walk, but not my favorite. It's helpful because at least 4 or 5 trail heads sit ON this loop. But, as a stand alone, it's only worth it for the mountain shots across the lake and there's lake activities you can get into. It's not my favorite because the begining of the loop, you have to walk past secluded cabins, right next to the road just to get to the trail head. Which defeats the whole purpose of a nature walk. There's also a water recycle plant right on the loop, so it smells terrible when you're close in proximity to it

hiking
18 days ago

Great trail even with all the leaves on the trees. That said, I plan to re-hike this great trail this winter. Started the hike from the Trailhead at Trackrock Gap. About the first 1.5 miles, I didn't find it brutal at all. It was a steady climb with a number of switch backs and never really leveled off until the ridgeline was gained. I'm not a particularly fast hiker and average just a little over 2mph including photo stops and short bushwhacks (like Locust Log Ridge and Chimneytop). As I write this, I am a couple weeks short of 64. Don't let some of the negative comments about the first 1.5 miles of the trail scare you away. It is a fantastic trail. Once I hit the Brasstown Bald parking lot (huge) I headed to the end and took Wolfpen Ridge Trail to the peak of Wolfpen Ridge (South) and a little beyond then I turned around and went back to the Brasstown Bald parking (the other end) and took the paved trail to the top. At the Visitor's Center (top of the mountain) I asked an attendant where the official top of the mountain was. She took me out to the breezeway between the Visitor Center and the Theater where she unlocked a door that had a stairway leading down (basement?) on the very top step she pointed to a USGS Benchmark. I took a picture of the BM and put my foot on it. Returning to the parking lot I used a two car shuttle to return to my parked car at Trackrock Gap. Great hike.

Started this trail from the Cooper's Gap side. Please be aware the Cooper's Gap dirt road that leads to Three Forks is extremely bumpy and rough. GPS and map didn't show that so it was unexpected. We were on it for 45 mins in a subaru so we felt it all and the car was struggling at a certain point. Highly encourage to either use an suv or jeep if not try to access from the other dirt road which is only about 9 miles and in better conditions. Three Forks was a well kept trail with an elevation gain of 1,173 feet up to Springer Mountain's Summit. Once you pass the Springer Mountain parking lot get ready for an uphill rocky trail hike. Overall beautiful and moderate hike. It was my first time backpacking so I struggled in the rocky section.

This is a good day hike that just about anyone can do. Owens lookout was pretty impressive. I would recommend going all the way to the Springer summit. It's less than half a mile.

hiking
27 days ago

The sweet lady at the ranger station informed me that I would take over 4 hours to do this trail. I absolutely surprised her when I was done in 2.5 but I did also hike the trail backwards. even on a dry day it will be super wet and certain areas. you actually end up walking in part of a very shallow creek. it was very enjoyable majority of it is wooded but for about 1 mile is very scenic.

hiking
27 days ago

I recommend taking a short detour off this loop to the AT terminus at top of the mountain. Fun photo op at the AT marker, can sign the log [composition book], and enjoy a nice overlook. Tip: Some of the forest service dirt roads are for high clearance vehicles only. Check out their maps to choose the best access for you. Even some of the roads marked for passenger vehicles might not be suitable for sedans that are low to the ground - due to potholes. https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/conf/maps-pubs

hiking
28 days ago

Brett below is right about the first 1.7 miles. It's a tough start! There are other uphill portions too, but none that difficult. Still, if you have enough water, it's doable. Some of the more level bits in the middle offer some through-the-trees views of other mountains, and other parts wind through classic Appalachian hollows. The "last" section (before you turn around) starts at the ranger station and has you walk up a steep paved path to the highest point in Georgia: Brasstown Bald. There should be some spectacular views if it isn't hazy. That portion is accessible by car, and so you'll be joined by some more casual hikers. There's also a visitor center up there.

Trail is dog friendly, although there is no water except the fountains and vending at the ranger station.

It was a beautiful day for an awesome hike!

Prefer to go up AT and return via Freeman Trail to avoid the crowds coming up. Freeman is usually empty.

This trail is no joke. View at the summit is absolutely worth it.

It’s a trail by a river and miles of it, it’s alright.

hiking
1 month ago

The lake, view, and waterfall are beautiful. However, the hike is not very rewarding. It is very short, you are always close to a road and traffic, and the waterfall is close to a water treatment facility. You are never more than a few yards away from very loud mechanical noise that feels out of place in the beautiful area.

hiking
1 month ago

The trailhead was a little tricky to find, maybe because my directions left out the final turn onto Blackhawk road, new map got us there. Blackhawk is a rutted dirt road with several berms added for erosion. There is a creek crossing suitable for a car, and another that requires a 4x4. We parked our car just before the second crossing and walked in. After crossing the creek take the right fork in the road. Trail head is a logging road across Curtis Creek.. First couple miles follows the logging road, mostly sticking by the creek. Last section follows many smaller falls up to the main falls and around to the top. Very nice falls. Lots of slippery steep trail to get you dirty at the climbing portion of the trail. Very nice! We took our time, hung out, were in and out in 3.5 hours. Could be done much quicker. Several creek crossings, feet will get wet.

This was such a fun trail with multiple beautiful overlooks at the top. Most people turn left onto the AT when they make it to the intersection and are met with a steep incline and tons of rocks, but if you curve to the right and continue onto Byron Reese, you will have a slow and much more doable incline. We did this and thought the trail was fairly easy because of it. Wear good shoes and socks! The trail is so rocky.

This was a great day hike. We accessed the trail from the Springer Mountain parking lot for the Appalachian Trail, south of the loop, and hiked up the AT to the junction of the AT and the Benton Mackaye Trails. The drive up to the lot took a while, but the road was well-maintained and no problem for a little Hyundai.
The trails are clearly marked - white rectangles for the AT and white diamonds for the BMT. There is enough elevation and stream crossings via rocks or bridges to give you a work out, but nothing super steep or difficult to travel. There are a few spots where a trail turn could be missed, but as long as you are watching the trail markings (or using GPS) you shouldn't have any trouble.
There is a variety of foliage as you cross through different "zones;" lots of amazing colorful mushrooms and a good mix of challenging vs. level trail. We only saw one other group of people during our hike, and a lot of the trial was incredibly quiet, unless you were by the creek.
Overall, a beautiful moderately challenging hike. We all decided we would do it again.

The Blood Mountain portion was moderate and challenging. Great to see the lodge and the mountains all around. We came down Freeman’s loop - that part was brutal. So many rocks and roots to navigate, but we made it and will do it again. Be sure to bring more water than you think you’ll drink!

We tried to take Freeman trail but some guys said we were off trail so we turned around and took the AT trail. Lots of rocks to walk over and climb. Difficult trail but doable. It’s so worth the view at the top. I’ll be doing this again.

Great day hike. Trail head is way way back. Could be hard to get to without a 4x4. Poorly marked so we somehow doubled back on ourselves as opposed to completing the entire loop. That said it was a nice hike that crisscrossed the water. Good mix of climbs and descents.

What a beautiful loop. From a gorgeous waterfall to a beautiful lake. A don't miss.

The AT portion is fairly open but Freeman portion somewhat overgrown. Lots of rocks and fallen trees to climb over on Freeman.

hiking
2 months ago

A friend and I came to the area to hike Neels Gap to Blood Mountain but the weather was horrible and she wasn't too comfortable doing that much elevation in the pouring rain.
We opted for this trail instead. It was October so there was still enough leaves to canopy us some from the pouring rain. It was quite lovely. The trail is really interesting but it was quite slippery in places due to all the rocks.
We intend on revisiting this entire area in the near future and revisiting this trail and the ones we missed.

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